November/December Athletes of the Month: Theresa Peterson & Jeremy Rielley

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Theresa Peterson

Growing up in the Southside of Chicago, Theresa Peterson has been a runner since before high school. She ran with Jack Bolton, former Mother McCauley High School track and cross-country coach, and come high school, she ran cross-country and track, along with playing basketball. However, Peterson hung up her running shoes after being recruited by Columbia University in New York for basket- ball. She continued running local races, and did Chicago and Boston once, but her love was not truly rekindled until

a decade later, when she met Jenny Spangler, a U.S. Olympian, and joined Spangler’s running programs. Now, she has a 5K PR of 19:42, a 10K PR of 41:37, and a PR in the half marathon of 1:33:16 from the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, where she was the Master’s Champion. In 2015, Peterson placed second female in the Rock the Night 5K and Fort2Base. And although there were some course complications at the 2016 Fort2Base, Peterson was named first female. “What this [story] tells me and I hope it tells others is that it is never too late to compete and achieve your best.”

Jeremy Rielley


The two-time Transamerica Chicago International Triathlon champion Jeremy Rielley from Evanston started his running career just six years ago. He started with a bang by taking on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and in 2011, he switched to triathlons. That same year, Rielley qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which motivated him to keep pushing himself. “I love the challenge of three individual sports because it is up to me whether I wake up to workout, or push myself during that last interval.” Now, his

favorite races are the 70.3 Steelhead, the Chicago Marathon and the Chicago Triathlon, which he won in 2015 and 2016, with times of 2:00:57 and 2:00:39, respectively. Rielley has an impressive list of PRs, too: his Olympic Triathlon PR is 1:57:30, a 70.3 PR of 4:11:14 and a marathon PR of 2:44:46. Not only does Rielley demonstrate his love of endurance during competitions, but he is also a physical education teacher at Dawes and Orrington elementary schools, where he aims to teach his students “if you can think it, you can achieve it.”

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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run several 5Ks, and completed her first half marathon in July 2015. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism.

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