Michele Marx, a 37-year-old mother of four hailing from Lake Forest, IL took up running
after college because her busy schedule hindered her ability to find a tennis partner — a
sport she’s been playing since high school.
“I started with 5Ks, 10Ks, building up to the marathon. I’ve now done five marathons.
But with four kids, it is hard to do the full distance so I’ve been doing a lot of half
marathons. It’s a manageable goal for me.”
If Marx has trouble finding time to train, it doesn’t show. On June 13, she took home
a women’s first place finish at the North Shore Half Marathon in Highland Park with a
time of 1:29:03.
“My goal was top ten in my age group. This was a total shock, I kept thinking someone
was going to catch me. I didn’t believe it when everyone kept telling me I was the first
place female,” says Marx.
Patrick Austin, a successful wrestler, started running in earnest after he was forced to quit
wrestling after suffering two broken thumbs — something that hindered his ability to grasp
an opponent. But when he finally started training competitively, he flourished as a runne
“I really didn’t fall in love with the sport until my sophomore year in college,” says
Austin. “I had a breakthrough year and qualified for nationals. From that point on, I’ve
After taking a one-year hiatus between his junior and senior years in college (following
the passing of his father) Austin came screaming back onto the racing scene with his first
place overall finish at this year’s North Shore Half Marathon. Austin clocked a time of
1:13:35, beating second place finisher Brice Young by over three minutes.
“That was actually my half marathon debut, I had never done that before. It was a
surprise win for me. I’ve won a few smaller road races and I place well in collegiate
meets, but this is the biggest race I’ve won,” says Austin.