Since her arrival in Chicago, Illinois, in 1989, Guadalupe Merlos has continuously been involved in athletics. Her effort to learn to run began during her third year of high school.
At first, she completed a 400-meter lap, where she felt unstoppable, and her desire to improve her times kept her in the sport until she broke the school records of 1 and 2 miles.
A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Merlos did her best to run cross-country and swim. “During my first year, I enjoyed every race on the track. I had an incredible coach who knew how to unleash my inner strength, a potential I didn’t know I had in me.
With discipline, confidence, and perseverance, she went to the Vincennes University field and won a scholarship to St. Thomas University, where she participated in the Cross Country and Marathon programs. At both universities, she was the top female athlete and athlete of the year.
Merlos stopped her career for 5 years and returned with more interest in 2010 when she entered the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run 5K competition. A year later, she committed to training hard again.
Today she has won countless races from 5k’s to half-marathons and ranked in the top three in 2 marathons. Her personal best was achieved in the St. Louis Missouri Marathon in April 2016 with a time of 3:00:24, that same year, she earned a title in the Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run and two years later, she repeated the achievement.
She has completed 7 marathons, including the Chicago Marathon in October 2019. Her next stop is the Berlin Marathon on September 29, 2020.
Since 2018, she has been training athletes of all levels, some interested in improving their form, their current performance, and others interested in completing their first half-marathon or full marathon.
She emphasizes the importance of warming up and cooling down athletes’ muscles to avoid injury. Her mission for her team is to help them see beyond their potential. By spending just 1 hour, a few times a week, they can increase their mental and physical strength.
“I realized that if I was able to go beyond my expectations, anyone could do it too. As a coach, I enjoy watching and listening to how many break down their own barriers and strengthen their minds.”