1/5 Crazy: IKM Runs for a Reason

1/5 Crazy: IKM Runs for a Reason

“The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race. It’s to test the limits of the human heart.”

          —Bill Bowerman, track and field coach and co-founder of Nike, Inc.


This Sunday, our Fedex Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay team will lace up their running shoes, or as Pittsburgh Moms call them, “tennies,” for the moment they’ve been training for over the past several months. Each equipped with their own unique sets of athletic accomplishments, this year’s team could not be more diverse in running experience and backgrounds. One goal, however, will tie them together as they pass the proverbial torch from one exchange point to the next – “make a difference.”

Greg, Jon, Kelly, Chase, and Mark will be trading in their miles for meals as charity runners for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Our fundraising goal of $1,000 will provide 5,000 meals to our neighbors who go to bed hungry in Western Pennsylvania.


We’re 70% of the way there, want to make it 100?

Visit our Crowdrise Page  by May 7th.


Leg 1: Greg, Project Designer
5.3 miles

Running History: 

My running career launched in middle school from an effort to improve my athleticism and stamina for soccer.  In my search, I discovered the cross country team, and decided to join. I ran up to the end of high school, took a break in college, and recently found my stride again. Last year, I successfully completed a 5 mile race through North Park by the end of the summer. This year, hope to work up to a 10 mile race.

Why do you run?

Running became an important outlet to manage stress, which is why I continued until I graduated from high school.

Favorite training path and why?

As I have regained an interest in running, I have had to find all new trails throughout the area.  One that I have come to enjoy is the river trail along the Allegheny River.  While a good hill training is the most rewarding run, this flat trail offers many incredible reveals of the cityscape that typically aren’t experienced by most.  It also provides the perfect location to watch the dedicated rowers work against the current to make it up to Millvale.


Leg 2: Jon, Associate 
3.8 Miles

Running History: 

I’ve run in the Marathon Relay for 6 straight years, completing all stages of the race over that time.

Why do you run?

As I’ve gotten older, I’m becoming more interested in maintaining my fitness level.  Running is a great cardio workout, and I do get a sense of accomplishment when I reach a certain goal.  Whether it’s just running around my neighborhood of Mount Washington, or participating in some fun races like the Marathon Relay, I enjoy the physical challenge. 

Best part about running in (the) Pittsburgh (Marathon):

The Marathon is a great event for our city!  It brings together people from all over.  The event is truly a showcase of the beauty that Pittsburgh has to offer.  Every leg of the Marathon offers some great vista for both runners and spectators to enjoy.  I enjoy the energy that everyone brings to the event!


Leg 3: Kelly, Marketing Specialist
6.4 Miles

Running History: 

7 years/Too many too count!

I have done everything from a 5K to a Marathon. I am also expanding to trails this year and completing the 18 Mile Rachel Carson Trail Challenge.

Why do you run?

I run to explore. Running allows me to explore both my mind and physical space. It gives me the chance to aimlessly bounce around thoughts in my head while visually taking in my surrounding. I am an urban runner and have mixed my love/hate relationship with running with my love of architectural photography. As I run, I am constantly framing images in my mind and searching for my next photograph that captures my exploration.

Advice for those who tell me they “aren’t runners:”

I was one of them. When I first started, I couldn’t run a half mile without walking. It wasn’t until I understood the impact your thoughts have on running that I started to reach new distances. I had told myself I could never be a distance runner and that negative mindset meant I would never be a distance runner. Instead of telling myself “you can’t,” I started asking, “why can’t you?” I had no answer. In a sport where sometimes all you have is your thoughts, having a positive mindset can be the difference between success and failure. Until you change your inner dialogue from “I can’t” to “I can,” you are limiting the potential you have as a runner.


Leg 4: Chase, Project Designer
6.5 Miles

Running History: 

I don’t have an extensive running history. I ran track in high school, but never ran any events outside of school. I did complete a NASA Fun Run with my Dad when I was 11. Not sure if that counts, but I received a t-shirt for completing the run so I feel like it was pretty official.

Why do you run?

I run because I enjoy pushing my body to its limits. How far I can run and how fast I can run are both things that I am always trying to improve.

What are you most looking forward to during your first Relay?

The look on my team’s faces when I break away and run the full 26.2!


Leg 5: Mark, Project Designer
4.2 Miles 

Running History: 

I ran track & cross country in high school and took up running regularly again about 35 years ago. I’ve completed the Marine Corps Marathon, Chicago Marathon and the Pittsburgh ½ Marathon. The Chicago Marathon is my favorite. I was better prepared, and the course took me through neighborhoods where I worked, lived and went to school.  In the last 5 years, I’ve replaced much of my time spent running with rowing.

Why do you run?

Running is a great release and way to way to unwind (and it’s healthier than drinking, though not as much fun). I used to work construction in Northern Wisconsin, and I miss the physical side of working. Running is a way to replace that physical activity.

Running inspiration:

Jim Ryun, the skinny kid from Kansas and ‘Pre,’ Steve Prefontaine from Oregon. Bowerman and the Men of Oregon is an interesting book about him, his coach, and the early days of Nike.


5 Days
5 IKMers
26.2 Miles
5,000 meals!

The Fed Ex Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay course is no walk in Point State Park, and IKM is proud to have a staff that dedicates their time in and out of the office to challenges bigger than themselves. We’ll see you back home on Stanwix Street for the finish! #GameOnPGH #GiveOnPGH

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