Some might call James Vergara an overachiever. He would say he is passionate.
As an Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent law student, editor of Chicago-Kent's Journal of Intellectual Property and Law Review, and a volunteer at the Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic, Vergara doesn't always have time for everything.
But he makes time for running -- at 1 a.m., between classes, whenever.
"Running is a big passion," Vergara explains. "I make it a point to run even if that means late at night like 1 a.m. If you love something so much, you will find time."
This weekend he will join thousands to run the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Vergara is no stranger to marathons. The Oct. 9 race will be his 4th since 2009. He first ran the Chicago marathon in 2009 and achieved a personal best of 3 hours and 23 minutes.
But Chicago holds a special place in his heart.
It's one of his favorites because of the flat ground and the larger community.
"I love the crowd," he said. "Every neighborhood you have a different crowd. Absolute strangers cheering for your success is absolutely lovely."
It takes hard work, though. Vergara has been training since June.
His advice for first-timers? Remember to stay hydrated. "The weather is so unpredictable," he said. "Water is key."