NFE Athlete Spotlight: Baylie Jabben
On Sunday, October 13, Baylie Jabben will run the Chicago Marathon with the Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Endurance team for the third time. An avid runner and faithful CTF supporter, Baylie not only runs on our team, fundaises to support our efforts to fund research, but also recruits her friends to join her each year! We asked her to share what it means to be a part of our team and why she keeps coming back.
CTF: Why did you decide to run the Chicago Marathon with the CTF NF Endurance team? Why did you run with us a 2nd and 3rd time?
Baylie: I had been raising money here and there for CTF for a few years, mainly through Cupid's Undie Run, and have always admired the organization! The day the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016, I just happened upon a post about the NF Endurance team entry [for the Chicago Marathon] and didn't think twice about it!
What's your secret to recruiting your friends to join the team?
Well, I tell them they get it hang out with me for five hours! It's so easy to convince someone to join up mainly because they understand it's for an AMAZING cause for some AMAZING kiddos. And after listing all of the crazy awesome benefits, like the partnership with Chicago Endurance Sports, RaceDay Resort (GAME CHANGER) and our very own cheer station around mile 17, they are usually SOLD! And you guessed it... I'm bringing ANOTHER newbie this year!
What keeps you going during the toughest moments?
Not wanting to let anyone down. You can usually find me helping someone pace their way through and if I give up, what's to stop them from giving up? We will always pull through together!
What is/was your favorite part of the race?
The electricity of the ENTIRE event. I am from a very small town of about 2,000 people and before running the Chicago Marathon, the largest race I had participated in was about 8,000 people. There are no words to describe being surrounded by 40,000 like-minded people AND thousands of their friends and families for over five hours. It is out of this world!
Do you have any advice for NF Endurance athletes training for marathons this year?
Whether or not you are going out for your first marathon, a personal record, or just "a stroll in the park," make it a point to meet someone new. You never know who you might run into and what lifelong friendships you'll develop!
How does it feel knowing you are raising money for CTF and NF research?
It's indescribable! It is such an honor to raise money knowing it is going straight to helping find a cure for such a terrible disorder. My hope is to one day see a cure!
What is your favorite song to train to?
I get a lot of slack for this, but Justin Timberlake's Filthy! Even if it's not playing, I'll start singing it to our group runs!
What is your training mantra?
"This is what I do. This is what I do." Anytime I start to get in my head or hit a wall, I just repeat that to myself. I am a runner, through and through, and THIS IS WHAT I DO.
Is there anything else you want to mention?
Being on the NF Endurance and CTF team every year seriously makes me feel like a rock star! You all do such a great job at organizing everyone and making us all feel so special when WE should be the one's making you and the kiddos feel special. Being on this team, raising money and running the Chicago Marathon have turned into one of my favorite yearly traditions!
Spots are still available – you can join Baylie at this year’s race! Visit nfendurance.org/chicagomarathon and join our team.