Apolo Ohno and Kristin Armstrong to run Chicago Half Marathon | September 11

Running the Chicago Half Marathon this Sunday? You’re in good company if you are. And I don’t mean being surrounded by 20,000 running buddies from Chicago and beyond—like the group signed up for the Runner’s World Challenge. Nor do I mean lacing up your shoes to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11—thought it is definitely a worthy reason to run to remember this weekend.


So who then am I referring to?


If you’re pacing to run a 1:45 half, you might just find yourself running next to Apolo Ohno, the short track speed skating Olympian who’s the most decorated winter athlete. Ohno says that’s his goal for Sunday at the race he’s treating as a training run as he prepares for November’s ING New York City Marathon. Granted several factors can prevent that from happening—the weather, the crowd, the terrain—but I have a feeling that Chicago’s flat and fast billing coupled with adrenaline might just surprise Ohno. And all of the preparation he's put in at the gym and on the trail to transform from speed-skating phenom to marathoner--when he started he was used to a "pure ballistic sprint" race and his body shut down with the longer miles--is sure to help. How to find him: Look for a Subway tee (Subway’s Jared Fogle challenged Ohno to run NYC earlier this year and Famous Fan accepted), bandana and huge smile.


Another well-known runner you could find yourself next to: Kristin Armstrong. Not to be confused with the other Kristin Armstrong who raced bikes at the Olympic level, this Kristin Armstrong is a runner, mother and writer who pens the popular Runner’s World blog, Mile Markers, and recently published her sixth book, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run. And, I can’t not mention that she was once married to Lance Armstrong. But that aside, Kristin’s in town to run as part of the Runner’s World Challenge contingent, a group that registered to run months ago with training perks and VIP treatment this weekend. She too is training to run the New York City Marathon, which she’ll be doing with her friend who’ll be celebrating her 45th birthday. One thing Kristin will like about racing in the Windy City? It’ll be a lot cooler than the Texas heat she trains in. How to find her: Kristin says she is a lululemon addict so chances are she’ll be sporting lulu shorts or a skirt Sunday morning. As for a top, I’m guessing something will connote Runner’s World.


Consider this a preview: I was also lucky enough to interview these two runners before their big Windy City race. But you’ll have to come back to read them, these two inspired me to go for a run.



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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

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