Tamara Munch & Braden Renshaw

Tamara Munch
 2011 March Tamara Munch

Tamara Munch has had quite the running career. In the past five years, she has gone from a beginner on the running circuit to a two-time Boston Marathon qualifier. After running the race for the first time in 2010 and finishing in 3:35:10, Munch will head back east this April for the 115th Boston Marathon.

“The crowds were amazing,” Munch says of her experience last year. “I had a smile on my face the whole entire race. Since you have to qualify it’s just an amazing feeling.”

Though Munch also runs 5Ks (she recently won this year’s Frosty 5 Mile race), she likes how marathons give runners a lot of time both to train and catch up in the race. Running isn’t all about competition for Munch, though.

“I run for fun,” she says. “It’s really just about all the friends that I’ve made throughout the last few years. That’s why I do it.”

Braden Renshaw
 2011 March Braden Renshaw

Ever looked at the Willis Tower and wonder how long it would take to climb to the top? Braden Renshaw has the answer: less than 20 minutes.

Renshaw, a competitive stair climber from Schaumburg, began his endurance sport career in running. While running with some of his work buddies, Renshaw learned that some of his co-workers had a team for the Hustle up the Hancock stair climbing event. Renshaw joined the team and has been hooked on stair climbing ever since. He has already participated in two climbs this year: the Kohl’s Step Up for Kids on Jan. 30, where he came in fourth and the Fight for Air Climb in Oakbrook on Feb. 13, where he placed seventh overall. 

“You really have to be willing to push yourself past your limits,” Renshaw says. “It’s a very painful event. I like that it’s a tough sport, that it’s challenging.”