CARA

CARA Ambassadors

Meet the 2019 CARA Ambassador Team!

Anne Moberly

Anne has loved to run since she joined the cross country team in high school. She kept up the running hobby since then and it is truly the time when she feels most at peace in this hectic and crazy world! Anne ran her first marathon last year, having completed a few half marathons and other races before that. She also works full time and teaches spin twice a week. Anne plans to keep up with running in 2019 and hopefully improve her marathon time!

 

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Beth Sherwood

Beth loves the running community and family she has met through CARA. After playing soccer in college, running was the perfect way for Beth to stay in shape and have a community at the same time. She has group led various programs with CARA, including Six Series, Summer Full, Winter Half, and Spring Half training. Beth is currently gearing up for a busy racing season with 2 full marathons (Green Bay Cellcom Marathon and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon), a half Ironman (IM 70.3 Wisconsin), and the Chicago Tri! By day she works as a Child Life Specialist at Comer Children’s Hospital! 26.2 x 3. 70.3 x 1. Runner. Triathlete. Dog mom.

 

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Bill Pierce

Bill was the Site Coordinator for CARA’s Marathon Training Program in the northern suburbs for many years. In 2000, he co-founded a local running club focused on marathon training and served as its president for 18 years. As an RRCA certified coach, he’s trained hundreds of runners who have successfully completed thousands of marathons. As of this writing, Bill has completed 46 marathons and has run at least one marathon a year for 26 consecutive years.

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Brandy Freeland Kuhl

 

Brandy is a 7 time marathoner and has completed over 100+ over races.  She loves traveling for races, but there is nothing better than running and racing with the Chicago Running Community!  Last year she combined her passion for running and her professional life and became the Marathon Charity Team Manager for the Chicago Parks Foundation.  In her free time, you can find Brandy running on the lakefront path, or planning her next runcation!

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James Irwin

James is a native of Louisiana but has adopted Chicago as home after living here for 7 years. He ran his first 5K 3 years ago and a year later ran his first marathon. He just completed the Disney World Marathon and has committed to running the Dopey Challenge in 2020 at Disney World. During the summers he trains with the Cara Sunday Montrose Group. In his professional role, James is the Director of Educational Programs for Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

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Jeanette Pesamoska

 

Jeanette grew up in Michigan where she ran track and cross-country in high school, but didn't truly fall in love with running until moving to Chicago after law school in 2012.  She joined CARA to train for her first marathon (Portland) and found an amazing sense of community and so many great friends. In addition to running the Portland Marathon, Jeanette has also run the Chicago Marathon and the Chicago Triathlon. This racing season she hopes to complete her first Ironman 70.3 (Steelhead) and run the NYC Marathon. Jeanette loves being a group leader for the 10:00s and hopes to do so again this summer at Montrose.   

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Jeff Koh

Jeff fell in love with running after moving to Chicago in 2013, a city with such a vibrant road race culture. Before then, his first and only road race was his hometown 2003 Standard Chartered Hong Kong 10K. After trying progressively longer Chicago road races – a 5K, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K, a 10K, the Soldier Field 10-miler, a half marathon – Jeff ran the Chicago Marathon in 2017 and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2018.

 

Jeff is a mergers and acquisitions lawyer. While not running, he is either rock climbing or trying to summit the highest points of all fifty states. Jeff has an active pro bono legal practice, volunteers as a college access mentor and is active in the Chinatown and Uptown/Argyle communities. Jeff’s 2019 goals are to climb King’s Peak in Utah and to run the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.



Jenna Kate (Karn) Monisoff

Jenna Kate is so excited to join the CARA Ambassador team for 2019! A runner since the summer of 2015, she joined CARA in early 2018 to train for her second marathon (Flying Pig in Cincinnati) with the 10:30 Awesomes pace group. Jenna Kate is excited to continue training with CARA this spring for the Vermont City Marathon in May and for the NYC Marathon this fall. She is especially excited for New York as she will be running with the Alzheimer's Association charity group in memory of her grandfather. Jenna Kate lives in Edgewater with her husband and their little dog Rosie, and you can always catch her starting runs at the tippy top of the Lakeshore Trail.  



Jim Cassioppi

 

Jim started running over 40 years ago: racing the bus home from school, completing his paper route as fast as possible on foot, and running a 20-mile walkathon for charity. Jim went on to run varsity cross country and track in high school and moved to Chicago in 1987 after graduating college. He ran his first marathon (Old Style Chicago) in 1988, his first Boston in 1990, and moved to the western suburbs and joined the Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) the same year. Jim has served many roles in the OPRC, including a member of the race committee, and has been elected for several club service and participation awards, as well as an inductee of the OPRC Hall of Fame. He has also been a member of Life Time Fitness since 1999 and has served for the past few years as Volunteer Captain Team member. Jim has run 59 marathons, 25 of which being in Chicago, and 7 in Boston. The 1997 Chicago Marathon stands out specifically - he ran his marathon PR of 2:45:01, and was introduced to Lisa Schmidecamp, who he married in 1999. Lisa and Jim have raised an active family: 16 y/o Ben participates in high school and travel soccer, and 13 y/o Anna is in competitive gymnastics. Jim is humbled to be part of an elite community of runners whose dedication goes beyond the sport of competition. Their inspiration is what drives him and continues to encourage him every day to run his best, be a better person, and enjoy every run.



Kathie Chong

Kathie Chong dabbled a little bit in running after college, but it wasn’t until 2017 when she decided to try and train for a half marathon.  She ran her first half marathon in the fall of 2017 and was hooked on running! Kathie started to train with CARA in the summer of 2018 and fell in love with the group training experience CARA had to offer.  She ran 3 half marathons and her first full marathon in Chicago in 2018 along with a dozen other road races. While she still considers herself to be a baby runner, she is looking forward to continuing training with CARA and hopefully reaching her moonshot goal of qualifying for Boston one day.  Outside of running, Kathie enjoys giving back to the Korean-American community here in Chicago and serving on the Executive Committee for the Overture Council of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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Kris Rouleau

Kris started running as a way to get some exercise while her kids were at swim practice.  Fast forward 15 years and she has since learned that running is her favorite way to explore any city she’s in and that her day is always better when she gets in a few miles. In 2018 Kris trained for and ran her first marathon - Chicago! - at age 51, with an amazing CARA training group. The inclusivity of the group and the support and empowerment she felt as a result of her CARA training and racing experience is what prompted her to apply to become an ambassador. 2019 will be a year of half marathons for Kris and her goal is to enjoy every step and inspire others to do the same. When she’s not running, Kris is a director for an education research and consulting non-profit, a mom of two kids in their 20s, and wife to a husband who will run with her because he loves her, but really prefers being on his bike.


 


Lisa Verdon

Lisa is a mother runner to four kids and a full-time Pediatric Nurse from the North side of Chicago. Lisa started running in 2011 to combat postpartum depression after her fourth child and has not stopped since. Lisa ran her first marathon (Chicago) in 2012 and says she “couldn’t have done it without the help, motivation, and encouragement from CARA’s Summer Marathon Training!” Since then, she has run more than 7 marathons and more than 18 half marathons. Lisa is looking forward to giving back, encouraging, and motivating runners just like those that helped her in 2012. Through the years running with CARA, Lisa has met amazing friends, ran great races, and is looking forward to continuing to advocate for runners all over Chicago as a CARA Ambassador.

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Lyndsey McKay

Lyndsey McKay believes that no matter around the block or long distance, any run can be the start of something new. A marketer by day, Lyndsey finds running a perfect reason to embrace the seasons and hit the pavement to brainstorm or just clear one's head.  Lyndsey runs 5k's, 10k's, 15k's and half and full marathons, and thinks a lot can be learned through any training program. After running a 50K and back to back Abbott World Marathon Majors (Berlin and Chicago 2017 - two weeks apart), Lyndsey is not sure what running adventures await - but with her camera and Chicago's year round races, she looks forward to sharing the running joy with Chicagoland! Her favorite races include music and mascots. Start corral dancing is a must!

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Lynn Crim

 

Lynn Crim didn’t run for either high school or college teams but has been running for enjoyment for over 40 years. After convincing his mom to start running in the 70s, she ended up running the first seven Chicago Marathons. While supporting her at one of the marathons, he started chatting with other spectators with black armbands on. They were out there protesting the late start time for the Marathon, and he later found out that they were the founders of what would become CARA. After joining CARA in 1999, Lynn ran his first Chicago Marathon in 2000. 2019 marks his 27th marathon, and 16th Chicago Marathon. While usually racing at least once each weekend, Lynn generally ends up with about 40 races a year. He has completed five of the six majors and plans on completing them in Tokyo in 2020, and has been an active competitor on the CARA Circuit since joining in 1999. Outside of running, Lynn is the Controller at Freedman Seating Company in Chicago. Married for 33 years (“I won that lottery”), he has two sons and resides in a townhouse in the northern suburbs so he can focus on running instead of house maintenance.

 

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Mandi Florip

Mandi began running in middle school and never stopped. As a high school and college cheerleader, running was the exact athletic counterpart to keep her fitness levels high. While attending The John Marshall Law School in 2007, Mandi ran her first Chicago Marathon, the final year it was partnered with title sponsor, LaSalle Bank. Mandi has continued to run several half marathon and shorter distance races and looks forward to running in the Boston Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2019. An Illinois licensed attorney, Mandi is currently the Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League, a council of government representing 42 municipalities in Lake County. An avid weekend race warrior, Mandi tries to run 2-3 races each month from Milwaukee to Chicago and loves to write about running in Chicago Athlete.

Instagram | Chicago Athlete Column |  Facebook



Matthew (Matt) Resendiz

Matt was born, raised, and currently lives in Chicago (Jefferson Park) with his wife and 1 year old daughter. He is an elementary school PE teacher for Chicago Public Schools and loves sharing his running and fitness experiences with his students in hopes that it will motivate them to enjoy being fit and active as they grow up.

 

Matt started running in 2016 to change up his regular fitness routine and it spiraled into a crazy obsession. Since then he has run 3 marathons (2016 & 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon) where he was able to PR in 2017 and 2018. Aside from getting outside and running, Matt loves training at Orangetheory Fitness. He tries to get to a class 4-6 times a week depending on outdoor running conditions. OTF has helped him get faster outside and feel all around stronger.

 

Some of Matt’s goals for the 2019 year aside from running more outdoors is setting PRs at a few different races: Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, CARA’s Wintrust Lakefront 10, Soldier Field 10 Mile, The North Shore Classic Half, and The Chicago Marathon. Over Matt’s first 3 years of running CARA has been an important part of his running experience. He has met a lot of new friends during summer marathon training programs that have helped him a lot and he looks forward to what 2019 will bring!

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Shannon Hartinger

 

Shannon took up distance running about 17 years ago as she wrapped up her college soccer career.  She still remembers her first half marathon on Kiawah Island in 2003. Since then, Shannon has enjoyed running a variety of distances.  As part of her goal to run 40 races in between her 39th birthday last year and 40th birthday this March, she ran her first marathon (Bank of America Chicago Marathon) last October. By far, the marathon was one of the most amazing running experiences of her life! You just cannot beat the spirit and energy of our city.  She loves running in the early mornings and actually enjoys winter running. Shannon is a physical therapist for the Northern Suburban Special Education District, where she has the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing kiddos who inspire her every single day. She also coaches soccer, loves to read and travel!

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Shayna Jensky

 

Shayna is excited to be a CARA Ambassador. A native of Deerfield, Illinois, Shayna has completed three marathons and is training for her fourth, The London Marathon! Shayna fell in love with running in 2010 by running a 5k in memory of her father. She loved the experience so much that she started signing up for more races and hasn’t stopped running since. From 5k’s to Ragnars, Shayna has completed over 35 races. Shayna is chasing that sub-4-hour marathon dream and determined to complete all 6 World Major Marathons. When Shayna isn’t running or talking about it, she’s on a search for the best “all you can eat” restaurants in the city, binge watching tv or working in non-profit.



Sippi Katz-Janssen

 

Sippi has been a member of CARA since 2012.  After swearing that she would never run a marathon, she has since completed 7 so far, and is currently training for her 8th and 9th marathons in preparation for her first 50K this May. While she loves marathons, her favorite distance is the half marathon. When not running, Sippi works as a school psychologist specializing in early childhood. She and her husband/fellow pace leader Avi are the parents of Lizzie and Owen, who put up with their parents' constant talk about things like speedwork, fartleks, and tempo runs.

 


Tera O’Malley

 

Tera is the mother of two little children and coupled with a busy career, running has always been her therapy. She joined CARA in 2008 starting out with local 5K races, then 10k races and worked her way up to a half marathon. In 2011, while cheering for friends at mile 4 of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, she looked at her husband and said “I’m going to the Chicago Marathon next year.” So in 2012, she signed up to run the Chicago Marathon in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities to help #keepfamiliesclose. A charity that is near and dear to her heart.  This year marks Tera’s sixth Chicago Marathon with Team RMHC.

 

In the summer of 2012, Tera joined CARA’s Darien Summer Marathon Training Program for the support and teamwork. It was and continues to be, a rewarding experience as she’s grown to love the sport of running. No matter the pace, the team is always there to support and encourage fellow runners. Tera has met amazing friends with the same goals and aspirations that keep her running to this day.

 

In 2015, Tera became a CARA Group Leader and has been leading both Winter/Spring and Summer Training Programs since. The opportunity has allowed her to help motivate fellow runners to achieve their goals, see their full potential, and prepare them for the start line on race day.

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