, in a sense, is returning to her
...Wilkans, 34, an emergency-room nurse at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington and a single mother in Crystal Lake, is running the 26.2-mile course to benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Toward that end, Wilkans
raised $4,386 for the nonprofit agency. She
embraced the sport two years ago when she
got a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, Apollo.Last fall, she
began training seriously.Every Saturday, she
runs with the Lake Zurich Alpine Runners at Lake Zurich High School
runs between 3 and 16 miles at a stretch, three to four times a week.She
logged a personal-best of 18 miles Sept. 4. Her
long road began last Thanksgiving with the 5K (3.1-mile) Crystal Lake Turkey Trot.The 5-mile Polar Bear Run followed in December at Lippold Park and the Fifth Third Half Marathon in St. Charles June 6.She
finished first in her
age group at Algonquin's
Founder's Day run in July. Wilkans
wanted more mileage out of running, so looked for an organization to benefit.The AIDS Foundation
It is very lonely disease," Wilkans
said. She also encountered AIDS patients while working at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago.Wilkans graduated from UIC with a nursing degree in 1999.
"I'm a people person.I love ER nursing.It's a job that requires a lot of expertise and skill," Wilkans
said."I'm with people at a critical moment.
They are discovering their sexuality earlier," Wilkans
said."This is a good way to tell Marc about the dangers.He
knows I'm a nurse, but he's
also my son." Wilkans
collected $950 from a 50/50 raffle.She
secured a combined $400 in donations from the Crystal lake Professional Firefighters Association
and the Professional Firefighters of Lake Zurich
will be among 125 people participating in Hawaiian run.
credited running for reducing stress and providing an opportunity to socialize with friends.She
sleeps better.And because she is a nurse, Wilkans knows enough about the body to successfully treat injuries using rest, ice, compression and elevation.
"The 'runners' high' doesn't necessarily happen when you're running.It's when you are done," she
...Donate by phone: Leslie Wilkans at (815) 353-7586 Information: (312) 765-0210