Chicago Marathon 2015 – Coaching with Team In Training

I’ve been getting lots of questions of whether or not I “ran” the marathon. I ran, I walked, I did about 85 high kicks (that is not an exaggeration…possibly an under-estimate). Yes, I was official. I didn’t do 26.2 miles, though. I did 30 miles.

It wasn’t about my time or my race this year. It was about the members who fundraised over $900,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running with it’s endurance program, Team In Training.

Listen to more here from The Big John Howell Show on 89 WLS:

Here’s the final nine minutes of the Chicago Marathon 2015 for Team In Training! We stay on the course until every last one of our members finishes, and this year it was over 380 from all across the country! To my knowledge, this member was from Oklahoma.

Let me tell you a little bit about what Team in Training actually is…

Team In Training is a fundraising program of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization and the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. (

Established when a man named Bruce Cleland gathered 38 people together to raise funds for the LLS and run the NYC Marathon in 1988, the organization is completing it’s 27th year in operation. TNT has raised over $1 BILLION during that time to find a cure for blood cancer while also providing important programs and services to patients battling blood cancers.

The endurance teams participate in events such as half-marathons (13.1 miles), marathons (26.2 miles), hiking adventures, triathlons (swimming, biking, running) from a sprint distance up to an Ironman distance (140.6 miles) and finally cycling events such as century rides (100 miles). Participants are attracted to the organization for a plethora of reasons, though the most common is that they know someone who has battled blood cancer. By participating, members push their limits far beyond their wildest expectations while raising money for research to find a cure for blood cancer.

Various types of groups are formed to participate including corporate and community teams, Moms in Training, families and individuals to name the most common.

Team in Training is a nationwide program, and is not limited to local events in the Chicago area. Participants can register and train for events at Walt Disney World, Hawaii, San Francisco, and sometimes offered, are overseas events in Rome, London, Paris among other places. You can click on the banner below to check out what the organization has to offer when it comes to events.


The LLS boasts the fact that 75% off all funds raised goes directly toward the cause while 25% is used for entrance fees, supplies and other administration costs. When you compare to other organizations, that is by far one of the highest rates going to the cause.

Without Team In Training, I know that I would have probably not have even kept a healthy workout regimen let alone stuck with an endurance program that has taken me to the distances I have. With the organization, I have completed seven marathons and a cycle ride. That has created the base of the more than 20 events I have completed in the ultramarathon range (31 miles to 100 miles in distance for each event) since 2008.

I have been able to meet so many amazing people that just being a part of this has changed my entire life…and I couldn’t want this life to be any different.

Some memories of the race with my old friends and new members that I now call friends.


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