John Kelly

John Kelly
My beautiful and supportive wife Isabel and I have been married for 16 years.  We have 2 tremendous children, Ryan (14) and Meghan (11).  Ryan loves to play baseball and is hoping to make the New Trier High School team this year.  Meghan enjoys singing, dancing and biking.  Meghan is training to do a 250 mile bike ride with me this summer.

I started my endurance career at Mount Carmel High School on the Cross Country team and did several 5k and 10k races.  When I was 15, I ran an 18 mile Walkathon at the high school and I was hooked on endurance events for life.

Unfortunately, when I went to college, I decided that bar hopping and working were endurance sports and so I stopped running on a regular basis.  I rediscovered my love for endurance sports again in my thirties and completed my first marathon in 2002.  I have done the Chicago Marathon 4 times and will do it again this year.  I have also done the Chicago Triathlon and continue to integrate the varied training regimen the multi-sport discipline provides.  Definite plans for a half Ironman and full Ironman in future years.

My other love is hiking and mountaineering, particularly trips with my brother Tim where we catch up with each other on everything that is going on in our busy lives.  Of course, I tend to make these endurance events as Tim will tell you (he calls them death marches but, secretly, he loves them).  We have done mountaineering on Mount Baker and hiked deep into Glacier National Park and Wyoming’s Wind River Range.  Our next trip is planned for Gannett Peak in Wyoming.

Jeff mentioned this Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim idea last year and I was hooked right away. It brings together my 2 passions, endurance running and hiking.  What more could an endurance crazed hiker want?  How about doing it all for a tremendous cause?    Jeff and I had an opportunity to talk with Gus from Operation Rainbow right after he returned from Haiti.  The work this group is doing is completely selfless and they deserve our outmost respect and gratitude.  His description of the devastation to the people of Haiti and the long road to recovery was truly eye opening.  These images will keep me going during the long trails through the canyon.