After an injury in February left her unable to finish the 2016 Olympics trials, Caitlin Chrisman’s dreams seemed out of reach. But then, she received word that after two attempts, she finally had been accepted into the elite running group for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a marathon she had yet to compete in. Hoping to beat her personal record as well as be the first Bank of America employee to cross the finish line, Chrisman will be competing in her fifth overall marathon when she runs in Chicago.
As an innovation product manager in the digital banking group at Bank of America in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chrisman, who has been with the bank for nearly 10 years, feels grateful and honored to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “In a way, Bank of America is my sponsor – they’ve allowed me to take vacation days to go to Olympic trials and to come into work later than normal after a 14-mile early morning workout,” she said. “The company has been extremely supportive and when I complete the marathon in Chicago, I know I will feel a great deal of gratitude and loyalty.”
More than just a run
The 2016 calendar year has been full of ups and downs in both Chrisman’s running and personal life. Getting injured before the Olympic trials in February was one of the lowest points in her life, but she refused to let the setback derail her dreams.
“After my injury, I did as much as I could to maintain fitness and after that, I really focused on my goal of making it to Chicago, which was motivation enough,” she said. “When crossing the finish line, it will be nice knowing that although I have dealt with a lot of challenges over the last six months, I can always keep my head high and accomplish my goals.”
Coming home to the support of family & friends
Born and raised in Carbondale, IL, Chrisman will be running the marathon close to a large support system of family and friends. Crediting her parents and sister for encouraging her healthy lifestyle and running career, this marathon will be extremely meaningful on a personal level, too. Chrisman looks forward to seeing her parents, who ran the marathon together 20 years ago, along the race route cheering her on.
Chrisman will also have the support in the elite running group from her former training partner and friend, Laurie Knowles. Chrisman founded the Charlotte Running Club while starting her career with Bank of America in that city. It was through this organization that Chrisman met one of her best friends, a skilled runner in her own right who has completed three Olympic trials and set her personal record at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Chrisman is excited to race alongside Knowles and knows that they’ll make enough great memories to last a lifetime.