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9:30 Group Leader

Christine Kickels

I started running when I turned 40 after watching the Chicago Marathon on television. I thought, "If they can do it, so can I!". Worried that I would get injured, my mom encouraged me to join a group. I joined the Yankee Runners the next summer to train for my first marathon. I completed my first Chicago Marathon in 2009 and have gone on to complete over 15 marathons in Honololu, Boston, Washington, DC and Chicago. My goal is to make it to 10 consecutive Chicago Marathons. Every season I learn something new and I am proud to be a member of the Yankee Runners. 


Being part of a group has been invaluable in my progress as a runner. I've learned about nutrition, pacing and many words of wisdom about goal setting. Even as a group leader for a few years now, I know I have received more than I have given. Knowing that others are coming to a group run makes me take time for the sport but also a chance to meet new people.


By profession, I am a community college librarian working in business, law and philanthropy research. However, I am an avid reader of books about running, training techniques, runner biographies and nutrition. Some of my favorites are:


My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso

Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky (absolutely love the recipes in here!)

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

  My bio photo shows me in my very first race in the spring of 2007. Had the expected outcome from dressing improperly, bad pre-race meal choice and of course going out too fast. I did follow a training plan but fell way short of my goal by all the things that were not in the plan.
  You would think that after my first race I was done. The opposite, I participated in the Chicago Marathon later that year. And against race officials stopping the race because of heat I crossed the finish line. I have crossed that line every year after that.
  The simple act of jumping from one foot to another couldn’t be so complex. I think I made every mistake and suffered every injury there is. So, if I can even save one person from repeating my blunders I’ll be a happy group leader.

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