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CARA Member Spotlight- Meet Ted Jindrich!

At CARA, it is our members who make our running community truly special. Get to know CARA member Ted Jindrich! After starting his running journey at age 57, Ted has taken on races of all types, from the marathon to obstacle course runs, and even the Red Bull 400 Copper Peak - a 400-meter uphill race to the top of a ski jump.

Tell us about your running journey! How did you start running?

After having a bad experience at a track meet in grade school, I gave up running. It was not until 2014, when I was 57 years old, that I picked up running again. Some friends invited me to join them running an obstacle course race for Cornerstone Community Outreach, a homeless shelter in Uptown. The obstacle idea sounded so fun, but there was no way I could run 6 miles. Eventually, I gave in to the challenge and committed to the race. I started by running the block and a half from where I park my car to home and built on that. Race day came and I killed it, even beating some of my friends! After that race, they told me I should do a marathon. I said no way! But guess who ran their first marathon in 2015?

What is your personal connection to CARA?

My connection with CARA started in 2017. That year Cornerstone connected their charity runners with CARA for training, and I keep coming back! I have made friends over the years and enjoy running with the group. One of the things I love about running with CARA is I get to encourage new runners.

What does running mean to you?

Running has become a big part of my life. I ran 11 marathons in 5 years as well as many obstacle course races and the Red Bull 400 Copper Peak. I run year-round, and I love the challenge of a race. After a day of work it so nice to go for a run and come home feeling refreshed.

Describe your most memorable running experience.

I like to run whenever I travel. It is a great way to see things you would miss driving and sometimes you meet new people. I was in Kenya in 2015 and ran a lot in Nairobi and out in the countryside. It made the trip more memorable. Every run and every race is a memorable experience.

What advice would you offer to a new runner or someone who wants to start running?

My advice for a new runner is to pick out a doable race so you have a goal to train for and find other runners who can support you with advice. Before I started training with CARA, I found inspiration from fellow runners; their encouragement always motivated me to keep running.

Do you have a running mantra or quote that inspires you?

I don’t have a go-to mantra. I tend more to feed off of the environment around me. I let the things I see or the mile marker I just passed occupy my mind until something new takes my thoughts and refreshes me. I often follow another runner who is keeping up a good pace until they eventually lose me or I decide to pass them. Once I had just come up a long hill and a spectator was cheering me on and I said "That was tough!" and he confidently yelled, “You're tougher!”. "You're tougher" was my mantra for the next 13 miles.

I like this quote from Betty Holston Smith, “I’m focusing on getting to the start line. The finish will take care of itself if I do everything to get me to the start line.”

If you could go for a run with a famous runner, who would it be and why?

There are two famous runners I would not mind going for a run with. One is Dr. Anthony Fauci and the other is Lopez Lomong. But most of all I would like to one day run a marathon with one of my children or grandchildren.

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The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer. 

CARA, with over 10,000 members, is the nation’s third-largest running club, serving as the voice of local runners, as well as providing over 1,300 dates of programming and events per year.

 

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