May/June Athletes of the Month: Susan Niswander and Ryan Jaskiewicz

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Susan Niswander

“I’ve always run as a way of clearing my mind and keeping sane during crazy times. When my run times reached a plateau I started triathlons hoping the cross training would improve running and increase longevity. After some Olympic distance triathlons, I was intrigued by the Ironman distance and signed up for Florida in 1999. The satisfaction of crossing the finish line always brings tears of joy and has driven me to complete 10 Ironman 140.6 races. I’m fortunate that my husband enjoys training and racing with me. That doesn’t make the training easier, but we do motivate each other, particularly for those 3 a.m. bike workouts. After years of racing, this past year and a half was particularly special; I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon, placed third in Ironman 70.3 North Carolina to qualify for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga; I won my age group in Ironman Mont Tremblant to qualify for and race the 2017 Ironman 140.6 World Championship in Kona.”

Niswander’s PRs:

Half Ironman = 5:31
Full Ironman = 12:02
Marathon = 3:40
Half Marathon = 1:45

Ryan Jaskiewicz

“I started running as an adult in 2007 when I ran my first marathon here in Chicago.  I was always athletic throughout childhood and ran in high school, but wasn’t very focused. After qualifying for Boston in 2009, it really started to become an obsession and part of my lifestyle. I started getting faster and was able to actually compete in races as time went on. I am on DWRunning as well, where I ran on the team for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k and we placed 26th overall. I also won the Bolingbrook St. Paddy’s 5k this year. I’ve made some solid strides over the past five years or so, but more importantly, I’ve made some great friendships in the Chicago running community. The Chicago running community has given me way more than I can ever pay back. I live in La Grange Park, IL with my wife and three kids; I have two girls and a boy. I am the founder of 12five Capital, a commercial lender based here in Chicago.”

Jaskiewicz’s PRs:

5k: 15:12
8k: 25:13
Half Marathon: 1:11:18
Marathon: 2:27:27

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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 many distance races, and is going for her first marathon at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism, and is working towards her Master in Arts in New Media and Marketing.

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