Chicago Marathon the first for two familiar faces

Clare Sullivan and Laura Cronin ran their first marathons earlier this month in the Bank of American Chicago Marathon Oct. 8.

Both women are familiar faces in town. Sullivan is general manager at Altamura in downtown Hinsdale (and downstairs from our office!). Cronin is the nurse manager of NICU, pediatrics and lactation at UChicago Medicine Advent Health Hinsdale.

I ran into Sullivan - a lifelong Hinsdale resident - Friday night before the race as I was ordering a pizza and she was eating one, followed up by some pumpkin gelato.

"I love carb loading!" she said, shoving a spoonful of gelato in her mouth.

The 26-year-old not only had never run a marathon, she had never run at all prior to starting her training four months ago. She ran to meet a personal challenge and as a way to give back to those in need.

"All of your support and encouragement has already made such an impact on me throughout this whole season of training," she wrote on her fundraising page. "Every kind word has fueled me on one mile or another, and I could not be more grateful for everything this experience has taught me."

Sullivan ran with Team Nourishing Hope to raise money for the agency, which provides food, mental wellness counseling and other social services in Chicago. She raised $1,322 of the team's $67,181 total and finished the race in 4 hours and 48 minutes.

Cronin ran in honor of her mom, who passed away 13 years ago due to complications from diabetes, and raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He mom had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10.

"I'm running to raise money for JDRF so that one day they can say, 'We did it - we found the cure.' I'm running so every child with diabetes can get their life back and never question if diabetes will restrict the life they dreamed of," she wrote on her fundraising page.

Family, friends and co-workers helped her exceed her fundraising goal and raise more than $3,000.

Cronin, who began running in high school, had never attempted a marathon prior to Oct. 8. She completed the race in 4 hours, 27 minutes.

"What an amazing experience it was to run my first marathon ever in Chicago. It was perfect weather, the crowds were amazing and the energy was like nothing I could ever imagine," she stated in a press release. "Crossing the finish line was phenomenal."

Cronin offered a piece of advice to anyone who might follow in her footsteps.

"If you ever have the itch to run a marathon, do it. Follow the training plan, do the homework and you'll be ready. When it comes to race day, just keep remembering your 'why' and you'll find yourself crossing that finish line."

I am certain I will never have the itch to run a marathon, but I admire Cronin and Sullivan for doing so. Congratulations to them and all the Hinsdale runners who competed in the marathon. Results for Hinsdale residents who finished the race appear on Page 39.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean