The Story

The abbreviated version of the Lynn and Jamie story: We met at a party on May 18, 1985 and have been together ever since. We were engaged two months after we met. The wedding was set for October of 1987 but sometimes things happen. In this case, Lynn was severely injured in a car accident and nearly died. She spent 17 days in a coma (or was it Tacoma). But seriously folks, She remained in a vegetative state (not Missouri). Sorry, I just can't help myself. She started talking 7 months later and hasn't stopped since. I think you can tell who's writing this part. She spent many months in and out of hospitals and rehab facilities and, as a result, has progressed greatly in her recovery. She works very hard at home every day. Her workouts average around 3-4 hours a day.


Lynn wanted to wait to get married until she could walk down the aisle and after 7 years of intense work she and her WONDERFUL husband, Jamie were married May 14, 1994. They live in Tinley Park, Illinois and had a beautiful daughter, Annalyn, on 8/23/99. She was born Lynn McGovern in St. Louis and luckily moved with her family to the Chicago area before it was too late. She still says "warsh" instead of "wash" but I guess I can live with that. She graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in 1980 and attended theUniversity of Illinois for 16 years. Or something like that. Maybe it just seemed that long. In her spare time (which she doesn't have much of), she enjoys hanging with her daughter more than anything.  


Jamie, on the other hand......why do people say "on the other hand?" What's wrong with the first hand?.........Sorry, I temporarily left the planet. OK, Jamie is the WORLD'S BEST HUSBAND according to Lynn. OK, she lost a bet and I got to put that in here because of it. He was the firstborn child, and the best, of Marilyn and Charlie Parks. He graduated in 1979 from Carl Sandburg High School. He also went to college and got STRAIGHT A'S in ALL of his classes. So he only took two courses in night school but he did get straight A's. In his leisure time (yeah, right), he enjoys hanging with his daughter, watching "The Amazing Race," running and listening to Jimmy  Buffett tunes. He is a letter carrier (only mildly disgruntled) at the Lansing, IL Post Office.


The 3 of us race together! Jamie pushes Lynn in a racing wheelchair. We got that in the spring of 2008. For the 17 years before that, we used a regular wheelchair. Jamie started running in 1982 and has done numerous races in the Chicago area. Have you ever heard of "obsessive-compulsive disorder?" Jamie has run (as of 3/27/16) 8825 consecutive days (over 24 years). Lynn joined with him beginning in 1991 at the Heart and Sole 10K in Olympia Fields, IL. They have completed 269 races and run (as of 3/27/16) 24,505.27 miles together. Their 24th and 36th races were the 1996 and 1997 Chicago Marathon. Their 169th race was the 2007 Toronto Waterfront Marathon where they ran it in 3:15:24 and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Race #171 was the 2008 Boston Marathon. They finished that in 3:24:46. Their best marathon time was in '96 when they finished Chicago in2:57:07, good enough to finish in the TOP 3% OF ALL FINISHERS. '97's race was almost as remarkable in that they didn't train for it and still were able to finish in the top 1/4 of all finishers. They started running and racing with their daughter, Annalyn, when she was just a few weeks old (she was strapped in on her Momma's lap). Unfortunately, she has grown to the point where she's too big to race with. We did run 53 races and a total of 4051.1 miles with her. Now she's old enough to do races herself and she's done 66 races of various distances so far with a best 5K time of 23:46. Included in those races are now a half-marathon and 2 duathlons (2 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run). Annalyn and Jamie raced together as a team in a Ride & Tie race in 2008 where they split time on a bike as they make their way along a 10-mile course. She joined her parents, along with a few friends and relatives to run the Ragnar 200-mile race from Madison, WI to Chicago in June of 2011. She did a total of 12.85 miles in under 24 hours. She also ran with her folks as part of a Parent/Child Team in a 2 X 5K Relay in Plainfield, IL. We finished 1st in our division. Annalyn ran cross-country and track at Grissom Middle School and also in her first 2 years at Victor J. Andrew High School. We let her take her Junior year off to concentrate on studies and the PSAT and ACT tests.


 Annalyn has an "official" running streak going now. She had been running every day since 2/4/07 but started out slow and short. Most days she would only do once or twice around the 1/3 mile block that we live on. Starting on 8/1/08, she began doing at least one mile every day. That's the minimum you need to run to have an official streak. She is stoked about having her own "streak" going, just like Dad. We don't force her to do it because then it would feel like a chore and she would probably lose interest quickly. Childhood obesity is a growing problem in this country in this iPod/Nintendo age and we're thrilled that she wants to keep herself fit. As of 3/27/16 she had done 2874 consecutive "official" days. She has run 4826.8 miles during her "official" running streak.


Because of their "love" story and unusual racing style, they have been featured on television  (Olympic Torch Relay coverage-live on NBC 5, taped interviews on Fox-32 and CLTV cable, and an article in the 3/31/02 Hammond Times,  Miracle Babies on PAX-TV 5/00, Oprah- 10/97, Ordinary/Extraordinary on CBS-8/97, FOX-TV's Chicago Marathon coverage-10/96, and news stories on NBC Chicago-10/96 and ABC Chicago-5/94). WBBM Radio in Chicago did an interview in 10/97 and they have been featured in the National Enquirer-4/97, Runner's World magazine-1/97, 3/97, 7/06 and as "Heroes of the Year" in the 12/07 issue (also a picture and short blurb about the Heroes Banquet in the February 2008 issue). They've also had  numerous mentions in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Southtown, Daily Herald, Star Newspapers, Hammond Times, as well as the Runner's World website coverage of the '96 Chicago Marathon and the August 2004 Frankfort Park District Newsletter. A new (and very well written) article appeared in the 9/28/07 edition of the Globe and Mail (Canada's national newspaper). A documentary titled "Marathon Love" was shown on 12/14/08 and 2/14/09 on the Discovery Health Channel and all over the world since then. It's all about the three of us. There is a 3:28 clip of the show on YouTube. A show called "World's Greatest Heroes" was shown on Nippon TV in Japan on 9/25/11. Their 1997 Oprah appearance was updated on "Oprah:Where Are They Now?" in November of 2012. Annalyn had an article written about her on the online newspaper when she ran the 2013 First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings while wearing Jamie's 2008 Boston Marathon shirt. We also appeared in Fit Christian, an online publication, in a article written by Chris Chapan. Most recent publicity has been from the Runner's World Cover Contest on the, in the Chicago Trib Local section and on WJOL-1340 AM on the Kevin Kollins Show.


They give ALL of the credit for their individual and collective achievements to God. Matthew 19:26 says, "With God, ALL things are possible." Phillippians 4:13 says, "I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me." They are members of Eagle Rock Community Church in Homer Glen, IL. They enjoy singing with the Worship Team and choir and occasionally doing special music during the service.


Lynn and Jamie just love to hear from their adoring public. You can e-mail them by clicking here on They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

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