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Circuit Runner Of The Month: Grace Wasielewski

This month our Circuit Runner of the Month is the one and only Grace Wasielewski! Grace is a fierce competitor, but also a friendly familiar face at so many races.

If you have been running in Chicago for a while, you probably know Grace. She runs with Fast Track Racing team and has participated in five Circuit races already this year. And by ‘participated’ we actually mean has won her age group (65-69) for every Circuit race she has run. Not only that, she won her age group at the Boston Marathon this year with an impressive 3:43:39. She is having a good running year and we wanted to learn a little bit more about her to share some inspiration with all of you.

Get to know Grace:

Why do you enjoy participating on the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit?

I know the competition will be better, and I do it for my Fast Track Racing team.

What is your favorite local race?

I would have to say the Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. It's one of our team (Fast Track Racing Team) races, and we have a huge pot luck after the race. It's also a little more than a half mile from the Prairie Path where I add in more miles after the race.

How did you get started in running?

I didn't start running until my 30s. I was just jogging around my neighborhood, and I started running in races after a co-worker signed up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Just hearing him talk about his training got me hooked.

What are your running goals for this year?

Completing a marathon in all 50 states. I have three states left to complete in under 4-hours.

What advice would you offer runners who need motivation to keep running through the years?

There's no better motivation than knowing what can happen if you did not keep running. My father is wheelchair bound and cannot walk. There is no reason he cannot walk other than severe muscle atrophy from lack of use. My mother is starting on the same path. I look at older runners in their 80s and 90s who keep me motivated to be like them - to be able to walk and run at their ages and not be dependent on others.

Grace knows the importance of staying healthy and taking care of herself. She wants to continue running for a long time. Her best piece of advice: “As we get older, we naturally lose muscle mass at greater and greater rates. Adding strength training to lessen muscle loss is the key to maintaining or keeping speed loss at minimums.”

We are constantly impressed by Grace. We hope you are too.


The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit is a great way to experience the Chicagoland running community.

You can run as an individual, or race with your local club. Runners of all levels annually participate in CARA Circuit Races to complement their year-long training programs and to enjoy the camaraderie of the CARA running community. Runners can earn competitive awards for themselves and their clubs, as well as participation awards for completing Circuit races.

Here’s the remaining schedule for 2019:

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