Club 'Chronicle' Team Zen Challenge

This year is the second time Zen has organized a Trail of Lights 5K Challenge but the the first time the Chronicle has sponsored a team. The idea behind the challenge was to get together a group of people who have never competed in a 5K and are looking to live a healthier lifestyle. In September, 130 people registered for the challenge, and 10 people made the final cut. Two months ago, they started training, and tomorrow marks the big day, so cast your ballot now. The winner is up to you, but to win the grand prize the runner has to cross the finish line, so go cheer them on.

Club Chronicle is:

Cassandra, 25, claims to be a contest enterer, entering contests every few weeks with little hope of winning, but this time she won the opportunity to be a part of the Chronicle team. A St. Edward's graduate and self-proclaimed Tony Romo and Ricky Martin fan, her goal in this challenge is to reverse the effects of her vanishing teenage metabolism and get back into her "magically shrinking" wardrobe.

Ian, 42, was recently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, which gave him the push to enter the contest. His goal of crossing the finish line at the Trail of Lights 5K runs deeper: "My goal is to live to cross the finish line. Living [is] my goal and my grand prize." Ian will not be participating due to health reasons.

Christi and fiancé Chris, both 25, are doing it together. Both high school teachers, this couple is using this challenge, in part, to get in shape in preparation for their wedding this coming March.

Ingrid, 43, was born in the Netherlands and spent a good amount of time in Canada before finally making it down to South Austin in 2003. A mother of two, she has found that endurance is key to her training and completing of the race.

Christine, 58, already spends lots of time with her poodle Jack at Lady Bird Lake, but the Club Chronicle challenge is making her usual stroll around the lake an opportunity to get in shape, her goal. After working all over Europe as a professor for the University of Maryland University College, she has finally settled here in Austin teaching four online classes for UMUC and an advanced creative writing class at Austin Community College.

James, 32, is a 10-year diabetic and signed up for the challenge to get in shape. His main goals upon entering were: 1) push diabetes out of his life; 2) be more physically fit; 3) reduce his clothing size; 4) start eating right; 5) run the race; and 6) keep the Chronicle team as friends for life.

Drew, 27, moved to Austin a year ago and is pursuing a career in the Marine Corps. He entered the challenge in order to improve his 5K time with some professional training and a "few motivated people."

After having her first baby eight months ago, Katie, 32, thought that the baby weight would melt off. It didn't. And now her goal is to improve her lifestyle – becoming healthier and more in shape for her family and herself. Mentally she is prepared, but physically, "Let's just say I'm going to try really hard, and we'll see how it goes!"

Greg, 40, has recently found himself with an inability to keep cheese fries out of his mouth. Upon training he has found out that even though Diet Coke's first ingredient is carbonated water, it is not the best choice for hydration; even though it's made from potatoes, vodka doesn’t count as a vegetable; and 3) Skittles aren’t fruit.

Lizzie, 31, claims to have "a silly obsession with filling out forms. … I even like doing my taxes." She waits tables at a local Italian restaurant, and upon getting older and entering this contest, she has come to realize that taking care of herself is a responsibility solely up to her.

The members of Club Chronicle will received help as they trained. Every Saturday morning at 8am for the past two months, the team has trained together with Patrick Guy, a professional trainer from RunTex, with a free Tokyo breakfast from Zen after the workout. They also attended a monthly seminar on nutrition, injury prevention, and running programs. And in order to keep our Club Chroniclers eating healthy during training, Zen and a nutritionist teamed up to provide our runners with three different meal plans.

Check out all their blogs and introduction videos here and vote for your favorite Club Chronicle team member. Good luck to all!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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