CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS- ALEXANDER WOLOS Running is the last thing that I thought I’d get passionate about and I can thank my Dad for giving me the bug. I remember my first ‘race’. It was a 5k on New Year’s in 2008 that the old man convinced me to do. It was by far the worst experience I ever had, filled with pain, soreness and a ton of walking. I finished that monstrosity in 31:53 and said that was to be the last time I’d ever do something so crazy.Fast forward two years to the 2010 Indy Mini. My uncle, who is the fast runner of the family, came into town to run the race with my Dad. They had such a great time and bonded and experienced something that struck a chord with me. It was something that I wanted to have. Both of them love running and it seemed like a relatively easy hobby to pick up. I must have forgotten about my first time out. Since all you need is a pair of shoes and some road, the next day I drove to the local running store and bought a pair of shoes to start, we’ll say running. Early on so it was more like a brisk walk. Those early times were a major struggle, lots of cramps and walking. However, I kept at it and two years later I was toeing the starting line with my Dad at the Mini. That was an experience that I will always treasure and carry with me for the rest of my life.Since then I’ve run eight halves and got to experience my first full marathon at Chicago this past year. This is honestly something I never thought I’d start, let alone keep at it.I know I’ll never be the fastest, but that’s not the purpose. I love the challenges, the camaraderie with the other runners, and little successes, like getting a PR, running longer races, and meeting new people. I couldn’t have imagined this 10 years ago, but now I can’t imagine my life without it.