Arlington Hts. couple has three reasons for interest in Chicago Marathon
Arlington Heights residents Susan and Bob Martinson will be proud parents when Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon starts.
The couple's three children -- Rob Martinson, 43, of Indianapolis; Lindsey Hirshorn, 41, of Tampa, Florida; and Eric Martinson, 38, of Prospect Heights -- will be part of the pack when the marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. in Grant Park.
The three siblings attended Prospect High School. Susan Martinson said Lindsey was a competitive runner at Prospect and excelled at short and middle distances, then competed for the University of Michigan before injuries sidelined her.
Rob got into running after college and went on to finish the Chicago Marathon five times and a triathlon in his 20s. Eric started running regularly about a year ago as he trained to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in July.
"After Eric returned from his successful climb of 'Kili,' he realized he really had acquired the running bug," Susan said. "To get his siblings and spouses involved, he proposed a 30-day challenge to individually run a minimum of one mile every day, rain or shine, and the results had to be posted daily on their group text. This definitely sparked a lot of family interest in running again."
Eric was talking about getting into the Chicago Marathon when he asked if Rob would like to join him, their mother said. Eventually, all three siblings were on board.
Susan and Bob plan to view the marathon somewhere on the route with their children's spouses and their grandkids, ages 13 to 18 months. The two brothers and their sister intend to cross the finish line together, where their cheering section hopes to see them as well.
"I am so touched that our three children in three different states can remain so close, and running has made the difference," Susan said.
About 45,000 runners will pass through 29 Chicago neighborhoods before reaching the home stretch on Columbus Drive and Grant Park for the finish.