This week’s BWRC Member Spotlight is Mary Radloff Klabacha. Mary is running her first marathon this Fall at the Chicago Marathon and is fundraising for Team Fox to which she has a very personal connection. Thank you, Mary, for sharing your running story with us; we love having you as part of the BWRC family!

Q: How long have you been a runner?

Mary: My 1st 5K was Chase to The Taste in 2006 when I was a volunteer for The Des Plaines Special Events Commission. I registered as a walker and as soon as I saw everyone start running, I changed my mind and ran, not wanting to be the last person to finish. That got me excited about running and I did many 5Ks over the years. I only ran during the “running season” and would have to start all over again each Spring.

In 2015 I decided to show up to Coach Nick Nowicki’s Speedwork at Melas Park, just to see what it entailed. I had the good fortune of meeting running legend Judit Miko, and I have tagged along with her ever since! I finally aimed higher completing a couple 10Ks in 2016, my 1st 1/2 Marathon in 2017, and am currently training for my 1st full Marathon. I started running in my 40’s and it’s been “baby steps” progression but that’s OK!

Q: Why did you start running?

Mary: I started because it’s a great way to stay healthy and positively reduce stress. Years ago my cholesterol level was borderline high- I was able to greatly improve the “good cholesterol” by diet/exercise so my ratio has remained healthy and I didn’t need to take medication. I am sure running benefits us in so many positive ways!

Q: How did you find BWRC and why did you join?

Mary: Some of my running friends from other groups had  heard about BWRC and we all decided to check it out. Every one of us has loved the warm welcome, support, fun, and friendships we have developed thanks to this awesome group!

Q: Why do you run?

Mary: I like to eat a lot and drink wine! Ha! I am more or less hooked on running. Even though I currently have some IT Band issues, I have learned we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I am treating the IT Band while Marathon Training- Runners are a very committed, supportive, and motivated group! That’s one of the things I most love about the running community.

Q: Do you have any upcoming races or goals we should know about?

Mary: I am training for my 1st full Marathon- Chicago 2018, while fundraising for Team Fox (on behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research). My big sister Susie Stephens lost her 20 year battle with this progressive neurological disease in March 2017. She was an amazing lady and is greatly missed (I’ve included a photo of Susie as a young MD). Thanks to CARA/BWRC Training I am really excited to complete 26.2 miles while also helping the millions of people impacted by Parkinson’s.

Q: What does BWRC mean to you?

Mary: BWRC is like a family of friends, all sharing our love of running and pursuing our goals. We can count on each other for support and good times. I am also happy that BWRC is doing great things to benefit our community, as a nonprofit. Looking forward to our runs and fun times ahead!! Thanks BWRC!