Back in her hometown, Jessica Flores decided to run the 2017 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon on her 27thbirthday. No stranger to the half marathon distance, this was Flores’s first time running in the city she grew up in. 

“It was so much fun just seeing the whole city and the parts that we ran,” she said. “The whole city was out cheering and just being around so many runners was so motivating. It was so awesome to see all the bands and all the people that were out. We really got to see the spirit of Chicago.”

Flores had the chance to meet her idol, Kathrine Switzer at the expo who inspired her to take on the 13.1-mile challenge for her birthday celebration.

“I think it was such a special moment to meet someone who’s been so influential in women’s sports. It was incredible to see her and meet with her. I followed her this spring when she ran the Boston marathon again. She’s a woman we should all be proud of.”

Every runner has a story. Share your favorite moments or memories from running with Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.