This year, we have 12 awesome athletes representing on our 2018 Chicago Athlete ambassador team. Located all over the Chicagoland area, they will go out to various races and provide coverage, to help you decide which races are best for you. Learn their names and faces, and say hi to them at the races!
Andrea is a high school history teacher and teaches AP US History, government, among other classes. She also coaches boys and girls soccer, and loves history, traveling, sports in general…and of course…running! She has completed several marathons, half marathons, and fun races.
Mandi began running in middle school and never stopped. While attending The John Marshall Law School in 2007, Mandi ran her first Chicago Marathon, and has continued to run several marathons, half marathons and shorter distances. An Illinois licensed attorney, Mandi is currently the Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League.
Jacqui was born to runner parents, so she fell in love with running at a young age. After frequent injuries while running at the University of Illinois, she began cross training with swimming and biking and eventually got pulled into the triathlon scene as well. As a junior high teacher, cross country and track coach, Jacqui enjoys passing on her passion for athletics to her students
James began his triathlon journey in 2015, and now James can be found most weekends swimming, biking and running around Chicago and its suburbs. His goal for the 2018 season is to juggle training with the responsibilities of being a husband, father and technology coordinator for a local high school district and to complete his first Half-Ironman by the end of the year.
Suzuka is a personal trainer and a fitness instructor. She runs to clear her head, and her life motto is “if I can’t find the answer to my problem during my long run, there won’t be an answer.” Suzuka has completed seven marathons, many, many half marathons, 10K and 5K. She also loves obstacle course races and triathlons.
Jeff ran off and on over the years, but when he moved to Chicago in 2014 and signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle, he was completely hooked. Since then, running has developed into a real passion for him. He now enjoys running everything from 5K’s to marathons. When he isn’t running, you can often find him in a Disney Park (probably taking part in a runDisney race).
Erika is originally from Mexico City, and has lived in Chicago for the past 12 years. She has ran 30 marathons, including Boston and a few ultras and trail races. After several chronic injuries, she got into triathlons to cross train and stay active, and she fell in love with endurance distance triathlons. She has completed six Ironman and is looking to qualify for KONA.
Edward is a very enthusiastic runner who has been running for 20 years. He is part of the Fleet Feet Racing Team in Chicago, and is also a member of the Marathon Maniacs, trying to complete the ultimate goal of running a marathon in all 50 states one day. Currently, Edward has completed marathons in 10 states, 24 total, and also has done over 100 half marathons.
Kristin started running at 55 after completing the 200 mile, 2011 Ride for AIDS Chicago and realizing she hated riding a bicycle. Six years later, she has completed countless half marathons, two Chicago marathons and a 50-mile ultramarathon. A retired telecom executive, Kristin loves the social aspects of running and frequently runs with the Bolingbrook Fun Run Club.
Alexander has been running now for about seven years, which he started to get in some exercise, after having a sedentary job. Another benefit of the sport in his eyes is all the calories burned, as he loves food. Distance-wise, Alex has run races from one mile to half marathons, and is working up to complete a full marathon one day.
After finishing the Avon Walk in 2009, Judith had nothing left to do but start running. She ran her first 5k in 2009 at age 48 along with her brother. She “accidentally” signed up for the Chicago Marathon in 2011 and the NYC Marathon in 2015. Judith has completed almost 250 races in 8 years and she loves running because of the friendships made along the way.
Nathan’s life of running and triathlon started in 2010 while his wife was in her last year of nursing school, and he needed something to do other than annoy her while she was studying. One day he woke up and said “I want to run the Chicago marathon,” and he did. A year later, he started doing triathlons. Nathan trains with his wife and has a passion for coffee and doughnuts.