Barbara Cogswell lives in Barrington with husband, Steve, two boys, Christopher, 20, and Nicholas, 16, and faithful canine companion, Sage. She has been involved with CCFA as a member for 19 years, a Team Challenge participant and coach starting in 2009, and CCFA board member since 2011.
Barbara began running competitively in high school and swimming competitively at age 8. She completed numerous full and half marathons with a PR of 3:39 in the Richmond Marathon. Barbara has coached runners of all ages and abilities for over 10 years. When not coaching, Barbara spends time volunteering, running, biking, gardening, and Nordic and downhill skiing in the Teton Mountains.
Mark Karolich resides in Glen Ellyn and has been involved with CCFA since 2010 when he ran the Napa to Sonoma half marathon. He was diagnosed with UC when he was 18 but he has not let it slow him down. Mark competes in numerous triathlons and running events throughout the year and is really looking forward to helping others who will take this 4-5 month journey with CCFA and all of the other participants.
Mark has been active all of his life, but raising his two children hindered his activity for many years as he made time with them a priority. He now trains with his family and enjoys both group runs as well as quiet solo runs, bike rides and open water swims in Lake Michigan. When not training, Mark enjoys talking about cars, motorcycles and real estate. Mark attended the University of Illinois and Northwestern University and is the Controller for FTD’s ecommerce group in Downers Grove.
Kimberly Lauren (Kim) Klages began her journey with Team Challenge as a participant in March of 2012 for the Napa to Somona Half Marathon training program. After countless misdiagnoses, Kim was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2007 and has fought to keep herself healthy through exercise, diet, and biological therapy.
In 2008, Kim trained and ran her first half marathon, which sparked her love for the sport. Since then, Kim has ran 5 half marathons and one full marathon with a personal best half marathon time of 1:48:56 (Chicago Half Marathon) and 4:22:44 for the full (Chicago Marathon). She is so excited to be part of Team Challenge and cannot wait to help participants meet their fitness goals!
Kim has been involved with Team Challenge since the summer of 2010. She had never run before joining Team Challenge, but swam competitively in college and played water polo. Kim has since completed four half marathons, with a personal best last season of 2:29:04 (first one of all running and no walking!) Kim has coached swimming, water polo, and most recently, Girls on the Run!
When not coaching, Kim enjoys long walks on the beach, while taking care of the lakefront with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program. She's looking forward to helping all of our athletes reach their full potential! An IBD patient herself, she knows what tricks those who live with Crohn's or colitis can use to keep moving when they're not feeling their best.
Ann has run 10 marathons and numerous half marathons. She ran the 2012 Nashville half marathon to support other Team Challenge members who were running the race. She looks forward to bringing her love of running to this year’s Nashville team.
Christine Szarzynski lives in Elk Grove Village with her husband, Dave, and her two sons, Sam, age 7, and Calvin, age 5. She has been a physical therapist for nearly 17 years and has worked with many different patient populations including patient with orthopedic and sports injuries.
Christine began running in 2009 and has since competed in three half marathons. Her first half marathon was in 2011 as a Team Challenge participant (Las Vegas) and in 2012 she was a Team Challenge mentor for the Las Vegas half marathon with her personal best time of 2:20:48. Running has become her passion in her effort to stay physically fit and set a good fitness example for her boys. She loves competing in races and looks forward to coaching Team Challenge participants this season.
A self-proclaimed running geek, Bill Underwood has run 9 marathons, 21 half-marathons, a ton of 5ks and 10 milers, and is now hooked on ultramarathons. His PR for the 2009 Detroit Marathon is 3:45:56.
Bill has also been a licensed Clinical Massage Therapist for the last 12 years, concentrating on sports and traumatic injuries. He's a certified RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) running coach. Bill feels running is a wonderful way to a more positive, healthier life, and is so excited to be coaching with Team Challenge again this season and helping everyone achieve their goals.
With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon fast approaching, for runners eager to get into the thick of night time racing, here are 4 tips to help you prepare to take on the night:
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.