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Marching Ahead for a Great Cause
Each of us has a cause we believe in, right?
Conor Harmon is a graduate of UIC, completing their graphic design program and joined the Cushing team this summer. Current Project Manager Julia Kaufman attended UIC too! After a stint at the Shedd Aquarium, handling all their marketing and design work in-house, he was referred to Cushing. After interviews and submitting his portfolio, it was the right fit.
Drop by the shop and he’s working diligently on the production floor, assisting co-workers, and working on client projects. And in the evening?
That’s training time.
On October 8, Conor is lacing up his Mizunos and running the Chicago Marathon, with his brother Matt and sister Colleen. The cause? March of Dimes. Colon’s niece and nephew, Hannah and Luke, were born at 33.5 weeks.
With their participation is a page to raise money to support March of Dimes. And they are very close to hitting their goal.
Conor and I had a chance to talk more about his decision to hit the road.
What made you decide to run?
After several weeks in the NICU, my niece and nephew, Hannah and Luke, were able to join Mom and Dad at home. Between the NICU staff and technology, organizations like March of Dimes make it possible. We want to repay the help that we received, to pay it forward.
Have you been involved with March of Dimes for different cause?
This is my first time getting involved. My sister-in-law has been involved with 5K’s and walks in the past. She’s the one who got me involved.
Or supported different causes in the past?
Yes, me and have supported Cystic Fibrosis. My grandfather passed away and we have supported and been involved with fighting this disease. My aunt is a big supporter.
How is training going so far and what are you doing to prepare?
Right now, we do one long run – the 20 mile one is coming up this Sunday! Normally it’s 6 to 10 miles. It varies. Need to have a couple of times committed to doing it. Music playlists have to be ready to go. When running with my brother and sister, I don’t listen – they keep me going!
What’s on the playlist?
Born to Run by Bruce Springstein (of course!!). A lot of Blink 182. Most of its on there to help me keep a steady pace. Everything from 50 cent to Ellie Goulding.
What’s your advice for anyone out there who wants to train?
• Start early in the year – spring time was a good time to start
• Go on ‘little runs’, 1 – 2 miles, build the slow pace up
• Make sure you are keeping track of all of your runs! Use an app.
• You want to have negative splits, for example: your last mile should be faster than your first mile.
Have you run a marathon before?
Nope, this is the first one. I have run half ones before though! One was the Cleveland Rock & Rock half marathon. And the Chicago Sprint Triathalon, last year. The half marathon is the perfect challenge. The full one takes a toll on the body! It’s for a great cause so I am happy to work through it.
If you would like to contribute to March of Dimes and support Conor’s marathon run, here is more information.