Savannah GA | My favorite quote is by Julie Isphording, “Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running.” I don’t technically run for a living, but I do “run for a living”. I’m a wife, mom, actress/singer, and a marketing manager for a civil engineering firm. At 37-years old, life is good and I credit running in continually shaping its path for the better. Running has given me the confidence and will to see that things are in the realm of possibility and that there’s always room for improvement. It’s also taught me to celebrate the small wins and the incredible friendships made along the journey. My ultimate goal is to complete 50 marathons in 50 states. I’m an RRCA certified distance running coach and a member of Savannah-based running clubs, Savannah Striders, Fleet Feet CREW, and Moms Run this Town. In addition, I’m the founder of Read, Run, & Rant, a local reading/running book club that was featured in Shape Magazine.
Northville MI | I’m a proud father of two little ones, have a beautiful and supportive wife, and am obsessed with running…mainly to offset my love of food and eating. I’ve completed 33 Marathons/Ultras and am striving to hit 40 before I turn 40 years old. My marathon PR is 3:03:15 and I would love to beat 3 hours (0 for 3 in my attempts). Just like most, I struggle with balancing my obsession with family, work, and life, but truly appreciate each and every day that I can run!
Asheville NC | I started running during my freshman year of college. It was more walking than running, but I needed something to help release all the stress college adds. I fell in love with it and my senior year I ran my first marathon! A few months after the marathon, I graduated from Clemson University – Go Tigers! – and now I’m a special education teacher in Asheville, NC. The past few months since I moved have been filled with transitions, including running! I’ve been trying my hardest to get used to trails and hills after four years of running on the flat dikes around Clemson’s lake. Although the transition has been rough, I still love running. My goal for 2017 is to commit to trail running and have plenty of adventures!
Pasadena CA | My children are my inspiration to live healthier. They were concerned that I had low energy and couldn’t do basic tasks such as tying my shoes or walking up a flight of stairs without being in discomfort. Now, my kids see me in action when I head out the door early in the morning to run or volunteer at races, or on evening runs to prepare for my next half marathon. It’s important to celebrate others’ health and endurance milestones as well as my own. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Schweitzer: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Charlotte NC | I grew up swimming in south Florida but was dragged to 5K runs quite often by my father. Eventually swimming was not the easiest exercise option for me so I would run intermittently over the years. In an attempt to get back in shape and shed a few pounds I started back running races since 2013 and have become hooked on the half marathon. Apparently, it was in my blood after all! I have run 2 marathons, 13 half marathons, numerous 5Ks, 10Ks and so on, but the half marathon is my absolute favorite distance. I am a physician and running gives me a healthy stress outlet to decompress after a long day. In 2014 my New Year’s resolution was to run a race, any race, every month for the whole year and I accomplished it! It was such a fun year for me and so rewarding. Running has fallen on the back burner since I moved to Charlotte, NC 7 months ago, but now that I have settled in, I have decided on my next running goal…run a half marathon in all 50 states! I have already done 8 states so far and have quite a few on my calendar! I absolutely love to travel so it was the most perfect goal to focus on.
Minneapolis MN | My name is Jaclene Hjelle and I am a 21-year old who loves to run! However, I just took up running a little over a year ago while I was in Spokane, Washington visiting my aunt. She took me on a three mile run, which felt like a 30 mile run, but she somehow convinced me to sign up for the Missoula Half Marathon with her the following summer-every since then I’ve been hooked and have ran five half marathon in five different states in the past six months. My goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states and then eventually one on every continent (including Antarctica)! I have found running to be a great outlet to relieve stress and to calm me down. Aside from running I love to travel, work as an auditor in Minneapolis, and am very involved in the children’s’ ministry at my church. *Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize || Philippians 3:13-14*
Hayward CA | I am a Bay Area native working as an office manager for an interior design firm in San Francisco. I have a love for wine, cheese, and traveling, but I live for running. I started about three years ago to get fit before turning 40, but during that time my dad became very ill. Seeing my dad; my rock, during this time was really hard. Running then became my outlet to release my worries. In Dec of 2014 my dad was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. My worries became anger and I felt helpless. I felt l needed to do something so I pledged to run 12 half marathons in 12 months to raise awareness and money for cancer research. I completed it in Nov 2015; unfortunately, my dad lost his battle a short six months after he was diagnosed and never saw me complete my challenge. Today I continue to use running to raise awareness and money for research whenever I can. In total I have ran in 38 races; 19 of them being half marathons. My ultimate goal is to run in a half marathon in all fifty states, as well as completing my first full marathon. I’m hoping to do that this year at the NY Marathon.
Noblesville IN | I first started running when I was in middle school and haven’t slowed down since! I’ve run in races of all distances (short races too marathons) and locations all over. I have fundraised for charities in races in the past, recently been a pacer for races, in a way to give back to this great sport. Probably most important to me though is that my wife and two daughters (age 9 and 6) have witnessed what running is all about, and now they have started to enjoy the passion and fun. Each of them have completed multiple 5k races and it’s something that we have now grown to do as a family.
San Diego CA | New to running in 2010, I signed up to run my first half marathon with Team in Training Central Ohio Chapter at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, CA. A year later, I ran my first marathon at the same race and never looked back! By 2015, I had already hit my 15th half marathon, so I set a goal for 2016…run 12 half marathons, one each month of the year, so that I could run my 30th half marathon for my 30th birthday this May!
Currently living in San Diego, it’s never hard to find half marathons to run; but I always challenge myself not to run the same races because for me, it’s all about the experience! I love planning racecations with my family and friends to cities I’ve never been, all while taking a 13.1-mile tour through their iconic communities. I have already completed half marathons in 7 different states so far and am hoping to add to the list in years to come!
Rachel Sorna Schilkowsky
Boston MA | My name is Rachel Schilkowsky (née Sorna) and I am a darer of mighty things! After graduating from Cornell University as a 5-time DI NCAA All-American, I decided to jointly pursue both a career as a mechanical engineer as well as my dream of being an elite distance runner. My goals for 2017 are to qualify once again for the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3000m steeplechase in June before debuting in the marathon in the fall in the hopes of hitting the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Standard of 2:43.
Striving for both simultaneously is by no means easy – waking up at 6:00am every morning, run commuting to my job in Downtown Boston, constantly juggling training, working, and trying to simply live – but I know deep down it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I want to reach my full potential in every aspect of my life, to leave no stone left unturned and live with no regrets. The support and encouragement from my husband, teammates, friends, and sponsors plays an absolutely crucial role in keeping my big goals a reality. They lift me up and push me forward, never letting me settle for less than I am capable of.
Howell NJ | The beginning of the 2016 running season was a real struggle for me. I broke my big toe in the fall of 2015 which sidelined me for several months and didn’t allow for me to train and run in my first marathon that Spring. With determination and motivation from several Facebook groups I was able to regroup and get myself back in shape and run the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September. For 2017 I’m continuing my momentum and preparing to run the Chicago Marathon this fall.
Reisterstown MD | I’m a thirty-year-old attorney who loves to run. I started running regularly in December 2011 after I signed up for a race solely because I liked the jacket that each participant earned. My race of choice is the half marathon; I have run 14 half marathons. I ran my second full marathon this past year and will be running at least two in 2017. I started CrossFit in 2016 to build up my strength and hopefully prevent injuries. I would like to run a race (half or full marathon distance) in each state at some point in my life, but I still have 42 states to go.
Bay Village OH | I run and bike for T1D awareness. My daughter was diagnosed with incurable Type 1 Diabetes 4 years ago. Just before her diagnosis, she dared me to run a 1-mile fun run for our local PTA. After a shameful performance, I was inspired and supported by her, her brother and my husband to learn to run. My proudest moment came when we were invited to run in the London Marathon on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2016.
Edmonton AB | I am a 20-year-old Edmonton, Alberta based runner and triathlete. Running sparked my interest a few years ago and led me to find my true passion: the triathlon. I love every aspect of the sport but racing is what I find the most rewarding. I enjoy traveling and have raced across Canada and the United States. In just a couple of short years I have completed over 10 half marathons, the Chicago Marathon as well as a 70.3 Ironman. When I’m not training, you can either find me working towards a degree in Business or sharing my love of fitness by teaching group exercise classes. I currently have my sights set on Ironman Coeur d’Alene and am looking forward to an exciting year ahead.