Join Fleet Feet and New Balance at the Run Your Way Panel on June 29th

Run Your Way is not just about celebrating the joy of running but validating all those who run and the different ways in which they run, it’s about inviting others to join their local running communities and promoting an inclusive run culture. We’re partnering with New Balance to bring that to life with a panel of diverse Chicago runners from all walks of life.

The event will kick off at 6pm with a demo run where you'll get the chance to test out a variety of New Balance performance running shoes. At 7pm, enjoy a happy hour with drinks and food courtesy of New Balance and CulturePop Soda before the panel begins at 7:30pm. This panel will be a conversation moderated by Dave Zimmer and Jillian Manfredi. 

Attendees will receive a free hat or tote while supplies last. RSVP here.

The panelists:

Melanie Pozdol (she/her/hers) @mel_poz

Michel Moreau (He/Him) @Moreau914/@keepingpacepod

Joshua Rutowski (He/Him) @joshrutowski

Celia Corral (She/Her/ella) @celiacorral0525/@midwaymilechasers

Cynthia Kmak (they/them) @cynthiakmak


How long you've been running for:

Melanie: I've been running since elementary school! I was a hurdler on the track team in middle and high school and continued running for fun all throughout college and grad school. I got really involved in CrossFit starting in 2013, and though I still go to CrossFit on occasion, I shifted my focus to running and marathon training when I ran my first marathon (Chicago in 2019!). Since then I have run 8 marathons (including 2 Bostons) and will be running #9 this fall in New York City.

Michel: I’ve been running for about 13 years now 

Joshua: 2 years

Celia: I have been running since 2010 but I truly and completely fell in love with running after my first half in 2012 and my first Chicago marathon in 2013. 

Cynthia: found their love for distance running in 2007. They went out for a daily 3 mile run with a friend and ten miles later never looked back. 


Your connection to Fleet Feet Chicago

Melanie: I have been involved with Fleet Feet sponsored programs since 2019. I have participated in Chicago Endurance Sports training programs including marathon, half marathon, and Winter Warriors programs, and have served as a CES pacer as well. I officially joined racing team in 2020 and love the Fleet Feet community!

Michel: I work at the LV store and work with CES Performance/racing team 

Joshua: Fleet Feet Racing Team and my go-to store for everything running!

Celia: I started working at Fleet Feet south loop in 2022. Fleet Feet SL has visited my running group Midway Mile Chasers for a few events and have always been very pleasant and welcoming. So when the opportunity came up I quickly joined the Fleet Feet family. 

Cynthia: is an RRCA certified coach and began coaching for Fleet Feet’s Chicago Endurance Sports in 2014. They are the a driving force and lead coach of CES Performance and lead coach of the Fleet Feet Racing Team powered by New Balance. Cynthia also coaches people individually.


Any running accomplishments

Melanie: I think my biggest running accomplishment is discovering my "talent" as a beer miler! After running some unofficial beer miles with members of Fleet Feet Racing Team in 2021, I was able to establish myself as a member of Team USA's Women's Beer Mile team, running a PR of 6:37 at the US National Championships last summer. Following the US Championships, I was able to travel to Belgium for the World Classic in October 2022, where I was crowned the Women's World Champion. The Beer Mile World Classic will be in Chicago on July will be a blast and we'd love to have you come out to watch!  (see for more info!)

Joshua: Ran my first 50 miler a few weeks ago

Celia: I ran 9 Chicago Marathons, several other marathons , 4 ultras (50k) and 4 indoor triathlons. 

Cynthia: has completed 1 triathlon, over 35 marathons (a handful being Boston), 3 ultra marathons (2 - 50Ks and a 50 mile) and more half marathons than they can remember. 


Any ways you've involved yourself in your running community: 

Melanie: I've gained so many friends in the running community! Since I switched my fitness focus to running in 2019, I have attended Universal Sole fun runs and trail races, Friday morning runs and fun social events with West Town Brew Crew (they have been great supporters of my beer miling!), Lakeview Run Club runs and social events, events hosted by Mikkeller Running (including, of course, a beer mile!), and Fleet Feet fun runs at most of the Chicago-area locations. There are so many great running groups here in Chicago and I'd love to be able to run with all of them all the time, but I try to get out there as best as I can. 

Michel: Outside of running, I love watching a variety of sporting events, going to concerts, and reading.  I also coach cross country, freshman basketball, and assist with track at a high school in the northern burbs. 

Joshua: Involvement through various running communities such as FFRT, Chicago Endurance Sports (CES)

Celia: I was voted “Extraordinary Women Of The 22nd  district” by State representative Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar in 2022. My husband and I founded midwaymilechasers in 2013. It has been an amazing journey since the day we started the club in my community. We meet every Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have helped many athletes cross finish lines by welcoming them, encouraging them, educating and sharing my experience with them. MMC vision has always been “no one left behind” and that not only means on the pavement by helping athletes understand the world of running/walking. MMC has crossed many finish lines but I am most proud of is all the community coming together and working together to make a difference in our community. We have run many miles but also helped many organizations like “Gifts of Liam” which we are on our 3rd year 5k , this year we collected over 4000 diapers to donate to the organization. 

Cynthia: has paced for several half marathon and marathon races and loves giving back to the running community. 


Anything else you'd like to add about yourself, other hobbies, interests, goals: 

Melanie: Music has been a big part of my life since a young age - I have played violin since I was 5 and oboe since I was 10 and I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees in music performance. After transitioning out of a full-time orchestra job in 2016, I have been a member of the Lakeview Orchestra since 2018 and serve as Principal Oboist. Our final concert of the season is June 11, and we will have a great season ahead for 2023-2024! I also do CrossFit at Feast Fitness here in the city and enjoy strength training. I love Chicago in the summer and am looking forward to Friday Morning Swim Club, street festivals, and going to the beach! I also hope to get back to the mountains soon for some hiking. Aside from hoping to break 6:30 in the beer mile this year, I hope to qualify for Boston in 2025, which will be held on my 37th birthday.

Michel: I host a podcast called Keeping Pace that focuses on runners of color and their story within the running community

Joshua: Goals for running this year involve getting out on more trail races including the Vermont 100 and setting some more PR's! Outside of running, I also race sailboats here in Chicago

Celia: I am 52, I have a daughter who’s soon to be 17 years old. I own two fury baby cats, and married to Martin who also loves running but is in it for the medals. In December 2022 I had to go in for a knee surgery , it’s helped me to slow down , listen to my body and use other ways to stay active. Besides running, I,love dancing but terrible at it so I do Zumba classes. One of my goals is to learn to swim so one day I can do an outdoor triathlon. I currently also work with CEM and my interest is community engagement and social involvement in the running industry.  

Cynthia: Help guide people (including themselves) to happier healthier lives, and run a marathon in every state! Besides being a stellar running coach, Cynthia is a professional comedian and improviser and performs all over the city and some lucky suburbs. They are great at cooking vegan food and being sober (5 years and thriving)! If you ever want to try something new or are wondering where you can get plant based ice cream, just ask Cynthia. They also enjoy going on walks, hiking, lifting weights, painting, drawing, playing the saxophone, singing, and following all the rules of the road while biking!

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