Runners receive heatsheets after the Chicago marathon

Thousands Of Volunteers Work At Bank Of America's Chicago Marathon To Accommodate Runners

Whether working at the finish line or along the course, runners receive support through volunteers in many ways.

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As a runner, I love participating and competing in races, and after volunteering at the Chicago Marathon, I am able to understand more about how a race works. I have been fortunate enough to run in a few half marathons, but a full marathon of 26.2 miles is my next goal. As a way to prepare despite the long hours of training, decided to volunteer at the marathon so I could see how the race is viewed as a runner and as a supporter.

While volunteering, I learned that a race without volunteers won't function. I volunteered with a student organization I am part of at DePaul called the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Our group was in charge of the heat sheets. Once runners cross the finish line, they are given heat sheets and their primary purpose is so runners don't get cold too quickly once they stop running. Heatsheets are blankets that runners wrap around themselves enabling them to not turn numb after running.

Before delivering the heat sheets to runners, the day started at 5:20 a.m. where our group met at the Fullerton train station. That morning while leaving my apartment, it was cool and misty and I came prepared for the long day of volunteering. Once our group arrived at the volunteer check-in at Grant Park, we received our volunteer identifications and uniform.

The uniform for a volunteer was a nice maroon jacket with the Chicago Marathon logo on it. As a volunteer, it was one of the many perks that are offered. Afterward, our group went to the hospitality tent to fuel up before volunteering. Bananas, oranges, granola bars, fruit snacks, and other snacks gave our team the fuel we needed.

Once we were all set we headed to the finish line and started to unravel the heat sheets. Many other volunteers from other organizations helped. By this point, some of the participant waves started their race taking on the streets. Once the first few runners crossed the finish line, we finally gave them their heat sheets.

Once it hit noon, our shift was over and I had the chance within those few hours of volunteering to connect with other DePaul students, cheer on runners and support them along the way. This has inspired me to apply to run in the marathon next year, and I had so much fun despite the day being cold and having to wake up early. I encourage everyone to volunteer or cheer along the sidelines of the marathon because it was an unforgettable experience.

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8 Female Fitness YouTubers you Should Know

If you want to gain strength AND look and feel amazing, follow these powerful females!
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Ladies! How many times have you heard that women who lift weights are "too bulky" or "masculine" or "look like a man?" Well.... that's false. If you don't believe me, check out these fitness YouTubers who will tell you themselves!

1) Robin Gallant


Though originally from Canada, Gallant is taking over the world one day at a time. Her videos are filled with content that is not only informative and super helpful but also completely backed by science and research so you have no choice BUT to believe her every word.

Instagram: @robingallantt

Youtube: Robin Gallant

2) Amanda Bucci

Originally a bikini competitor who recently switched over to powerlifting, Bucci shares with her viewers all the ups and downs of competition life: bulking, dieting, effective training tips, and so much more.

Instagram: @amandabuccifit

YouTube: Amanda Bucci

3) Emily Duncan

More commonly known as Em Dunc, Duncan is a young college student who loves the sport of bodybuilding. As a kinesiology major, she uploads videos that are valuable to both new and experienced lifters by discussing topics such as biomechanics, recovery tips, and more.

Instagram: @em_dunc

YouTube: Em Dunc

4) Heidi Somers

Known as buffbunny in the fitness industry, Heidi is a goofy, charming girl from San Antonio, Texas. She posts videos that include full workout routines, meal prep ideas, and fun vlogs.

Instagram: @buffbunny

YouTube: Heidi Somers

5) Megan Gallagher

Gallagher is famously known as megsquats in the industry. She is a strong powerlifter whose videos are filled with her awesome lifts and effective techniques to improve your own strength.

Instagram: @megsquats

YouTube: megsquats

6) Emily Hayden


Emily Hayden is constantly posting motivational videos on her channel. She is all about dedication to the sport and improving you. Through her videos, you will instantly feel motivated to go to the gym and kill your workout.

Instagram: @emilyhaydenfitness

YouTube: Emily Hayden

7) Whitney Simmons

Whitney Simmons, who refers to herself as "Whit," is easily one of the most relatable girls on YouTube. In her videos, she often takes you through her intense workouts, gives details on how to perform each exercise and the number of sets and reps to complete so that you can easily follow along with her!

Instagram: @whitneyysimmons

YouTube: Whitney Simmons

8) Chelsea Karabin

ChelseaLifts is a girl who not only insanely strong but also really cool and chill. Her videos show you all about the world of powerlifting and teach you how to be the strongest you can be.

Instagram: @chelsealifts

YouTube: ChelseaLifts

Cover Image Credit: Google

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If You Take Fitness Advice From Instagram, You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Living a healthy lifestyle really isn't that complicated.

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I lost 90 pounds during my freshman year of high school. Over the years, I've gotten many questions about how I accomplished such a feat and what my secret is. The truth is, I did what any doctor would tell you to do when you ask for weight loss advice. I ate healthy foods, I counted my caloric intake and I worked out regularly doing exercise that I enjoyed.

This seems so simple, but in today's complex society of Instagram fitness gurus and "experts" telling you that the secret to weight loss is wrapping your stomach in a wrap, it's difficult to know who is genuinely trying to give you good advice and who just wants to sell you something. I've fallen prey to these people too, so I know how difficult it is to decipher between sound advice and a sales pitch.

So as you embark on your health and fitness journey, remember that the end goal of any workout regimen or diet plan is to be healthy and increase the longevity of your life. It's about seeing your grandchildren graduate high school and go on to succeed in life while swinging on a porch with your husband or wife of 50 years, all because you took care of yourself instead of eating fast food and drinking every weekend of your 20s. It isn't to have slimmer thighs or a bigger butt, though those are nice benefits. What these people won't tell you is that if you simply eat healthy, exercise regularly and take overall better care of your body, you will see results without having to buy some stupid weight loss tea or crazy diet plan.

Believe me, the journey to being a better and healthier you is worth the consistent effort and work it will take to get there.

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