By Shawn Gakhal
Registration began for the Oct. 12 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on March 19.
With more than 17,000 runners already signed up and a cap limit of 45,000, runners from around the world will compete in the Chicago Marathon, and one of them is Roosevelt University’s own Professor Donnette Noble.
Noble competed in the Chicago Marathon for the first time in 2012 and followed that up with an encore the following year.
Noble said she is excited to participate in this year’s marathon.
She recounted how she got involved and why she loves running in the first place.
“I set a goal a gazillion years ago that I would run my first marathon by the time I turned 30, and life just got in the way, and that never happened,” Noble said. “But I have been running since I was a toddler. It was not until Oct. 2012 when I ran the Chicago Marathon that I entered my first ever sanctioned running event. So, it was like a ‘go big or go home’ kind of thing. … I do it because I just love running that much.”
Noble described this year’s marathon as having a bit of a different tone than those of recent past.
“This year, I’m actually doing a charity run with Team DetermiNation, which is part of the fundraising team for the American Cancer Society,” Noble said.
She also talked about her primary and specific, personal goals for this year’s marathon.
“Every year, I try to accomplish something, because I’m very goal driven in all aspects of my life,” Noble said. “My first year, I simply wanted to finish a marathon. My second year was to finish the marathon and have a better time that my first year, and I knocked a significant amount of time off my results.
“My goal this year is to raise $1,000 for the ACS. That is my primary goal. But my personal goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, so I have to knock almost nine minutes off my time in order to do that. And my second goal is to knock 20 minutes off my time to qualify for… a guaranteed entry for [next year’s] Chicago Marathon.”
Noble’s decision to run the marathon for charity comes from her own personal losses that she’s endured throughout her life.
“I opted to run with the ACS because I lost my grandpa to cancer,” she said. “I’ve lost dear friends to cancer. I’ve lost brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law to cancer. So, I’ve just lost so many people to the disease, and I know so many other people who are currently fighting the disease or who are survivors. … I started to think about the issue of cancer, and I cannot think of a single person whose life has not been touched in some way, shape or form by cancer.”
Committed to raising $1,000 for the ACS, Noble said that she first paid the regular marathon fee, plus an additional fee to be a part of the organization.
Among the many who have contributed to her fundraising efforts include one of her students, Lucas Coker, president of the Criminal Justice Society at Roosevelt.
On her website, Noble has a list of names who she will be running in memory of.
The next line reads this, “Yes, this year I will be running with a greater purpose.”
Participants can register either with a guaranteed entry or enter through a registration lottery, which closes April 7.
It costs $185 to register for the Chicago Marathon and $210 for those who are not residents of the United States.