But, Reagan knew that if he was going to run a marathon, he needed an external motivation.
“I wanted to have a motivator aside from overcoming challenges and achieving goals. I wanted something personal that affected my family, that I could use to get me through tough times of race-- not just helping myself, but helping others,” he said.
“You see the pain everyone goes through due to Alzheimer’s. If I can be any part of helping to find a cure, that’s powerful,” Reagan said.
Reagan set a goal to raise $1,000; he has already raised more than $1,400. The fundraising campaign will continue long past the marathon, until November.
Reagan started training for the marathon 20 weeks ago. The training schedule has included building up to longer runs and then tapering off to give the muscles a chance to recover. The longest he has gone is 20 miles, relatively close to the marathon’s 26.2 miles.
He has been training primarily in Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods and taking the longer runs on weekends. Training over the brutally hot summer was particularly challenging, said Reagan, and he had to scale back somewhat, or run very early or very late to escape the heat.
Reagan’s wife, Tiffany, a biology teacher at LZHS, has run the Chicago Marathon and has been encouraging. She has also drove out to meet him on his long runs to supply water, as well as bike alongside for several miles to push him forward.
Reagan is a drivers ed. teacher and assistant basketball team coach at LZHS. He said his students noticed he had grown a beard and he explained to them that the beard was a reminder of how much time has passed during his training for the marathon.
Reagan is not the only LZHS teacher running in this year’s Chicago Marathon.
Other teachers include:
- Nick Juknelis, a choir teacher who is running to benefit Lurie Children’s Hospital.
- Lesly Ravenscraft, an English teacher, raising funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Association.
- Lisa Ledbetter, a French teacher, who is raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.