Kristin Metcalf

What I like most about the Fall racing season is that you can feel the collective excitement and anticipation of several months of marathons and cross-country races. You feel as if everyone in the running community is getting ready to step to the line and put their best foot forward. Months of mileage building, tempo-ing, each person testing their existing limits with different goals but when race day comes, everyone is united by one goal: to finish the race and celebrate in that amazing accomplishment.

This Sunday, Chicago will host the 37th Annual Bank of America Marathon. About 46,000 runners will step to that line and thousands willl be cheering them on! We have a handful of women from the Oiselle racing teams there: Heidi Greenwood, Shal Fullove, Allison Maxson, Kristine Burgess, Kelsey Markham, Kim Pearlman, Jenna Embrey, Erin Christ, Kristen Kirkland, Krissy Murphy, Paige Fortado, Atha Vermillion, and Holly Roberts. I caught up with a few of them during their taper to see what they were thinking about going into this weekend!


(Left to right: Kelsey Markham and Kim Pearlman)

Kelsey Markham
Goal: Crush my current personal record of 2:59 from Boston 2013.
How are you going to celebrate post race?
I gave up pizza the entire month before the marathon so I will be dreaming of deep-dish pizza the last few miles!! I plan to grab a slice post-race with my parents and sister who are coming to watch me run. I have other friends who will be in town for the race so we were going to check out a Chicago Piano Bar! I am staying in the city until Tuesday morning so I hope to see the sights as well.

Kim Pearlman
Goal: 3:45
What are you most looking forward to about Chicago?
Seeing my family, my friends and fellow Oiselle birds out on my hometown course!

Kristine Burgess
Goal: Sub 2:50
Most excited about? 
This will be my first time starting the Chicago Marathon in the American Development corral, so I am very excited and grateful for that experience! I am from the Chicago suburbs so I am also looking forward to running a familiar course. Each time I run it I notice new things! I will have family and friends spectating and teammates racing from both Oiselle and Jenny Spangler Racing. I am excited for everyone to have amazing races!

Krissy Murphy
Goal: A goal: BQ (sub 3:35), B: PR (sub 3:43) & C: rock my 10th full marathon!
What specifically are you most looking forward to about Chicago?
The cool weather and varied neighborhoods. I've had to train through a pretty brutal summer and I am hoping the hard work pays off big

Jenna Embrey
Goal: I want to run under 3:30 and grab another Boston Qualifying time. After hearing Lauren Fleshman speak in Bend about the importance of stating our goals out loud, declaring them to others, I've been telling everyone! I really feel like that time is within my grasp, and I'm prepared to push myself hard. In the past, I've had a tendency to back off when a race feels to difficult, and so I've been doing a lot of mental prep work to get my brain ready to power through the (normal) pain of a marathon. Mantras and visualization tactics galore!

Atha Vermillion
Since you raced here last year, what are you looking forward to this year?
I am most looking forward to being able to race the same course twice, seeing my wonderful team mates that I've missed like crazy since Bird Camp and also celebrating my youngest child’s 9th birthday! We are bringing our two girls with us as a birthday/marathon celebration. They can't wait to be crazy fan-girls on the course!

Paige Lowder
Goal: Break 4 hours. This is my second marathon and I want to get under 4 hours!
Since you raced here last year, what are you looking forward to this year? 
Chicago last year was my first full marathon and the weather was perfect. My family and friends came out to cheer me on and the crowd support throughout the entire 26.2 is amazing, truly an unforgettable experience!


We're wishing everyone at Chicago fast races this weekend! If you'll be in Chicago, see details below for a group shakeout run on Saturday, or join the masses at Cowbell Corner hosted by Oiselle runners. We would love to have you all join us! 


Saturday, October 11th - Shakeout Run

  • 7:00 AM: Shakeout run and bagels on the Northside. If you feel like getting out of downtown, meet Kim Pearlman up in her hood (about 7.5 miles north of downtown) at the Brown Line El – Montrose Station (cross streets are Ravenswood and Montrose) for a 3 mile neighborhood/park loop followed by bagels and coffee at Beans & Bagels (right by the Montrose Station). Or...
  • 8:00 AM: Shakeout run and doughnuts (courtesy of Always Running Forward and Bib Rave). Details and RSVP

Sunday, October 12th  - Cowbell Corner
Aka: where's the best place to cheer for the Chicago Marathon?! On Halsted, just south of Harrison, before the 17 mile marker. We are right on UIC's campus. If you take public transportation, it is just down the street from the Blue Line UIC/Halsted station. Parking in the South Loop at the $2 lot at Polk and Wells. There is access to a bathroom but please bring your own coffee and snacks. There aren't that many stores to grab goodies that are very close. Bring your brightest sign, cheer your loudest, and cowbell your fastest. Let's get ready to cheer on our friends running the Chicago Marathon!!