Team ChiParks Runner Spotlight: Al White
We may still have some winter left here in the city, but the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be here before we know it - and our Team ChiParks runners are on top of it! Each of our runners has a special reason for choosing Team ChiParks, and we are so appreciative of their support. Throughout this training season, we'll be sharing some of their stories with our 2018 Runner Spotlight series here on the Seeing Green Blog. Kicking it off is Al White, who joins us from Carmel, Indiana. Al has already raised over $3,000 for the Chicago Parks Foundation as a part of our charity team - that's double his minimum fundraising goal. Go, Al!
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CPF: Is this your first Marathon? If not, which marathons have you completed?
AW: It is not my first - this will be my third! I have run the Beyond Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis twice, most recently in November 2017.
What does running the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon mean to you?
It means that I have the opportunity to challenge my mind, body, and spirit one more time. It also means that I get to join a small group of people and run one of the signature marathons in the country.
Why are you running the Chicago Marathon on behalf of Team ChiParks?
First, I missed the general registration! But, second, I reflect on the role that the park and playground I grew up going to played in my life. Urban parks can serve as a nucleus for the community, so if the funds I raise can play a small part in strengthening a community, then I'm for it.
"Urban parks can serve as a nucleus for the community, so if the funds I raise can play a small part in strengthening a community, then I'm for it."
Can you share a bit about your training habits?
I always set my gear out the night before my runs. I wake up at least two hours before my long runs to have some coffee, eat something, and stretch. With the exception of my sneakers (Brooks), I wear Nike because I have a good friend who works for them. On the rare occasion you might see me wearing something else, but I respect his unwavering loyalty to the brand!
What is your favorite thing about training for a race?
My favorite part about a race is the training itself. For me, it's about the journey, not the destination. I love being able to reflect and think about those early mornings logging miles or the Saturday long runs with my friends. I love the commitment and dedication required to prepare for a race. You find out who you really are as a person.
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Al brings up a great point about the Chicago Marathon registration period. Marathon application is only open for about one month, and it operates via a lottery system. If you miss this initial registration or if your application is not selected in the lottery, you can still guarantee your marathon spot by running on behalf of a charity (that's us!). Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about our team here!