CHAMPAIGN CO. -- Many people are already signing-up for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. The WCIA-3 Morning Show is celebrating "Marathon Mondays” by sharing a new “Face of the Race” story every Monday leading up to race day. WCIA-3's Jillian Deam introduces us one Unity High School student with a different perspective on the big race.
Lacing-up, stretching out and hitting the pavement.
It’s routine for Ashley Eisenmenger.
"I run Monday’s and Thursdays and Saturdays,” Eisenmenger said.
She's training for her second half-marathon.
"I like that's it's an individual sport and you're kind of beating yourself, it's different from a team atmosphere."
She'll join thousands of other runners who share the same passion at the marathon.
But Ashley has a unique perspective.
"I'm legally blind, so I run with a guide,” she said.
“I can't see the people on the course or the spectators,"
Ashley runs while tethered to a guide who gives her verbal cues.
“She's literally acting as my eyes."
While her guide, Elizabeth Jones leads the way, the race day crowd keeps her going.
“The louder, the better—to have people yelling at you, it’s incredible. It keeps you motivated and it keeps you going. It pushes me through the last 2-3 miles.
But Ashley doesn’t stop there.
"I don't set limits for myself."
Ashley only sets goals.
“I want to finish in under 2:30—I love it and I want to keep doing it."