Team CCO’s Marathon Man

Team CCO member, Ted Jindrich has run 14 marathons since 2015. He has plans to run three more this year! His support for CCO has only been surpassed by his commitment to charitable fitness. In the following interview, Ted shares his close history with CCO, his constant fitness endeavors, and his desire to support the causes close to his heart. We are grateful for the generous and exceptional ways he has supported CCO over the years. 

Why do you think charitable fitness is a good way to engage in endurance events?

“Running for a charity is a great way to support a work you care about. It opens the doors for friends and family to throw their support behind you for a good cause.” 

Ted, at the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

What charitable fitness plans do you have for this year?

“I’ll be running three marathons this year: the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Olympic Discovery Trail Marathon in Washington, and the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in Wisconsin. I did a New Years Day run with friends and they asked if I wanted to join them in a, ‘run every day for 100 days challenge.’ I accepted but I will admit there have been a few days I just wanted to relax after work but I will get out and run. It’s been something I look forward to. Believe it or not, I’ve enjoyed experiencing the January weather.”

How long have you run for Team CCO? Why?

“I started running for Team CCO in 2014. So it has been 8 years. I had known people who were part of team CCO for years. But they only ran the marathon and that was like going to the moon, as far as I was concerned. In 2014, Team CCO members were running a 6-mile obstacle race and I heard about it. I loved the idea of an obstacle race but 6 miles did not seem doable. I committed to run it anyway and I loved it! After that, Team CCO organizers suggested that I do the Chicago Marathon. I said no way. But after volunteering at the marathon that year, I decided to train for the 2015 Chicago Marathon. I’ve completed 14 marathons since the Chicago 2015 marathon. It’s been a pleasure to fundraise for CCO each year at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Obstacle course races are still my favorite type of race. I’ve done 13 so far. I’ve enjoyed doing the Tough Mudder, Savage Race, and Spartan Races. I can usually place in my age group because very few people my age do them.”

Ted, repairing planters and planting flowers at CCO.

Do you have a personal connection or experience with CCO that has caused you to be a long-term supporter?

“I have a long history with CCO. In the 1980s, the Cornerstone shelter started when my church community moved into the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago. Our neighborhood, Uptown, was very poor at that time and we began serving a meal each day. We saw the need for homeless single women and women with children to have a place to sleep. When we started, we could only offer overnight shelter. In 1989, we purchased a building and were able to offer a stable shelter space with case managers to support shelter guests and help them find housing and supportive services. After a full day of work, I spent many nights rehabbing that building so that women experiencing homelessness could move in. In 2018, I was asked to join the Cornerstone Board of Directors and I’ve enjoyed supporting CCO in that way too.”

What was the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon like? 

I had a goal of finishing in under four hours. My best time was 4:12. I was not able to keep the pace and I completed the marathon in 4:36. I was a bit disappointed but still enjoyed the race. The Chicago spectators are great. My wife met me on her bike in Lincoln Park and my daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids met me in Chinatown. At about mile 23 I was walking and an older guy (my age) came up and said something like. “Get up here. We’re crossing the finish line together.” I loved it and I started running with the guy but my legs cramped up and I had to walk again. I ran off and on from there to the finish. Running a marathon is a great opportunity to raise funds for a charity. I am thankful I can run. I’m looking forward to running the marathon again this year.

Thanks for sharing your history, experience, and plans with us, Ted. We’re grateful for all the ways you support CCO’s mission to address homelessness, provide shelter, accept people, and help them find a home.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can support CCO’s mission at the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, click here.

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