Hi! My name is Katherine Wuestenfeld and I am an avid runner born and raised in the Chicago suburbs! I currently am living in Arlington Heights, IL with my husband, Ross, and our lab-mix, Lola (who makes a great running companion!). I have been a runner for over 10 years, beginning in middle school track and field as a 400 meter runner before later becoming a distance runner in high school. I had the privilege of being one of the cross-country and track and field captains for my high school team and was part of the state-qualifying cross-country team in 2010. After high school, I decided to focus my efforts academically and transitioned to road racing to stay in shape throughout college. I ran my first full marathon in 2012 as a freshman at the University of Illinois finishing in 4:10. It was after this race that I was hooked on the marathon, but took a few years off from marathon training to focus on my studies and dropped down to the half marathon distance. In 2015, I ran my second full marathon at the Chicago Marathon breaking 4 hours for the first time and finishing in 3:57. I returned again to Chicago in 2016 and ran a 3:38, just 3-minutes off of my Boston Qualifying time, and ever since then I have been chasing my BQ. I’ll be running the Berlin Marathon in September 2018 where I will hopefully qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon!
I started running as a way to stay in shape; in high school, my parents encouraged each of us to participate in a team sport and I initially picked soccer. However, after 2 years, I realized the thing that I liked about soccer the most was the running piece and so I switched to distance running my junior year of high school. I wish I had found running earlier but I’m still glad that I found it at an early age. Over time, I have grown to view running not only as a way to stay in shape but as my stress-reliever and a huge part of my identity. Running has taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I can apply to all areas of my life, like creating a plan to reach a specific goal, and I hope to be able to share many of those lessons and inspire others reading this blog in their own running journeys!