Why Will You #runsiouxfalls?
#ShareAStory with Coca-Cola
Name: Jim Diego
Hometown: New York, NY
Jim Diego is from New York City and is an avid runner, having in just over two years completed a half marathon in all fifty states, and is in the process of doing the same with the 26.2 mile distance! As of June 2018, Jim has completed 89 half marathons and 75 marathons, both in the US and internationally.
He has been highly recognized as a national anthem singer at road races all over the country. In New York, he sang at the start of both the 2015 and 2017 TCS New York City Marathons, as well as at the inaugural 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon (which attracted over 13,000 runners to the streets of Brooklyn.)
Jim will be making the trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in September and will sing the National Anthem prior to the Sioux Falls Marathon at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
As his singing talents began to be recognized at road races, he decided to pursue the challenge of singing the national anthem in all fifty states. In 2016, the first year of pursuing this unique goal, he sang at distance races in a whopping 18 U.S. states. The following year, Jim added another 21 new states, bringing his total to 40 states at the start of 2018. By November 2018, he will complete all 50 states when he sings the national anthem at the start of the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which will also be his 50th state for full marathons. He is also in the process of certifying this goal and record with the Guinness Book of World Records – the first to sing the Star Spangled Banner and immediately thereafter, pounding the pavement for 13.1 to as much as 26.2 miles!
Of note, he has lent his singing talents at several popular races including:
- 2017 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon in Austin, TX;
- 2017 Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM, where for the first time in the 28 year history of the race, Jim sang the Philippine National Anthem, "Lupang Hinirang," in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the actual Bataan Death March that occurred in the Philippines during World War II;
- 2017 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN;
- 2017 Detroit Free Press Marathon in Detroit, MI, in October 2017, where he actually sang BOTH the American and Canadian national anthems for over 15,000 runners and fans cheering on runners at the start of the 40th anniversary of this race
- Tracktown USA Summer Series Championship Meet, held at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York City, his first at a professional track meet;
- and at the 2018 Big Sur International Marathon in Big Sur, CA.
Jim is a member of New York Road Runners, Front Runners New York, Black Sheep Run, Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics, Double Agents, 100 Half Marathons Club, and 50 States Marathon Club; and Marathon Globetrotters. He is a three year member of Team Nuun, and serves as a senior ambassador for nuun hydration, and is also an ambassador for INKnBURN athletic apparel. By day, Jim is a senior project manager for real estate development and urban planning at the not-for-profit Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. As a singer, he's performed with his a cappella group, Restated, since founding it in 2007; as well as with Broadway Barkada, a Filipino performance troupe and philanthropic organization, with which he's performed at such renowned venues as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall – and at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers basketball game!
Name: Kailee Schwader
Hometown: Howard, SD
Kailee will run her second Marathon in 2018 after, her first since completing the Sioux Falls Marathon in 2016.
Running has always been my "out." When I was 16, my sister passed away, three years later my om passed away from cancer. Running is the only thing that kept me grounded in my faith. There were so many runs where God reassured me everything was going to be OK. I am running the Sioux Falls Marathon to show my sons that anything they set their mind to can be achieved and I hope they see me cross the finish line and will be proud of me and while also seeing that setting challenging goals is all a part of living a faith-filled life. I also hope to inspire new moms to see that just because they have kids, and their bodies have changed, does not mean they can't find something that empowers them to feel better. Running and motherhood go hand-in-hand. They both take great strength and show all of the wonderful things God can do in our lives.