Chicago Marathon 2015 – 7marathons7continents

Chicago Marathon is done!  Second continent down, 5 more to go!

Next week I will run NYC Marathon – my 5th marathon in exactly 12 months period. run2buildschools will soon turn 1 year old!

I finished Chicago marathon in 4 hours and 41 minutes. Not my best time but I am happy! I raised almost $2000 and run2buildschools will soon have $38,000 total! I am officially raising money for a second school. Will share the location very soon. Also, next year, in November, I am going to Nepal to build our first school for 150 children.

Chicago was amazing! I got to see my Team For Kids dear friends and my lovely family from Glenview. I put together collages and individual pictures to share my experience.

The support I received was incredible. Thank you so much dear Michael for your help, amazing support and for capturing beautiful moments of my journey! ❤ Thank you Aunt Syl, Uncle Brian, Heather, Ava, Sonia, Kevin, Pammy, Laura, Tom, Glenn, and Ralph for taking such good care of me and coming out to see me run. I love you all dearly.

Thank you Kerry for booking the nicest room at Loews hotel and paying for it as a donation to run2buildschools. I was so touched! Thank you Nancy, Jose, and the Schlaack family for making cute marathon signs and coming out to cheer me. It was so awesome to see you at mile 22, I needed that boost of energy and happiness.

Last but not least, I am so THANKFUL to my donors for helping me bring hope to those in need. ❤

Here are few highlights from my journey in Chicago. I loved every second of it!

IMG_5965-0Elizabeth and her family hosted a Pasta Party for our Team For Kids family. Saturday night, before the marathon, we all gathered at her beautiful house and had lots of pasta, cookies and fun.  It was so beautiful! Thank you Elizabeth for being such a wonderful host!


ChicagoMarathon_0048_Collage5Cute collage! We had so much fun, saw Coach Asteria and Coach Sid on Facetime. Also, Julie did our nails with a cool running theme.


ChicagoMarathon_0045_TW_blogI wore one of my run2buildschools shirts. On the back I had the names of my donors. Julie and TW are looking for theirs. 🙂


ChicagoMarathon_0044_Julie_blogI love this picture! So cute. Julie found her name 🙂 Look at that smile and her cute finger.


ChicagoMarathon_0047_Wit_blogWit found his too!


I ran the marathon in this pretty red shirt. This is the back of it. My donors were with me the whole time. Soon I will have over 130 donations and a total of $38,000.


ChicagoMarathon_0040_IraSandra_blogI was so happy to see my dear friend, Ira.


ChicagoMarathon_0065_Hands_BLOGMarathon theme nails with wonderful friends!


ChicagoMarathon_0067_TFK1_BLOG Team For Kids Family ❤ What a beautiful picture!


IMG_5868Heather sending me off to Chicago to the expo to pick up my bib. I love Heather, she is so beautiful inside and out.



IMG_5967Aunt Syl, Sonia, Ava, Kevin, Michael and I at the Expo. We had so much fun!!!


ChicagoMarathon_0028_SONIA_BLOGI LOVE this picture! I wasn’t allowed to be in it, it was only for “non-runners”. So cute!


IMG_5875My bib was 9928. The Expo was very cool. I made this picture collage and posted it on social media. Since I started run2buildschools I have come to realize how helpful social media can be for a non profit. I have received almost 50% of my donations from friends that learned about my dream through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. That’s amazing. My story was also shared by Global Citizen on social media and I received so many encouraging messages and donations from people all over the World. ❤

IMG_5905My friends, Nancy and Jose made this sign. I saw them at mile 22 and it felt sooo good! I was pretty exhausted at that point. I could feel my legs getting really tired.


IMG_5904Kerry’s son, Jack, made this for me! I love it. Thank you Jack and thank you Kerry and Dan for coming out to support me. ❤


IMG_5885 I turned into Passion last week on Sunday morning! I love making inspirational signs. I am currently working on a “Dream Wall” in my living room. Can’t wait to share. 🙂


ChicagoMarathon_0121chicago_blogChicago at its best! Weather in the morning was beautiful. I saw the sunrise. The city felt quiet although so much was going on. Chicago is truly a magnificent city!


ChicagoMarathon_0086_Sandra1Run_blogMorning smile – right before the race. I was so nervous.


ChicagoMarathon_0312_Collage2Full race on!


ChicagoMarathon_0361_Run_blogI struggled throughout the race with multiple pains (shin splints, IT band, ankle and at the end stomach cramps), but still I was happy all the time. I kept thinking of Nepal and the school that will change 150 lives.


ChicagoMarathon_0229_RUN_BLOGI look all pumped here. The crowd and atmosphere was really fantastic.


Finish_Line1This is right before I crossed the finish line! I always get so emotional.

Finish_Line_2Crossing the finish line! I remember thinking…”run2buildschools, next year we are going to Nepal. It’s time to build schools baby”


ChicagoMarathon_0469_CuteSandra_BLOGThey gave beers at the end of the marathon. I had my cold beer, felt fine for a little bit but then I got really sick. Felt nauseous and like throwing up again. I ended up taking a cab to the hotel. Weather by the end got really hot, I think it was high 70s which for running is NOT pleasant at all.


ChicagoMarathon_0565_Collage_BlogFew hours later I checked out from the hotel and went back to Glenview. I was welcomed with so much love by everyone! Aunt Syl and Uncle Brian even helped me take my shoes off. So sweet! I love them all so much.


IMG_5913I lost a toe nail again and I got two nasty blisters. It’s not always glitzy and glamorous. The blisters hurt! A lot.

IMG_5910Freezing for 15 minutes! Ice baths help me recover quickly though. They reduce my inflammations.


SandraCute_BLOG I love this quote so much. It is by Lewis Howes. This is right after the marathon by the beautiful Beam at Millennium Park in Chicago.


Now I am all focused on NYC Marathon! Next week I am planning to take ice baths every day. I am struggling with IT band pain and my right ankle bothers me at points. I just need to be strong for one more marathon this year. Then I can rest for a little while.

And next year – I am going to Nepal! It’s time to build our first school!

THANK YOU buildOn for giving me such an amazing platform to follow my heart, pursue my dream and change children’s lives. ❤