Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon runner hopes to inspire other deaf runners

All the events for this year's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Chicago Half Marathon are just about a week away. There is a first-time runner in this year's race that is hoping to inspire others to take on new challenges.

It's one of the most fun races of the year, and that's exactly the reason why Melissa Manak is doing her first 10K at the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon.

"It has music and even though I'm deaf, I want feel the music," said Manak. "That's more fun to me, feeling the music than listening to music. So I pity everyone that can hear it, but I can feel it, so I'm listening to them that way."

Manak doesn't let her hearing impairment stop her and needs no modifications to take on this new challenge. She's been training since last fall and says running helps clear her mind.

"It's a mental health thing for me," she said. "People listen to music, I don't. I'm deaf, so music and me sweating, it doesn't work for me. When I'm running, I'm thinking about life, fixing my problems."

Manak wants to encourage other people with hearing impairments to take part in running and if you're coming out next week, stop and say hello.

"If there are other deaf people, come up to me. I want to see other deaf people running. I enjoy other people like me running. You see a lot of hearing people, so hopefully I see other deaf people come."

The Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon kicks off next Saturday July 21. For more information, visit
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