Team ChiParks Member Spotlight: Running for the Parks in Memory of Dad


As Katie O'Halloran runs in Chicago parks, memories of being outside with her dad fill her head. "It's the only motivation I need," she says. "I can feel his spirit listening."

Katie and Dennis before the Rock'n'Roll Marathon in San Antonio

Katie and Dennis before the Rock'n'Roll Marathon in San Antonio

Katie is a 2017 Team ChiParks member, and has dedicated her marathon training to the memory of her dad, Dennis O’Halloran, who passed away a couple months ago. Dennis lived in Texas and was a pilot. He loved flying to Chicago and always made sure to run along the Lakefront Trail during his visits.

Katie remembers a moment shortly after his passing when she was on a run and she could feel his presence with her. His love of running and outdoors led her to choose to run with Team ChiParks in the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Dennis completed the Chicago Marathon in 2015, and always had a dream to run it again with his daughter. This year, Katie will run with her dad by her side in spirit. "Running is time for me to be with him." 

While training, Katie loaded some of his favorite Irish CDs onto her iPod. Listening to his favorite songs helps her feel a deeper connection to him. 

As for advice to fellow Team ChiParks runners, she remembers what her dad always told her - "Run slow and steady, and keep focused on the path directly in front of you."

My dad loved running, loved the parks and the outdoors.

Interested in running with Team ChiParks in memory of a loved one? Learn more here.