Kayla Caudle impacts lives one basketball bounce at a time

By Caroline Kurdej Medill Reports There’s a reason the hallway leading to Doug Bruno’s office is decorated with hard hats, lunch pails and pictures of steelworkers. “I want my players to walk out the door here, knowing there’s a real-life world out there,” Bruno said. Kayla Caudle, a rising sophomore on DePaul University’s women’s basketball […]

‘Run as long as you can until you can’t’: The motivation behind ultrarunning

By Caroline Kurdej Medill Reports Ultrarunner Andrea Kooiman was never a superstar cross-country runner in high school. “I really only joined because there was a dude on the team I liked,” she said with a giggle. Yet since her high school days, Kooiman has competed in 150+ ultramarathons and marathons. Now, at 44, she’s crossed […]

26.2% resilience, 73.8% stupidity: an essay


By Caroline Kurdej Medill Reports I arrived at the start line trembling — from the cold and the nerves — ready to vomit. “Hello, marathoners! Are you ready for the 42nd Bank of America Chicago Marathon?” The announcer’s voice boomed from the speakers off LaSalle Street. The crowd roared. Runners started stripping, tearing off their […]

Goalkeeper turned runner, Amanda Macuiba, strides toward Olympic Marathon Time Trials

By Caroline Kurdej Medill Reports Amanda Macuiba sits perched on a high chair at Chicago’s Native Foods Café. Her outfit is as lively as her personality: her tan coat is patterned with abstract floral prints, her beige sweater accentuated with chunky silver jewelry. Her hair and makeup look flawless, with not a single blonde curl […]

Plant power: Vegan track stars share how they compete in meets without meat

By Caroline Kurdej Medill Reports  Like 3 percent of Americans, DePaul University running stars Violet and Henry Harper self-identify as vegans. On a recent Wednesday evening, the Division I athletes ambled into their student center.  The pace: a lot slower than last month, when Violet led her Blue Demon teammates in the Badger Invite women’s […]