Sunday, December 5, 2010

Janeth going for the Gold in her basement :)

My friend Janeth Salazar-Ohst, a 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Team Trials qualifier, is no stranger to injury. Any athlete will tell you that not one of us is immune to the setbacks that come along with running. For Janeth, this means taking time off for foot surgery and subsequent rehab.  Here's a video of Janeth cross-training during her hiatus from running and trying to psyche herself up.

Miles & Trials: Cross-Training with Janeth from WendyCity Productions

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Highlights from the 2010 Chicago Marathon

WendyCity Productions was at the 2010 Chicago Marathon, filming some of our girls for our documentary. Here is a highlight video from some of the footage me and my crew shot. I hope this motivates and inspires everyone who views it to get up and move!

2010 Chicago Marathon from WendyCity Productions

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ugh, so close!

Heather Prekop shared her thoughts on October 17, one week after attempting to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials in the 2010 Chicago Marathon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Planning the next phase of production

WendyCity Productions is currently on a short filming hiatus while we plan the next phase of production (which includes reaching out to potential partners and sponsors). We've had a few changes in the lineup of ladies being featured in the documentary and will be posting videos introducing some new faces, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please check out this video about Janeth Salazar-Ohst, one of our film consultants who made it to the 1996 Olympic Marathon Team Trials. Janeth and I entered this video into the 2009 Nike "Believe in the Run" video contest and we were thrilled to have won Second Place, Best Video! This was the singular reason I decided to move forward and produce a documentary about women and the Trials.

Nike Contest: 2nd Place, Best Video (I Believe in the Run) from WendyCity Productions on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's been three weeks since the Chicago Marathon and Christina's been ending the running season by competing in some local Fall races. She set a 17:55 5K PR last weekend in the Go Go Green 5K but today's Halloween Trick or Treat Trot 5K/10K was extra-special because she was joined by her fiancee, Jeff who was in town from Michigan for the weekend. Jeff decided to race Christina. Although she was 1st woman overall (in the 10K), Jeff beat her. This time :) Fast legs are sure to be genetic in their new family!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Film Trailer

The day before the Chicago Marathon, Christina and Heather did one more workout before attempting an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying run in their home town. The forecast called for hot weather and the girls were worried.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miles & Trials Ladies: Post-Race

Wow, a year of training for the 2010 Chicago Marathon and now it's over! Five of the girls attempted to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Team Trials. How did they do? One qualified, one ran a PR, two dropped out due to the heat. Which girl did what? Well, you'll just have to watch the film when it's completed to find out!

L-R:  Christina Overbeck, Heather Prekop, Amy Haney
L-R:  Claudia Becque, Suzanne Thomas Ryan

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Becque Qualifies for 2012!

Claudia Beque has qualified for her second U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. Her time of 2:44:03 is a 49-second PR under her time at  the 2008 Napa Valley Marathon. Congratulations, Clauds!

Photo: George Host


A new PR! 2:30:53!

Tera Moody - 10th Place, 3rd American - 2010 Chicago Marathon

Friday, October 8, 2010

Christina & Heather on the News!

Here's the video of Christina Overbeck and Heather Bolingbroke Prekop on ABC7 being interviewed about the Chicago Marathon and Joan Benoit's attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials at the age of 53! Christina said her race strategy is to stay on Joanie's butt the entire time. Overbeck recently told me, "I'd still get to see the views 'cause I'm taller than her so I could still see the crowd!" I'm thinking I should get her to wear a helmet cam :)

Interview with Deena Kastor & Ryan Hall!

We had a wonderful day at the Chicago Marathon Elite Athlete press conference. To be in the same room with some of the best runners in the world was certainly a thrill but the icing on the cake of our day was having a personal interview with Deena Kastor and a surprise visit from Ryan Hall! Several of the girls attended and had a chance to ask Deena and Ryan questions related to their own training for the Olympic Trials. Deena and Ryan's advice and positive outlook put to rest many of the worries that the girls are having about their race on Sunday.  As Christina posted on her Facebook page, "Feeling fully motivated!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Miles & Trials" on the News!

Thank you to ABC7 Chicago's very own John Garcia for our first-ever on-camera interview about our film and the girls' attempts to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials! 

Christina Overbeck, Heather Prekop (a new addition to the film) and I met with John at Niketown on Michigan Avenue where they were holding a huge Chicago Marathon pep rally. Joan Benoit, Sammy Wanjiru (Gold Medalist in the 2008 Olympic Marathon and winner of last year's Chicago Marathon) were there, along with other world-class Nike-sponsored Elite marathoners. We're really excited to see ourselves on t.v. and I will try to get the clip to post on this blog. 

Tomorrow, I will be attending the Chicago Marathon Elite Athlete Press conference with some of the world's best distance runners and media from all over the globe. It's sure to be a fantastic, inspiring event!

The 2010 Chicago Marathon: THREE MORE DAYS!!

Producer Wendy Shulik, Christina Overbeck, Heather Prekop & John Garcia, ABC7 Field Reporter

Monday, October 4, 2010

Choose a Positive Thought!

Christina ran one more 5K this past weekend (the Makin' Tracks 5K in River Forest, IL) to test out her legs before the Chicago Marathon. She was 3rd overall (for men and women) and won 1st place Female! Head on over to Christina's blog, "Chicago's Engi-Runner Girl" and leave her some message of encouragement. Sunday will be her second-ever marathon and hopefully, she'll punch her ticket to Houston, the site of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials on January 14, 2012!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

9 More Days!

I'll be interviewing Christina Overbeck this evening to get her thoughts on her pending attempt to qualify for the Trials at the Chicago Marathon on 10/10. Like many runners, she's feeling a bit anxious about the race. However, Christina is one of the most positive women I've ever known and I think this photo says it all! (p.s. There's still time to make a donation to our Film Fund. Please help me tell Christina's and the other ladies' stories by clicking on the orange Donate button on the right!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 More Days!

The countdown to the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10 has begun and I am SO EXCITED for race day! Our ladies have begun their taper and are mentally preparing to run qualifying times to make it to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials. We are still short on funds for the video shoot and are hoping that we will receive just a few more donations to our Film Fund by 10/8, the date of the Elite Athlete Press Conference (click on the orange "Donate" button to the right if you'd like to help us). I will be interviewing two-time U.S. Olympian, medalist and record-holder, Deena Kastor, who will be doing a Q&A with our ladies, which is an honor and a thrill!

Since we began production on "Miles & Trials" last spring, the experience has been nothing short of amazing. So many runners, both in Chicago and across the nation have been extremely supportive by sharing our video trailers, and links to our film's website and blog with their friends, posting them on Facebook, etc. I feel extremely blessed. I truly love running, the running community, and producing this film. For anyone who has not had the opportunity to run the Chicago Marathon, here's a little video from last year to give you an idea of how amazing this race is:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

11 Days 'til Race Day!

Yikes!! We are still $300 short of our budget goal for filming at the Chicago Marathon. We've got some special interviews lined up with some VERY famous Olympians (see if you can guess who!) and need to rent gear for an additional day of shooting. Can anyone help us? Please click on the orange "Donate" button on the upper-right side of this page :) THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

18 Days until the Chicago Marathon & we need your help!

I can't believe it's already been six months since production began on "Miles & Trials: Running Towards 2012!" Our first day of filming was on 3/21 at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago, where Alona, Beth, Christina and Claudia shook off the frost of a long winter and tested their fitness levels. (Beth actually set a PR, which thrilled her to no end!)

As production has continued, life's little challenges have thrown everyone curve balls here and there. Several of us have been victims of the current recession and were downsized from our places of employment (including this producer) and there has been injury, illness and even an engagement. That's a lot of drama in six months! One of the biggest challenges we're currently facing is that producing a documentary film, even on a shoestring budget, costs more than initially anticipated. There's a constant need for batteries, memory cards, hiring additional crew members to assist with shooting some of the larger events, as well as gear rental and the purchase of a new production-quality video camera for myself (my current camera is on its last legs).

To that end, I have established a Film Fund to assist us with our production expenses. I take seriously my responsibility to help the girls achieve their goals of qualifying for the Olympic Trials, as well as being an advocate for the running community. We've had some generous donations but are hopeful that we'll receive additional funds before the Chicago Marathon in 18 days. The estimated budget for the 10/10 Chicago Marathon shoot is $900 and as of now, we're about $400 short of our goal. If you or anyone you know would be willing to support this film, please click the orange Donate button on the upper right-hand side of this page which will direct you to our PayPal Film Fund account. You can also donate through our official film website (link below). Thank you!

Website: Miles & Trials: Running Towards 2012

Monday, September 20, 2010

Official Chicago Marathon Program (page 20)

(click image to enlarge)

We've got a full-page article about the film in the Official Program of the 2010 Chicago Marathon, published by "Chicago Athlete" magazine. I happened upon it by accident while I was waiting to meet the Executive Director of the Chicago Area Runners Association in his office today. I knew that an article would be published in the Program but thought it would be just a small blurb. Imagine my surprise seeing this big spread when I didn't expect it to even be out yet :) 

When this article went to press, three of our four athletes were scheduled to run Chicago and attempt to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials. However, as is the case when filming a documentary, the story can change from day to day. If I could script it out, all of the girls would qualify for the Trials and there would be five spots on the U.S. Olympic Marathon team. (including one for Tera Moody!) As of today, which of our ladies will be doing the Chicago Marathon is unconfirmed. Unfortunately, Christina pulled her hamstring last Sunday during a planned 20-miler and is uncertain about her ability to qualify in Chicago. We're all rooting for a quick recovery for Little C by 10/10/10! Due to where she is in her training cycle, Beth has decided to save her attempt for a late winter or spring marathon, while Alona has elected to postpone a qualifier for a date TBD. I am not sure what Claudia's plans are but should know soon. Anything can happen when you're following a group of elite athletes, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Epic Challenge = Epic Impact

I'd like to share a video that I produced for our top U.S. Marathoner, Ryan Hall and his Hall Steps Foundation. It's about how running for charity can make an impact on the world. I feel honored and privileged to have been given this task because I know that doing something that we love can really make a difference to others :)
Hall Steps Foundation Charity Promo 091110

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We have a new look! Visit our new website for our film, Miles and Trials: Running Towards 2012.

Click here: Milesandtrialsfilm

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Congratulations to our own Christina Overbeck on her acceptance to Northwestern University's Prosthetics-Orthotics Program! Our little go-getter has had quite a year already... a full summer of training and racing, an engagement to her boyfriend Jeff, moving to a new apartment, and volunteering at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). Christina will now use her talents as an Engineer to help amputees live a full life. Oh, and there's just one little matter left for her to accomplish... qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials on October 10th at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Go, Christina!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Alona Banai on TV!

WendyCity Productions spent the morning at Chicago's WGN-TV watching Coach Jenny Hadfield shoot a mid-day news segment about the upcoming Chicago Half Marathon (9/12). One of the stars of our film, Alona Banai, demonstrated the new ElliptiGO elliptical bike, which Jenny is a spokesperson for. What fun! Alona learned how to ride the ElliptiGO in about 10 minutes, just in time for the live feed. Like many runners, Alona has been struggling with the occasional injury and the ElliptiGO is a fabulous cross-training device that allows runners to maintain their fitness level while rehabbing. Check out the video of their interview!


Monday, August 2, 2010


Summer has brought exciting performances by some of our female athletes.

On July 15th, Christina Overbeck was first place female (and 6th overall) in the Chicago Firefighter’s Race for the Kids 5K. Christina loves to race and is giving it 100% despite recently moving, getting engaged and juggling her training while volunteering in the prosthetics practice at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She has already competed in about five races this summer!

Tera Moody has traveled to Chicago to race several times this season. After winning the 2010 Shamrock Shuffle in March (while injured), she returned on August 1st and won again at the Rock ‘n Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Prior to the event, Tera sent me an email stating, “A New Zealand gal who beat me in a race last weekend (Fiona Docherty) is here, so I’m definitely not expecting to win. Gotta be patient and focus on 10/10!” Tera added that she intended to run a hard effort and have a lot of fun. Which she did... by beating Docherty and winning in 1:13:36, just 44 seconds off of her 1:12:52 PR set in January at the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston! If Tera continues to win races here, the City of Chicago may have to rename Columbus Drive "Moody Boulevard!"

Claudia Becque, Beth Chenoweth and Alona Banai are being conservative with their race schedules this summer as they continue to train for the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10, where each is tentatively schedule to race in hopes of running a U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials qualifying time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July Weekend

This holiday weekend at the height of summer racing season was a success for several of our female athletes.

Tera Moody competed in the 25th Fifth Season 8K in Cedar Rapids, IA, placing first in 27:08 with tough competition against second place finisher Rachel Marchand, who's run mid-15:00 for 5K and has run a low 26:00 on this course.

The end of a busy week spent moving into a new apartment together culminated with Christina Overbeck and Alona Banai racing in the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 3rd 4-miler. Both women were pleased with their results: Christina tied for 3rd place in 23:41 while Alona finished in 24:48. Both women were quite pleased with their times and feel optimistic about their upcoming races and the potential to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials at the 2010 Chicago Marathon in October.

Click HERE for a brief interview with Christina Overbeck
about her holiday weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Summer racing season is in full swing! Our "Miles and Trials" ladies have a busy calendar ahead: lots of 5Ks, trail races and 1/2 marathons and you can bet that WendyCity Productions will be out there filming them all!

First up for Alona and Christina is the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th 4-miler.  Alona will then tackle the Waterfall Glenn Xtreme 10, a scenic and challenging 10 mile trail race through beautiful Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. 2010 will culminate with the Chicago Marathon on October 10th where some of our ladies hope to run an Olympic Marathon Team Trials qualifying time. Until then, there is much work to be done both in training and on the home front. Life's challenges make the ride an interesting (albeit stressful) one but our athletes are determined, focused and extremely goal-oriented women.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Soldier Field 10 Mile - May 29, 2010

Chicago was blessed with beautiful weather as Memorial Day weekend kicked off with the Soldier Field 10 Mile, presented by adidas and Fleet Feet Sports Chicago. Tera Moody, returning from several months off to rehab some nagging injuries, ran the race as a hard tempo workout and was all smiles with a second place 57:42 (1st was Kate McGregor, winner of the 2010 USA 15K Championships.)

Christina Overbeck had planned to run the race as a workout but the sunshine and excitement about the day (and a new fiancee) compelled her to race instead. She ran a respectable 1:03:05, placing 8th amongst very tough competition.

Beth Chenoweth chose to forgo racing to pace her Nike/Fleet Feet Elite Racing teammate Beth Lakier to a 1:10:57 PR. These are very competitive ladies but Beth C. is an example of how supportive these women are of each other and truly exemplifies the meaning of teamwork. As Tera told me, fast competition makes her work harder, resulting in faster times!

Production Day #1... The Shamrock Shuffle 8K March 21, 2010

Production on “Running Towards 2012: Are We There Yet?” commenced on March 21, 2012 at The Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago where all four of our women competed. “The Shuffle” is the kick-off to Chicago’s running and marathon training season and many runners use it as a race to gauge their fitness level after a long winter and determine what work needs to be done in the coming months. Tera Moody, one of America’s top distance runners (who placed 5th in the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Team Trials) won the race despite struggling with injuries. Tera has graciously agreed to participate in this documentary and granted us a long interview the day after her win. Her insight into women’s racing, its joys and struggles, will add an exciting element to this film.