Posts Tagged Monumental Half Marathon

Meet Manchester Residential Member Ishmil:

Ishmil before the Monumental Half Marathon!

Age: 40

Shoe Size: 11

Family: 2 daughters and a son

Hometown: Indianapolis

Branch of Military: Army and Navy – 8 years stationed in San Diego

Favorite place he visited with the Military: Japan

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Movie: Superman 2

Favorite Music: Gospel

Where Ishmil wants to visit before he dies: Paris France

Longest race with BOMF: Monumental Half Marathon

Favorite BOMF race – Carmel

Why do you like being involved with BOMF? “I like everything about it. I like meeting people and talking to volunteers. It motivates me to improve. I really like the running and social events”

Ishmil has been with Team Manchester since day one. At first he had a hard time getting up early in the morning, but in recent months Ishmil has really stepped up his commitment and involvement. We’re very proud of Ishmil for this.

Meet Manchester Non Residential Members: Michael and Michele Cooley:

Michele and Michael after the Monumental Marathon!

Shoe Size? Michele: 9, Michael: 11.5

Favorite post run food? No question – donuts!

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? Michele: 1 Marathon, 4 Half Marathons, 1 5K. Michael: 1 Marathon, 1 5K

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  We just finished the Monumental Full Marathon. Michael decided at the last minute to run it with me. We stayed together the entire race and crossed the finish line together.

Favorite music? Michele: Ben Folds is my favorite musician.  For running, anything with a good beat (like 90s rap).  Michael: Alt-Country/Folk

Favorite athlete/team/sport? Michele: While I am an IU grad, I am a huge fan of the Butler Bulldogs.  I’m a sucker for an underdog (and I love Blue).  Michael: Arsenal FC and the Chicago Cubs.

Favorite vacation spot?   San Francisco

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? We just ran our first marathon.

Why do you run? Michele: See answer to favorite post run food.  I started running to lose weight, and stuck with it because it helps to relieve stress and refocus.  Michael: It gives me energy and clears my head.

Tell us about your family? Michele: I grew up in Lafayette, and my parents are still there.  I have one younger brother.  He and his wife live in Las Vegas and are expecting twins.  Michael and I have two dogs, Pete and Maggie.  Michael: I am from Rush County, IN, and my parents and extended family are still there.  I have a younger sister who lives outside of Atlanta.

What is your day job?  We are both attorneys.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?  Our most memorable BoMF moment was watching Ed cross the finish line Saturday at the Monumental Marathon.  We have trained with him since June, and watching him cross with a smile on his face, hand in hand with Melissa and Caitlin after running in sleet and rain meant just as much to us as our own finish.

How did you hear about BoMF? Why did you stick with it? What has BoMF meant to you? Michele: I heard about BoMF shortly after the Indy chapter started.  I can’t remember if I learned about it through Blue Mile or the Indianapolis Downtown newsletter.  I thought it sounded like a great organization to get involved with, but honestly, the 5:45 am run time was intimidating.  I instead showed my support by running the inaugural BoMF 42K relay with a team of complete strangers, and then I was a FundRacer for the 2012 Mini Marathon.  After that, I decided it was time to become a non-res member, and Michael decided to join me.  We stick with it because we have gotten to know our team members, and we enjoy seeing their progress.  It’s easy to get up at 5 knowing that we are going to be greeted with hugs, smiles, and hellos when we get downtown.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career? We have met a lot of people through this organization, and you never know when one of those connections will lead to a new opportunity.

Advise for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  The experience is unforgettable.  Even if you aren’t a runner or a morning person, you will want to keep coming back week after week because of the relationships you will create with the team members.  Everyone is friendly and welcoming.  While team members have different backgrounds and experiences, everyone is instantly connected by the commitment to improve themselves.

Progress House Resident Member of the Month: Jesse Rhodes

Here’s Jesse tearing up the course at Pogue’s Run. He did a great job at his first race!

Running shoe size: 10.5

Hometown: Westfield

Family: Mom, Dad, 3 brothers who all live in Fishers, and 3 sisters who all live in Sheridan

Favorite post-run food:  Peanut-butter.  I eat like a jar of peanut-butter every other day.

How long have you been with BoMF: Since the end of May, so just over three months.

What brought you to BoMF: Well, going to prison made me want to get my life together, so that brought me to the Progress House.  And then I joined Back on My Feet because I had heard about it and it sounded like something I wanted to do.  It sounded like a good way to have fun sober and to get in shape at the same time.

Did you ever think you’d be a runner: No.  I used to hate running.  I always played baseball and football.  You don’t really run in baseball and in football you’re always wearing all the pads.  So, I used to hate running.  It’s not something I would have ever thought I would do for fun.

What races have you run with BoMF: I ran Pogue’s Run 5 mile race in June and the Trinity Trot 5k last Saturday.

What else do you like to do in your free time: I like to lift weights.  I like to hang out with my family and cook out with them.  And I like to go see movies by myself.

What are some of your goals right now: I really want to run the Monumental Marathon in November.  I’m not sure if I’ll be ready in time, but that’s a big goal of mine right now.  And I also want to get my fitness certification for personal training by December.

What is your favorite BoMF memory: Well, this isn’t really a favorite memory, but my most memorable day with Back on My Feet was my very first day of practice.  I had an allergic reaction while we were on the run, and I thought I was going to die.  I couldn’t breathe at all, and I remember Meghan calmed me down.

What do you like most about BoMF: The fellowship.  I like that no matter how fast or how slow you run, we stick together.  We don’t leave anyone behind, and we’ll wait until the last person is finished.

Progress House Non-Res Member of the Month: Anthony Williams

Running shoe size:  11

Hometown:  Salem, Indiana

Family:   Father (Jeff), Mother (Pam), and Brother (Eric, 25)

Day job:  Marion Superior Court, Probation Officer

Anthony and Lori at Outrun the Sun, a race BoMF participated in earlier this summer to raise awareness about skin cancer.

Favorite post-run food: Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from Yogulatte. I could have one every single day!

Favorite race memory: Finishing my first Half Marathon last year at the Monumental.

How did you get involved with BoMF:  I had my arm twisted to start coming for my Saturday training runs in preparation for the Monumental last year.  I’m sure glad they did!

How long have you been with BoMF:  Since September 2011

Why do you run:  About two and half years ago, my father lost his second leg to diabetes.  It was at that moment I decided I didn’t want to be in that same situation. I was well on that path, weighing over 275 pounds. I started focusing on my diet and after success and some encouragement from friends I began to run. I lost almost 100 pounds in the process.

What else do you like to do in your free time:  I am addicted to television and I also spend too much time on my iPad.

What are some of your goals right now: I am currently training for the Chicago Marathon in October.

What is your favorite BoMF memory:  It was so great to see my two worlds collide last week at the APPA conference. It was great to hear all of the positive things officers from around the country had to say about BoMF. Even more impressive was the large circles we had both mornings.

What do you like most about BoMF:   It feels like a family and for someone like me who has no immediate family close, I look forward to seeing everyone each and every morning.

Here’s Big Al (on the right) running his first race at Pogue’s Run! Coach Joe was there to offer some gentle encouragement along the way. Look how much fun they’re having!

Progress House Resident:  Al Fager

Nickname: Big Al

With a nickname like Big Al, how tall are you anyway?  6’5”

Running shoe size: 13

Hometown: Kokomo, Indiana

Family: Parents, both still living in Kokomo, and one brother

Favorite post-workout food: Pasta – gotta refuel with those carbs

How long have you been with Back on My Feet? Since April, officially.  Before that I was just kind of showing up and hanging out until I could join the team.

What brought you to BoMF? The camaraderie. I wanted to meet new people and expand my circles.  I like to meet new people.  I definitely didn’t join because I was a runner.

Did you ever think you would be a runner? I’m a swimmer, not a runner.  For some reason, most swimmers are pretty vehemently against running.  I almost got shin splints just thinking about running.  I almost didn’t make it through boot camp because we had to run a mile.  I almost couldn’t make it that mile.  I definitely did not think that 15-20 years later I would be part of a running group.

So now that you are a runner, what races have you done with BoMF?  Pogue’s Run, a 5 mile race

Besides running, what else do you like to do in your free time?  I’m a speed-nut.  I like to spend my time at the speedrome – the racetrack – just helping out, running concessions, whatever.  I like to spend my time there.  I also like to do art, any kind of art.  I also like to go to the pool to swim.

What are some of your goals right now?  To find a permanent, full-time position somewhere.  Whether it’s opening my own business or working for someone else.  Either one is fine.  And to stay sober!

What is your favorite BoMF memory? My favorite!?  Wow… uh…

Okay, what is A favorite BoMF memory? I would have to say finishing that 5 mile race, because I’ve never done anything like that.  I never even fathomed being in a running group and doing something like that.

What do you like most about BoMF?  It’s a new challenge.  I always like to be pushing myself at something, whether it’s swimming or running or whatever.  I like the opportunity to learn something new – to grow.

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?  Back on My Feet is just a really neat organization.  I’ve noticed that it’s really something that everyone enjoys – the volunteers and the residents.  It’s a group that everybody gets something out of, and that’s pretty cool.


Progress House Non – Resident: Aaron Rarick

Shoe size: 11

Hometown: Fishers

Aaron and his wife Katie stopped by the Progress House pasta party before the Carmel races.

Family: Wife, Katie; cat, Dr. McGillicuddy Floyd (Doc) My parents, sister, step-sister, and in-laws all live in town.  My wife and I both have very large extended families – my mom is one of eight children, while my father-in-law comes from a family of 13!

Day job: I work for MetLife as a Financial Services Representative.  Basically, I help individuals and employers with financial and retirement planning.

Favorite post-run food: Chocolate milk

Favorite race memory: I have two favorites: 1) The 2011 Monumental Half Marathon; and 2) The 2012 Fishers Fun Run (5K).  The former was my first ever half marathon, and I was thrilled just to complete it.  The latter was my wife’s first race.  She breezed through it like a veteran.

What brought you to BoMF? My wife Katie and I are involved with a charitable organization called Giving Sum, which gives out $50,000 each year to a worthy non-profit.  Last year, BoMF was a finalist for the grant.  Katie visited Progress House as part of the evaluation process, and immediately told me all about it.  After convincing myself that I could indeed wake up in time for those 5:45 am runs, I jumped onboard.

How long have you been with BoMF? I joined BoMF last December.

Why do you run? For a long time, I ran just for exercise, maybe once or twice a week.  It wasn’t until last summer that I really started running regularly, and for more than 2-3 miles at a time.  My sister-in-law Melinda deserves much of the credit for kick-starting my running habit; she ran the Chicago Marathon last year, and inspired me to do the same this fall.  These days, I run because I enjoy it.  BoMF is a big reason why.

What else do you like to do in your free time? I am a huge nerd.  Every Tuesday evening I attend trivia night at a local restaurant with a group of friends.  I also really enjoy reading, and may be known to play the occasional video game.  In the fall, I live and die (mostly the latter, these days) with Notre Dame football.  Katie and I try to make it to at least two or three games each year.  I also teach 5th grade Sunday School with my sister, Jenn.

What are some of your goals right now (running related and/or non-running related)? My current running goal is to complete the Chicago Marathon this October.  I would love to break 4 hours, but I’ll be happy just to cross the finish line.  I have also decided to run the race as a fundraiser for Back on My Feet, with the goal of raising $1800!

What is your favorite BoMF memory? The early morning runs in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl made for a special experience.  There was so much buzz in the atmosphere, and running down Georgia Street in the cold pre-dawn hours made it feel like we had behind the scenes access to the festivities.

What do you like most about BoMF? The people, both residents and non-residents.  Every runner has their own unique background and stories, and it is a pleasure getting to know so many great people.  Running is, by nature, a selfish activity.  It is an individual sport, where often the goal is to see “how much faster/further can I run?”  BoMF makes running more meaningful, and therefore, more enjoyable.

Jenni rarely misses a run at Progress House and has been with the team for a long time. She is a friend you can always count on and people like her are what make BoMF so special. If you were to watch Jenni at a morning run, you would see someone who genuinely cares about the members on team Progress House, bot resident and non-resident. We are sad to see Jenni move to Idaho at the end of the month, she will be greatly missed but we wish her the best in her future! Jenni- you better stay in touch!

Jenni & James at the BoMF Christmas Party!

Shoe Size: 10.5 men’s 12 in women’s (this makes finding women’s shoes very difficult!)

Favorite post run food: Fruit , apples or oranges. The Jimmy John’s after the Monumental half marathon were freaking AMAZING though. I think I would make that a post race tradition if I could!

How many half marathons/5ks have you completed? 3 half marathons, and tons of other 5ks and such.

What races have you completed?

Monumental half, Ft Harrison Half, Jeju Half, Drumstick Dash, Gobble Wobble in Grand Rapids, Mill Race 15k in Columbus (I would recommend), and a bunch of other smaller ones.

Favorite race you have ever competed in:

My first ½ was in JeJu, South Korea (called the Hawaii of SK), and it was really the most fun I could imagine 13.1 miles being. Three  friends and I trained several months together leading up to the race. The race field consisted of Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, and a few weguks (foreigners)… The race mascot was dressed up as an orange! Need I say more?

Favorite music:

Oldies, Classic Rock, older country music, 90s and 80s… Currently I am having an Adele and Amos Lee bender.

Favorite athlete:

Brian Cardinal, #35 – Nicknamed “The Janitor” while playing basketball at Purdue University, and just won an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks.

Favorite vacations spot:

My grandparents lake house up in Glen Arbor, Michigan. My extended family and I have been migrating up there every summer for at least a week or two since I can remember.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?

Running my first marathon (in Missoula, MT in July of this year) and learning how to ride a horse once I’ll be out west.

Why do you run?

Running is a great release from the stresses of day to day. You get to escape out of your work role, your family role, and any checklist for the day. You’re just a runner, and a motivator or companion for fellow runners. It’s terribly cathartic and also, at least for me, really enjoyable.

Tell us about your family:

I have an awesome family! Two parents (Joe and Denise), three siblings (Jaci, Jody, and Jordan), a brother and sister in law (Eddie and Juleen), and two terrific nieces (Sammy and Annabel) with another niece or nephew on the way.

Where are you working?

Currently I’m a Customer Service Representative at Gilchrist & Soames, but my last day is on Feb 24th and then… who knows? But let’s hope it doesn’t take too long to find, as my school bills demand monthly financial sacrifices.

What has BoMF meant to you?

Hard to summarize – the people make the runs, make the experiences. I can’t imagine a more positive way to start my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The warm environment makes up for the cold weather, and I love how inspiring and caring the members of our running group are. Before I started running with BoMF I was struggling through my long runs and dreading jogs at 6pm after work. I was starting to hate every song on my iPod and losing some running fervor – now, I get amped for long runs, and am eager to see people on mornings. I have abandoned my iPod and am really loving the social aspect of running that BoMF promotes.

When you move out west, do you think you will continue running at 5:30am and will you recruit running buddies?

Ha! Um, maybe? My new roommate was also my running buddy back when traveling in SE Asia and we did several 6am runs over there. Morning runs are such a terrific way to start the day, so I’m sure we’ll continue running in the morning but just perhaps at a more humane 7am hour or something.

Any advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?

DO IT! Walk, run, Progress House Yoga for sure. Just jump in because there is just absolutely NO WAY you’ll regret it. Like the Mens Warehouse guy says, “I guarantee it!”


Shane (blue BoMF shirt) and Patrick running the Legacy Loop 5k

Nearly three years ago, Shane experienced an accidental overdose, including getting shocked back to life. Shane went into a coma and because of this the Oxygen supply was cut off to his brain. As a side effect, he lost all coordination to his hands and legs. He spent much of the next few months relearning things most of us take for granted. Shane didn’t believe he would even walk again, let alone run a half marathon!

Running Shoe Size: 10

Hometown/Family: From Southport, His family- Mom, Stepfather, Stepsister and Brother- live in Indianapolis.

Favorite Athlete: Jeff Gordon, Peyton Manning–I have a different favorite athlete for each sport. I tend to base my likeness on what they do for the community and how they are as a person and their overall persona more than their athletic ability.

Favorite Music: Old school rock, Kiss, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones

What brought you into Progress House? What were you overcoming?

I always knew that I had a problem and knew that I would need help getting off the drugs and alcohol; I just didn’t know how to approach the help. I came to visit my brother who was already in Progress House and saw he had a different light in his eyes. I instantly knew this is where I would get clean.

Why did you join BoMF?

My brother was on the team and he was telling me how much fun the people are and told me how much it had helped him. He sold me on the idea of joining the team.

How difficult was it having your brother living in Progress House and how did you approach this relationship?

Before I came to Progress House, my brother and I had a rocky relationship for the past few years. Progress House was a blessing in disguise because it has made our relationship stronger and brought us back together.

You work at a restaurant that serves alcohol, is this difficult being in recovery?

It doesn’t bother me anymore, if anything it repulses me. My managers understand and support that I am in recovery and do not push the alcohol at me.

What races have you completed with BoMF?

Monumental Half Marathon, Santa Hustle 5k, New Year’s Eve 5k, Legacy Loop 5k, Ground hog 7

In your spare time, what do you like to do?

In the little spare time I have, I try to spend as much time as possible with my kids. I love to be outdoors whether it is running, walking, or biking. Being outside offers me a serenity I can’t get anywhere else. My favorite coffee drink is a White Chocolate Mocha, which is often times my reward for being outside!

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals):

I want to go back to school, get my license back, and be able to provide for my kids and keep doing better for myself.

Rodney grew up on the Eastside of Indianapolis and currently works for Roosa Carpet Cleaning. He has two kids, a son who is sixteen and a daughter who is eleven.

He moved to Progress House four months ago when he realized that his life was unmanageable and he needed to stop using. Soon after he moved in he noticed the Back on My Feet community joining together three days a week to circle up and run. He joined team Progress House in July and hasn’t looked back since. He has 100% attendance- hasn’t missed a single day since he started on July 7th!

He completed the Planet Adventure Eagle Creek 5K on August 7th- his first race!  This was a trail race and for those of you who have done any trail running, you know that this is much more difficult than running on the road! Rodney did a great job and even placed in his age group at the race. He had a blast running over logs and climbing the massive hills. When I asked Rodney about the race he said “It was awesome, you never knew what was coming next, it was a thrill ride, like life.”

Shoe Size: 10.5

Age: 37

Favorite Music: Heavy Metal, Typeo Negative

Favorite Athlete: My running partner Jeremy (Pictured on the left with Rodney below)

Favorite Post Run Food: Banana and Peanut Butter

Bucket List: Take a family vacation with both of my kids

Why did you join BoMF? I wanted to get in shape and thought the job training and incentives sounded like a good opportunity! I also thought it would help build my self-esteem.

What is your favorite thing about running with BoMF? Bonding with people, opening up and talking with who I’m running with. Hugging everyone.

Has running helped with staying sober? 100%, running helps. I’ve had times where I’ve thought about using and BoMF is the first thing that comes to my mind, it motivates me to stay focused. I would hate to lose the friendships I’ve made here. I enjoy running, it helps me clear my head and gives me time to pray.

What are your goals now? I have a lot of goals at this point. I want to get my GED, which is something I started a long time ago and now I’m ready to finish it. I am also training for the Back on My Feet 42K Relay and my first 1/2 marathon, the Monumental Half Marathon on November 5th. Prior to coming to live at Progress House, I earned my Commercial Drivers License, but ended up losing it due to some poor choices and that is something I would like to get back. Another lifelong dream of mine is to join the National Guard. I feel like it would be a good way to give back and also build my self confidence. Lastly I would love to take a family vacation with both of my kids.

What’s exciting in your life right now? I just talked to my eleven year old daughter for the first time ever and am really looking forward to building a relationship with her.