Christine Bell Profile
December 5, 2011
In the sports world, professional teams strive each year to qualify for their championship game, such as the World Series and the Super Bowl. When it comes to running, the equivalent of these games is known as the Boston Marathon, which Christine Bell, marketing teacher, ran three times and qualified for seven times.
In order to qualify for the Boston Marathon, runners are required to meet a specific time based on their age and gender. For example, women between the ages 18 and 35 must complete 26 miles and 385 yards in less than three hours and 40 minutes.
Before Bell completed 23 marathons in 17 different states she never originally imagined herself as a marathon runner.
“In college I was a hurdler [and] sprinter, never a distance runner,” said Bell. “Throughout the first 10 years of my marriage I generally ran about three miles a few days a week to stay in shape.”
Running marathons was never originally Bell’s idea.
“My husband always wanted to run a marathon, something on his ‘bucket-list’,” said Bell. “We ran our first Chicago Marathon on Oct. 13, 2002.”
In 2003, Bell ran the Chicago Marathon again, this time completing the race with a time that was very close to a Boston qualifying time.
“I kept running because I wanted to run Boston,” said Bell. “In my third Chicago marathon I qualified for Boston and ran it. Since then, I have qualified for Boston many times.”
Ever since completing Boston, Bell has been training for marathons, running five days a week during the school year. To help with her training, Bell joined a running group through Dick Ponds, a sports store in Lisle, a few years ago.
“I run with them three days a week,” said Bell. “Tuesday is speed day on a track, Thursday is a four mile fun run and Saturdays are long distance days.”
As a result of joining this running group, Bell has met many different runners whom she tries to meet with for weekly runs.
“One thing that is very enjoyable is running and chatting – it’s very social,” said Bell. “I prefer running with others [over] running by myself.”
Despite facing challenges, such as injuries, marathon expenses and finding time, Bell continues to run, often placing in many of the races. She finished first at the Fall Color 5K at the Morton Arboretum last October.
Bell continues to participate in marathons across the country. Her new goal is to run a marathon in every state.
“I don’t worry about my time,” said Bell. “My main goal is to stay healthy, have fun and enjoy my race.”