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CE Runner of the Month (February): Valerie Bobart!

After an impressive college career at the University of Illinois, Valerie Bobart has since moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and also moved up in race distances. Specializing in the steeple chase in college would seem to have a big transition period to the marathon, but Valerie has made it seem easy. She recently set her PR at the Columbus Marathon this past Fall, and has her sights set on Boston next month. Get to know a little about Valerie and her history of running below!


Name: Val Bobart

Age: 24

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

College: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

High School: Glenbrook North High School

PR's: Marathon - 3:05:04, 6k - 21:14, 3k SC - 10:27, 3k - 9:49, Mile - 4:58



1. When and where did you first get into running?

I really started running my freshman year of high school. I had been really dedicated to gymnastics and almost didn’t even do cross country but decided to do a fall sport. My sister was on the cross country team so I really joined because of her and initially didn’t have much interest. I ended up making it to State that season which changed everything! I really stumbled upon the running world which is crazy because now it’s a big part of my life and who I am. 2. What is the most memorable race in your running career?

Running the 3k Steeple at Drake Relays my Junior Year of College. It was raining pretty hard the whole weekend - lots of runners were dropping out because of the bad weather. Ten minutes before the start of the race it was still coming down and my coach looked at me and said that a lot of people are going to use the weather as an excuse to not run or for having a bad race, but that I could still run fast. I ended up getting a PR and qualifying for my first NCAA Regional meet. That race really opened up a lot of doors for me - I had so many amazing races opportunities that I’ll never forget but this was the pivotal race that changed my career. 3. Favorite running memory from 2019?

I’m really proud of the last marathon I ran, the Columbus Marathon. It’s been a fun process figuring out how to race and train for something so much longer than the 3ks I raced in college. I think my experience with Columbus unlocked a door in this new journey and I’m really excited for what’s to come in the future. 4. All-time Favorite running shoe/brand to train/race in?

Hooked on Nike shoes and workout clothes! Really love Smartwool cold weather gear - game changer for winter running! 5. Favorite running workout?

I love mile repeats if I can get on the track. Also love a good tempo. 6. Favorite Pre-Race hype song?

I always listen to whatever song I’m obsessed with at the time. It gets me pumped and ready to race. 7. Go-to Post race beer?

A blue moon! 8. Favorite pro runner and why?

Shalane Flanagan is hanging up in my room :) I think she’s had such a long and incredibly successful career - very inspirational! 9. What races do you plan to run in 2020?

Marathons: Boston in the Spring and Indy in the fall.50k: Kettle Moraine in June Break 3 hours in the marathon, stretch goal would be breaking 2:55 Relays: 4 person 100mile relay (Burning River) in July 10. What are your running goals for 2020?

Break 3 hours in the marathon, stretch goal would be breaking 2:55

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