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Community Profile: Maura Day

Bishop Chatard coach Maura Day has a history with the Run, Walk, Roll. Read all about what inspires her and how she stays motivated as a runner.

When did you start running?

I started running as a sophomore in high school. My dad was a runner, so I started running with him the summer before my sophomore year and decided to try running cross country.

As a track and cross-country coach, how important do you think events like the Run, Walk, Roll and races during the summer are to a runner’s performance throughout the school year?

I think that for high school runners, doing 5K races in the summer can help to build fitness and help to gauge where their fitness is at that point in their training. Summer events can also be done as a foundation or tempo run and can be a fun way to mix up their summer training and support great causes.

It might be difficult for some people, particularly high school students, to find the motivation to participate in a race. Do you have any advice for people on the fence about signing up?

I definitely agree that it can be difficult for both high school students and adults to find motivation to sign up for a race. However, one nice aspect of a 5K is the distance isn’t too far, so hopefully that takes some stress off of the training for it. I would encourage others to do the race with a friend or family member for added support, and stress that the results (time-wise) are not something to worry about – what’s important is that you are out there doing it and that is something to be proud of in itself.

You’ve been a Run, Walk, Roll participant for many years. Do you have any favorite memories from this event over the years?

I always enjoy seeing so many people out to run, walk, or roll for a great cause. I have fond memories of my sister Teresa serving as chairperson for the event, and was always proud of her organization and leadership with the 5K.

Having seen the Run, Walk, Roll grow over the years, what do you think it is about the event in particular that is special? What keeps people coming back year after year?

I think that that the mission of the Joseph Maley Foundation keeps people coming back, and the fact that the Run, Walk, Roll is extremely well-organized and promoted.

What’s your pre-race ritual? Favorite pump-up song?

Nothing special! One- to two-mile warm-up run and then I try to relax. I don’t really have a special pre-race pump up song, but I currently am a fan of “Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons as a motivational running song.

What’s the best thing to snack on after a difficult race?

My favorite thing to eat/drink after a race is some sort of green juice.

To you, what is the hardest part of running a 5K? What advice do you have for people that may also struggle with that obstacle?

The hardest part of running a 5K is typically the middle of the race. I would tell people to try to race to the 4k-mark, and then let adrenaline and fan support carry you the last kilometer.

How important do you think running is to a high school student’s lifestyle?

I think running (or some form of exercise) is very important to a high school student’s (or anyone’s) lifestyle; it helps with stress management, energy, and overall health.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and frustration with my own running over the years, due to mostly unexplained health issues (which hopefully I’m figuring out soon!), but the thought that I come back to is that I CAN run. It may not feel good sometimes, and it may be a lot slower than I think I’m capable of, but I get to run almost every day, and every day that I run, I write the word “grateful” in my running log to remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to run, which helps to try to shift my mind from a negative to positive mindset. The Run, Walk, Roll helps me with this as well: the mission, spirit, actions, and results of the Joseph Maley Foundation are incredibly inspirational to me and remind me to take nothing for granted, as well as demonstrate to me what real courage and determination look like and inspire me to keep trying to reach my goals.

Interviewed by:

Gino Maley

Loyola University Chicago

Joseph Maley Foundation Board of Directors