Vernon Hills trustee relaxes by running marathons
Vernon HIlls - Vernon Hills village trustee Mike Marquardt is a long-distance running and just completed the 26-mile Boston Marathon this week. Marquardt has participated in a number of marathons over the past several years. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Occupation: Self-employed real estate investment and management
College education: Bachelor’s degree, Western Illinois University
Public service: Vernon Hills village trustee
Community service: Coaches youth football for Vernon Hills Cougars Youth Athletic Association
Words to live by: Don’t make a problem, solve a problem
Updated: May 27, 2012 8:09AM
Running a 26.2-mile marathon might not sound like most people’s idea of stress relief, but it is for Mike Marquardt.
“It does relax me,” said Marquardt, a Vernon Hills resident and village trustee. “When you run long distance, you get to daydream.”
Marquardt just completed his third successful run in the Boston Marathon on April 16. An avid distance runner, he has completed a dozen 26.2-mile marathons, including Chicago, Boston and Kenosha over the past 14 years.
Marquardt, 57, admits his most recent run in the Boston Marathon was one of the toughest he’s done as temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s made it particularly challenging.
“This one was a disaster,” said Marquardt with a laugh, who completed the run with a time of 4 hours and 27 hours, about an hour longer than his previous two runs in the Boston Marathon in 2006 and 2011. “It was the worst one I’ve done. I’m getting a little bit older and I didn’t want to get sick. I may have finished slower but at least I finished.”
Marquardt said he has always enjoyed running. In high school, he was on the track and football team. He was a running back for Western Illinois University in the 1970s and used to run as part of his football training.
“I’ve always been a runner but it wasn’t long distance,” he said. “It was usually shorter runs, 5 to 10K runs.”
Marquardt ran his first marathon at the Chicago Marathon in 1998 when he worked for a family-owned car dealership in Park City. A factory representative he knew, who was also an avid runner, encouraged him to do the run.
“He said ‘let’s do a marathon,” recalls Marquardt. “He had never done a marathon before and neither had I. But he ended up with a knee problem so he never ran the marathon but I did.”
After completing his first marathon, Marquardt became hooked. He has run several times in the Chicago Marathon, three times in the Boston Marathon and one time in Kenosha. His best time running a marathon was 3 hours and 18 minutes in the Chicago Marathon and he usually finishes in the top 20 percent of the runners.
Marquardt said he particularly enjoys running in the Chicago Marathon.
“Chicago is probably one of the best marathons,” he said. “The fans are fantastic. Almost every foot of the race has people on both sides cheering you on. It’s amazing.”
When in training for a marathon, Marquardt typically runs about 50 miles per week. With a busy work schedule, that often means running early in the morning or at night. He also runs on weekends in Lake Forest as a member of the North Shore Distance Running Club. He is also a member of the Chicago Area Runners Association.
Marquardt admits he felt a little sore after his most recent run in the Boston Marathon but he was already running again two days later.
“I guess I wear pretty good,” he said.