We Got A Story To Tell

HIGHPOWER TUESDAY

 

Images: Victoria Yanchuk

We get together once a week at the crack of dawn to work on our speed. These workouts aren't for the faint of heart. Afterwards, we convene at the local coffee shop to swap war stories..

 
 
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - NICOLE PERALES

 
The first time I decided to put on a pair of running shoes and change my life, I weighed 360 pounds. I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds without feeling like I was going to pass out. Fast forward two years (and many miles) later, running has helped me lose 160 pounds. Every time I lace up, I feel different- stronger than I was the run before. Throughout this weight loss journey, running has taught me that life is really just about putting one foot in front of the other and continuing on, no matter the circumstances. The only person I compete with is myself- I will always be a work in progress, but running has helped me realize my true potential- That I will always be better than I was the day before.
— Nicole Perales
 

Nike Womens 15k- Toronto

 

Words: Kahee Yu & Amanda Failla

When asked to reflect on this past weekend in Toronto, it took us a moment to really think of where to begin. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and the hash tag #IwishICouldGiveYouThisFeeling has never been more accurate.

Amanda: I received the exclusive invite from NTC/NRC to join the Nike Toronto Women’s 15K and they would graciously bus us out free of charge. Seeing as this was my birthday weekend, it was hard to pass up, what better way to kick off the big 2-8? Along with 18 other Chicago women and more luggage than anyone would ever need for a two day trip, we were on our 500 mile journey to Toronto. Amidst the numerous bathroom stops, gossip, story sharing, and even getting lost in downtown Detroit, we finally made it to Toronto. I couldn’t be more excited to see what the city had in store for us as we passed numerous Nike signs scattered throughout the city.

Kahee: I quickly headed out to Parkdale in West Toronto after what seemed like the shortest night of sleep. Parkdale Roadrunners organized a 4km shakeout run in the Parkdale neighborhood before we headed over for coffee, grub, and endless chit chats. Seeing new and old faces from all over the states and Canada was the perfect way to set the positive vibes for the weekend. Once again I was able to realize the best part of races weekends are the opportunities for reunions and creation of new friendships. Before it got too late, I set back to downtown Toronto for the expotique and to meet with Amanda. 

Amanda: After getting a few short hours of shuteye, it was time to join the Nike Shakeout Run. When we arrived we saw some familiar faces and Nike truly welcomed us with open arms. They also informed us that there were four different official shake out runs around downtown Toronto, all ending together at the Nike expotique. After meeting and snapping some pictures with our New York Bridgerunner friends, my future husband, er I mean, Coach Bennett welcomed us by giving a speech and inspiring us for what he promised to be an unforgettable weekend.

Our shakeout run was a quick 2.5 miles through Toronto ending with a group stretch before they unleashed us into the expotique. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend, as we all know Nike knows how to throw one helluva party! The expo was much more of an experience than booths of people trying to sell you water bottles and discounted shoes. Our group spent about four hours snapping pictures, laughing, and making memories. What was truly amazing was that we couldn’t go more than twenty minutes without seeing someone we knew. Crew love was in full force!

Amanda: Come Saturday night we [partly] ditched our sneakers and running gear for some fancier attire while we headed to China Town to meet up with Parkdale Roadrunners for their pasta dinner at People’s Eatery. They had rented out the entire restaurant for us and provided endless food while we laughed and chatted away with new and old friends.

Kahee: Seeing runners in anything other than dri-fit and Nikes was a fun part of the night. A hundred runners gathered at People’s Eatery to break bread before race day and the food was incredibly delicious and healthy. We were once again able to meet new friends and catch up with old on a perfect, breezy summer night in Toronto.    

Kahee: I woke up from a dream where I wore the wrong shoes and couldn’t run the race; but besides the terrible nightmare the weather looked promising on Sunday morning. We were on a ferry on our way to the Toronto Islands by 6:45am. Even though the race didn’t start until 9:30am, they had to ship in 10,000 people onto the islands, which in turn took just as long to get people off the islands. The weather cooperated as we stretched, frequented the bathrooms and felt all the excitement surrounding us. As soon as we shed off our extra layers and got into our wave, the temperatures dropped and the rain paid us a visit. We were cold but stayed close and tried to stay positive until it was our turn to cross that start line.

Kahee: The first two miles were crowded and I was running a bit slower than I wanted but the beauty of the course had me completely distracted. The course was absolutely beautiful; complete view of the Toronto skyline from various angles, little cottages with grandmas and grandpas cheering us on, and airplanes taking off as we ran on the airport runway! I ran a good race and it felt a bit more special since I was sidelined at last year’s Nike DC half marathon due to an injury. I was on such a runner’s high that the hour wait for the ferry back to mainland didn’t even bother me.  

 Photo: Nike 

Photo: Nike 

 Photo: Nike

Photo: Nike

Amanda: Sunday morning came far too quickly as we all met up and walked to the ferry. We all knew that race day wasn’t going to be a stroll in the park weather wise, but it comes with the territory. They can’t all be 55 degrees and perfect days. After being transported to the secluded Toronto Island, it was Nike-palooza! Everywhere you looked there were quirky signs and sayings to take photographs with, drum lines welcoming you to the island, food trucks galore, and lots and lots of women ready to get the show on the road. 

After Kahee was able to sneak our group into her start wave, we all huddled together for warmth as the temps dropped and the rain came out minutes before the start of the race. Finally, come 9:30AM we were on! I may have forgot to mention how beautiful the Island of Toronto is – so much greenery, beautiful trees, a serene boardwalk with the waterfront on one side and beautiful trees on the other. We even got to run on an airport runway with planes taking off beside us and had some pretty awesome views of downtown Toronto. 

Nike did not disappoint with on course entertainment, we had everything from said airplanes taking off, to a church choir (decked out in Nike kicks, of course), an array of terrain (trail, grass, boardwalk), and comical signs along the course. Though the views were incomparable, my favorite part of the race was the crew love at 14.5K! Crews from all around were lined up along the course high-fiving, screaming, photographing, and confetti bombing fellow runners.

...And how can I not mention our gorgeous finisher’s prize – that little blue box! The Tiffany’s necklace is gorgeous and I can un-shamelessly say, I’ve been rocking my medal all week! 

  

 

This is how we ragnar

 

Words: Rick Diaz

First, some context: Ragnar is a 200ish mile relay race to be covered by 12 runners in "leap frog" fashion exchanges- In this case, from Madison, Wisconsin to my beloved Chi-City. Each runner has three turns to run over the course of a day and a half in which you are essentially eating, living, and sleeping in one of two vans. Got It?! If you didn't know, now you know!

#ragnarchi 2015 began basically began for me when the 2014 edition concluded- It's how my mind works. I had such a great time that I couldn't wait to do it again and share it with as many crew-mates as possible. I immediately knew that I wanted to "quarterback" this event, so I elicited the help of my former van-mates and Ragnar veterans Robert Perez, Lily "Who the hell is Poppins?" Tong, and Emily Needham. 

#crewlove: Things ended up coming together nicely. I mean, there's always hiccups though! People get hurt, unexpected last-minute changes to a schedule and work conflicts occur- In other words, sh$t happens- But we came together, planned it out to the best of our capabilities and pulled it off! It's amazing to me how personalities naturally emerge and things fall into place. 

#shitjustgotreal: Let's fast-forward to race weekend. Thursday was our travel day- We met at Dunlays On The Square. (if it ain't broke, right?) after loading the vans, and driving three hours, we checked into our hotels for the night. Fortunately for us, we usually get late race times based on the fact that we have some of the faster teams in the field (yes, that's me blowing our own horn, but it's true!) This also gives us the opportunity to enjoy some of the nightlife that Madison has to offer, and boy, do we take advantage! 

#dontbelievemejustwatch: Come Friday morning, it was time to get serious. The backdrop to this version of Ragnar is that our two teams are racing each other with the knowledge that team "Three Run Two" is expected to eventually pass team "3RUN2" on the course and how extra special that "kill" will be for whoever is lucky enough to get it. It's a chilly and wet morning, but as always, we're ready to race.

#dontforgettobreathe: My team, "3RUN2" has an hour head start on team, "Three Run Two"- Our 3-time Ragnar vet, Big Rob Perez is our lead-off runner and shoots out of the gate. My van-mates and I head over to the first exchange to greet him, but he doesn't show. Time is of the essence and he's nowhere to be found. Eventually, we find out that he's lost- It happens, but our advantage is promptly lost. A 6 mile run for him turns into 12, but eventually, we get back on track.

#catchmeifyoucan: A second story develops. We now have to make up about an hour of lost time and both teams are now neck and neck. The "kill" that we were anticipating occurring somewhere in the middle of the face now may happen right away. But instead of beating each other up over it, we rally with the understanding that everyone is going to have to run faster than they had originally planned!

#allblackeverything: ..And everybody did just that. This is how we make an individual action into a team sport. Runners from the two vans chip away seconds off of their pace and cut minutes off of the lost hour. It became our motivation and focus. Well, that and not to be caught by team "Three Run Two," but as an added bonus, both teams get to spend more time with each other during the actual race.

#werunragnar: Now the unique and grueling thing about Ragnar is that it's non-stop. Day turns into night. Your home is a van, specifically a tiny space within said van. Real meals become Quest bars and fruit. If you're lucky, a hard-boiled egg or two and a good night's sleep turn into power naps. Oh, and you gotta run- After all, that's the reason why we're all here!

#nodaysoff: It's now Saturday morning and we've been at it for over 18 hours with racing still to be done. Team "Three Run Two" has long passed us (as anticipated), and are crushing the competition. For us, we're still trying to shave time off of that lost hour. With none of our luster lost and sleep deprivation setting in, we set out to tackle the task at hand. After all, there's work to be done.

#nevernotrunning: We hit our third and final leg hard, generally the most difficult because of all the accumulated conditioned previously mentioned. Every time a runner finishes their part, we awe at the performance being put in! We know it's going to be close in making up for the initial mistake. All we can do at this point is head over to the finish line at Montrose Beach and wait for our final runner.

#usversusthepavement: When our anchor runners, Marcos "Mikey" Velazquez crosses the finish line at the 29:12:40 mark- More than 40 minutes ahead of schedule, there is a sense of accomplishment that's difficult to describe. We pulled together as a unit to get this done. We could've let that opening mishap ruin the experience, but instead we rallied around it!

#iwishicouldgiveyouthisfeeling: And that's it- Our Ragnar 2015 weekend experience. The results were great, (I guess I should point out that team "Three Run Two" finished in 27:08:42), the PR's were better and there were many of them be applauded, but the friendships forged were the best part of all of this..and the reason why we lace them up. 

And now the countdown to #RagnarChi 2016 begins..

 

Tour of Galena 2015

 

Words & Images: Micaela Bernal

At this point, it would be silly to think that our 3run2 community didn't transcend beyond the act of running. Running is the vehicle that brought us all together. It is and always will be who we are at our core, but why be pigeonholed into one, all-encompassing category? 

When it comes down to it, a lifestyle rooted in health and movement (through any sport) is the school of thought that I subscribe to. Get it how you live and get in where you fit in. 

As luck would have it, I've recently been bitten by the cycling bug and have fallen hard for the sport. When fellow runner (and brother from another mother) Marty mentioned that he'd be racing in the 2015 Tour of Galena with Bonkers Cycling, a few of the 3run2 ladies and I jumped at the opportunity to tag along. The idea of swapping out a flat Lakefront path for hills was exactly what I had wanted in terms of a challenging workout. 

...And let's be honest- A chance to get out of the city is always welcomed.

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I spent 3 hours in the co-pilot's seat as Amanda drove.  As official Road Dawg, my main roles included being on snack patrol, catching as much of the scenery with my camera as possible, and choosing a podcast. What's good, Rich Roll

After our journey and a good night's sleep, we started the next day off at the Bonkers house for coffee.

Shootin' the breeze? Check..

Gearin' up? Check..

Tire Pressure? Check..

The hills were just as I had imagined- Rows of slow, grueling climbs followed by fast (and slightly terrifying) descents. It was equal parts humbling and exciting to say the least.

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Fast forward a few hours later to the racing portion of the day. The Tour of Galena is a 22 mile course composed of several steep and long climbs. The field was capped at 100 riders. In such an intimate setting, I can't help but think that all of the participants were operating at their maximum potential.

A huge thank you to Marty for letting us come along for the ride, no pun intended. I truly had a blast and  can't wait do do it again. With such a vibrant and active racing culture, I can definitely see this turning into a thing. 

Micaela

 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - FEW BREWS BEER CLUB

 
As a kid, up until my junior/senior year of high school, I lived with asthma — tied to my inhaler and destined to play all of the non-running positions on my school sports teams. For those who don’t know, asthma is a disease that when triggered swells the airways inside a person’s lungs, making it extremely hard to breath. It is often induced by exercise and can leaving you grasping for air without warning. As an active kid, it was a struggle I dealt with on a daily basis.
Fortunately, by the time I graduated from high school and went to college, my asthma completely went away. Inspired by my dad, who had nearly 10 marathons under his belt, I began to run. And once I found out I could run... oh man. I was in love, completely enthralled by the new experience, and wasn’t going to let anything get in my way! On winter break my freshman year of college, I decided to sign up for my very first race... the 2006 Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon! Because why not, right?

As shy as I can sometimes be (hey, I’m working on it), it’s that kind of crazy that defines me as a runner. At one point, I was training 6 days a week, running up to 15 miles on an indoor track, where 10 laps equaled a mile. Uhh yeah, crazy! I’m always up for a challenge... always, and the confidence I’ve gained from holding onto this perspective has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined, both as a runner and person. I’ve since run 5 marathons, and I’m still as in love with it as the day I started!

One non-running accomplishment I’m proud of is starting Few Brews Beer Club and Few Brews Podcast, with my friends Dylan Nelson and Jorge Lopez. While the club was started on a whim, it has developed into a place for casual beer drinkers and industry-involved enthusiasts to find common ground and celebrate the craft. At our monthly events, we want to stay away from the pretentiousness sometimes associated with craft beer and strive to be a part of a community where everyone feels comfortable contributing to the discussion. And folks, it’s beer. While it certainly deserves to be explored, learned about and understood; let’s not forget it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends! Ha, like this group would ever forget... Cheers, everyone!
— Tommy Crawford
I’ve always been a decent runner, but I always saw it as something I just had to do. Whether it was running home from school on Chicago’s south side to avoid getting caught up in gang fights, to my short-lived soccer career in high school, to running on military bases all over the world for physical training. Running has always been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, but my heart was never in it... Until now.

My brother-in-law Jaime “Don’t-Call-Me-JayME” Gascon knew I ran every so often, so he invited me out for a crew run one random Thursday night in August 2013. My life has never been the same since.

The Few Brews Podcast that I host with Tommy Crawford would never exist if it wasn’t for this group. The beer club and the podcast are just more ways for us to be able to spend time with the people whose company we really enjoy while having a few brews. This crew just has a special way of bringing people together.

After 5 long years in the Army, I finally started to understand what it meant to be accepted among your peers. I started to understand what self-confidence really meant and allowed myself to accept these positive changes that had always felt so foreign in my life. I’m happy and actually mean it.

I’m still that kid from the south side of Chicago. I’m still that soldier. I feel them in my heart every time I lace up my running shoes. They’re both right there. Running fast. Running hard... but without the fear.
— Jorge Lopez
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - MICHAEL CARMODY

 
I’ve always been a very active person growing up. I was a three-sport athlete in high school and ended up having the opportunity to play college soccer. After college, I ran three marathons (Chicago) with various family members and friends. These were all great experiences. Still, I didn’t really understand the purpose of running or enjoy it all that much.

Over the course of the following six years, I started to become less and less active. I was the poster child for what it meant to be unhealthy. I smoked two packs a day, ate fast food and worked 80-100 hours a week. I was tired and for the most part had given up on life. Consequentially, I turned my back on everyone around me.

In 2012, I attempted to run my way out of the funk I was in by racing the Hot Chocolate 15k. After some major changes and some serious soul searching, things started to turn around. I began to eat right and take care of myself. By April I started running full-time again. At this point I had realized that running was the answer to all of my troubles.

In May I was introduced to 3run2 and everything came together. The past two and a half years have changed my life. I’m truly proud to say that I am a runner.

Everyday I am thankful that I have been given the ability to run. It has helped me connect with people and develop relationships that I never thought possible. This past year I signed up for Hot Chocolate yet once again and was able to run it with the man who inspires me to wake up and do what I do every day- My brother John.

John was born with down syndrome. He doesn’t know it yet, but he is also a runner. As we walked up to the start line of the race that changed my life just two years earlier, I had this feeling that shot down from my head throughout my body. I am not entirely sure what it was but it felt like something out of a movie. This is the feeling that I get every time I am able to lace up my shoes and go for a run.
— Michael Carmody
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - CARMEN MYERS

 
The first time I remember loving to run, I was with my dad, the fall I turned 16, and the leaves were all colors they don’t really get in Chicago. It was the year before he was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and one of the moments with him that I remember most clearly.

After my dad died, running became tied to my depression and my eating disorder and became more about weight and control than about running itself. Though there were some rough years, I eventually took a break from it, found an awesome therapist, and finally learned to love myself, no matter my size.

Now when I run, I try to find as much joy in it as possible. I like to focus on my strength, on my connection with my dad, and on the amazing community that I am lucky enough to be a part of. I am often smiling when I run because I’m so grateful that I am finally at a place where I can feel complete happiness - and I’m so thankful for the amazing people who have helped me get here.
— Carmen Myers
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - ANDREA IWANIUK

 
I was born and aged in Chicago. Like Kanye West says, “... I’m a Chicagoan till Chicago ends...” but creating an identity has always been a challenge for me. I’ve considered myself to be a lot of different things throughout my life: cheerleader, soccer player, Ukrainian dancer, Girl Scout, dog & cat Mom. I’ve performed in many musicals, volunteered for several charities, taken classes at Second City but I never considered myself a “runner”. In middle school my track career was limited to the 800-meter race. I only joined the cross-country team in high school so I could hang out with cute boys (sorry Mrs. Jordan!). After my first race (I came in second to last place) I thought long distance running wasn’t for me so I didn’t join the team the following year.

So what caused me to signed up for my first marathon even though I hadn’t run around the block since high school (a 10+ year hiatus)? Watching one of my best friends, Ashley, finish her first. Chicago loves their runners. The cheering crowds and support really stuck with me. I remembered the energy and the overwhelming “you can do it” attitude. It was electrifying! So my journey began.

I faced greater challenges in life than running a marathon. In 2000, I lost my Mom to breast cancer. I was 15 years old at the time. That experience taught me so much about life and resilience. In many ways it prepared me to run that race long before I realized it. I already knew how to push through more pain than any blister could give me. I was stronger than I ever thought possible and persevered through difficult times maintaining an unbroken spirit and positivity. What chance did this marathon have against me? My favorite memory from that day was running behind someone who had a sign on their back that read, “I’m running for Irene” which coincidently was my Mom’s name. I knew in that moment she was with me and I was doing exactly what she had taught me to do, “Set your goals, fulfill your dreams”. I finished that race with negative splits and haven’t stopped running since.

After completing two marathons, 6 half marathons, one Ragnar Race, an Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (2 days, 39.3 miles), 8K & 5K I still didn’t consider myself a “runner”, crazy right? It wasn’t until I joined this crew that my opinion of that changed; how I should identify myself finally made sense. I have been a “runner” all along. This crew made me realize that. We push each other, celebrate new PRs, offer advice, laughter, a sweaty hug, a cold beer, ride up the Waterfall Glen... It’s amazing what like-minded people can do together. They bring out the best in me and I am really grateful for that. Unlike high school where I was bothered by coming in second to last place, now no matter what I know I have a crew of people behind me and I’ll gladly join this team again next year.
— Andrea Iwaniuk
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - JASON DEUCHLER

 
Most of you know me as a DJ and some of you know me as a cinematographer. These are two of my main passions that keep me happy and moving forward. They are both jobs that at their core are an individual task. I make the choices of what song to play, how to play it or how to expose a scene or move the camera. But to make them an overall great experience I need other people to collaborate with. I need people dancing, bartenders pouring drinks, the actors to light and my directors ideas. This is like running. Yes you can do it alone. You just need some shoes and you. But it’s so much more enjoyable when it’s with a crew of friends.
— Jason Deuchler
 

Make It 2 Go'

 

If we can't kick it with you, we can't run with you. Literally, and figuratively speaking. 

I've lost count of how many times we've expressed the above sentiment in one way or another over the last two years. It's a crucial part of our ethos that guides us in all decision making, no matter how big or small. Although this methodology doesn't always get one the popular vote, it has allowed us to steer clear of many distractions and focus on collaborating with other like minded people. 

We first spoke with David Jaewon Oh at the end of last summer. His plan was to photograph as much of marathon weekend (Chicago '14) as possible and wanted us to be a part of this undertaking. Without much hesitation nor information, we agreed. Let's just say we had a good feeling about the whole thing. 

Not only did we vibe on a friendship level, he was a pleasure to work with and ended up producing some of our favorite photos of Three Run Two to date. To say they capture the essence of our crew would be a gross understatement. David's photos allow us to relive said weekend each and every time we take a look at them. 

Last weekend, David paid us another visit to further build on his project. This time around, I was able to tag along to document the documentarian and his subjects. We'll keep you posted on David's project, "Make it 2 Go'" , but for now see below for some of my shots from last weekend.

Mica

 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - AMY AMATO

 
For most of my life I considered myself a dancer. Growing up, I had dance classes multiple times a week and rehearsals almost every weekend. It was a lot to keep up with, especially through high school, but one of the main reasons I stuck with it for so long was the people. Some of my best friends today are girls I met in the dressing room of a dance studio over 20 years ago. It was never competitive, but we always pushed ourselves to stay at the same level as one another.

Fast forward to the spring of my senior year of college when I decided to run a half marathon for no particular reason other than, why not? I trained enough to get through the race and I had fun. After that, running remained my preferred form of exercise but I never considered myself a “runner” until I started running with the crew.

For someone who relishes their alone time, I never realized how much of a motivator social relationships have been for me. When I was younger, I excelled in dance because I looked forward to going to class and seeing my friends. Today, I’m becoming a better runner because I get to run with a group of people whose enthusiasm and love for running is unmatched. I’m lucky to have found another community that encourages me to improve myself and do things I never thought I could.
— Amy Amato
 

Cruising Weather

 

When Chicago receives a random 70 degree day thrown in at the end of a long, overstayed Winter, the city takes full advantage: Al fresco exercise, dining and stoop-sitting - Can I get an amen? It's been a while since I last visited The Art Institute of Chicago (aka the world's best museuma statement backed by both Time and myself), so I met with Marty downtown to take in some inspiration. 

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Elena Manferdini, Italian-born architect:

Shadow play at high noon- I dig it. 

What's your favorite museum in Chicago?

 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - AARON BAKER

 
My parents taught me to love the outdoors and to lead an active life. Growing up, my father, who had always been athletic, was a serious rock climber. He would go away for a month at a time and return with pictures of himself and his friends clinging to the sides of mountains, smiling. My mom came from hardy stock in north central Pennsylvania, an area that regularly gets the worst weather in the country but where people still spend a lot of time outside. She wasn’t interested in sports but had a lot of nervous energy and was always in motion. If I sat for more than an hour she would always say the same thing, “Go. Out. Side!” So I did.

I started climbing with my dad in my early-teens. We hiked together at first. Then I graduated to technical, multi-pitch climbs. My parents were divorced by then, so I would take these “bonding trips” with him to the Rockies or the Adirondacks. He bought me my own gear and got me subscriptions to climbing magazines. I had to be the only kid in my Texas middle school with a chalk bag in his closet and pictures of climbers on his walls. My dad’s friends had kids who climbed, too. Some of them grew up to be among the best climbers in the world.

The higher I climbed, the more the exposure (to heights) rattled me. So I stopped climbing after a few years and decided to stick to Earth. Luckily, I had other interests. I was also into BMX freestyle – doing tricks on a bike. If I wasn’t in school, I was on my bike. I would spend hours in front of my house trying to learn a new trick or routine. On the weekends my friends and I would ride all day, for miles and miles, looking for new places to freestyle. I have vivid memories of pedaling so hard to keep up with them that my legs burned and then collapsing after we got to our destination. Years later I would relive the experience without wheels, running my hardest, trying not to get dropped by other runners.

I started running in college. It seemed like a random choice at the time: I had to fulfill a P.E. requirement. I registered late and all that was left was a class called, “Jogging.” I signed up, thinking, “Oh well. I can do that.” Happily, my time spent climbing and doing BMX had given me a great aerobic base, the discipline to train and the taste for suffering that you need to be a long distance runner. I fell for the sport hard. I now feel like I was always a runner and was just waiting to discover it.

Running is a lot like climbing. You do the vast majority of your training alone, but then on the day of your event you are part of this amazing social phenomenon where you depend on teammates, the crowd and the volunteers to pull you through. When I was younger I wanted to train by myself as hard as I could. As I get older, I want to run with people more, to share the experience and soak up the culture. Other people make you better, too. My dad, who still does alpine climbs, sends me his heart rate data and we geek out over foam rollers. I see now that it’s come full-circle and I am my father, disappearing out the door for long periods and then returning with a phone full of pictures of me and my friends smiling.
— Aaron Baker
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - JOSHUA & VERONICA

 
On our very first date, Veronica told me she was in training for a half-marathon. As a person who previously ran for leisure or as a form of stress relief, I couldn’t fathom the dedication and strength it might take to train for a long race. Less than two months later, in a remote corner of Michigan, we ran 12 miles together, to and from cocktails at the Journeyman Distillery. Then, in October, we both crossed the finish line at our first Chicago Marathon. Today, we plan our weeks around our training schedules, help one another get Tiger Balm into all those hard-to-reach places, and in general, keep ourselves on track with the mutual mantra: “One foot in front of the other.
— Joshua Alan Sauvageau
 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY -

 

Words & Photos: Micaela

There's something to be said about the female community within Three Run Two- It's inspiring, infectious and thriving on a level that instills gratitude within myself on a daily basis.

In other words, "Bitches get stuff done." -Truism courtesy of Tina Fey.

Yesterday, we celebrated International Women's Day with a 5k run in solidarity with people around the world. Below, a few photos from the afternoon-

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - EMILY NEEDHAM

 
There’s this ‘all or nothing’ idea that women can either be unambitious or be totally cutthroat, but there is a middle ground and our shared sport gives us the perfect space to practice friendship, love and competition. There is no other part of my life where I have the opportunity to celebrate the very same women that I compete against. It’s something that happens naturally when we get out there and work our asses off a few nights a week. When we develop this skill on the pavement, it translates into the rest of our lives, and we are all stronger, smarter, better women for it.
— Emily Needham
 

CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - DEVYN ASHLEY

Moving from Houston, TX, this has been my first ‘real winter’. Two of the many adjustments have been the weather & public transportation. Depending on the day we meet, I either commute from the south or west side of Chicago...and depending on the weather, I will take the bus and/or train or maybe drive from home/work. But it is beyond the joy of running, to be able to push my body through conditions I didn’t think were possible & meeting such a positive, welcoming and high-energy group of people ...’running’, is the icing on the cake.
— Devyn Ashley