Trip James, Dr. Khurram RashidWork neighbor. Customer. Friend. Those are just a few terms INB Peoria’s Market Manager Trip James uses to refer to Dr. Khurram Rashid, owner of Rashid Putnam Plastic Surgery. He recently added “workout buddy” to the list when Khurram challenged Trip to run the Chicago Half Marathon. Trip says, “I played rugby and football growing up, but I didn’t run long distances. Actually, if you’d have told my 18-year-old self that I’d be running for distance one day . . . my coaches and I would have said, ‘Never.’”

But run he did on Sept. 24, finishing his first half marathon just 2:25 minutes behind the experienced runner, Khurram. In return for Trip taking the running challenge – and completing it on a very hot, late September day — Khurram is spending some time in the weight room, something he has not done before.

Trip says, “We challenged each other because we simply wanted to help make each other better. He wanted to learn weight training, and I was open to learning about long-distance running.”

They put their plan in action, using any spare time to train, working around the doctor’s surgery schedule. 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. 6:15 p.m. on a weeknight.

Trip says it was his time as a wilderness guide that got him through the training and marathon itself. “We’d have to go out a 4 a.m., paddle for hours at a time, and carry a canoe through the woods. You had no choice but to keep going.” Trip also ran a 10K in Peoria prior to the half marathon with Dr. Rashid. He learned from that experience. “You need headphones and music. I need a knee brace . . . you learn from your mistakes.”

To mark the half marathon, Trip’s wife, Colleen James, and Khurram’s wife, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Rashid, an orthopedic surgeon with OSF Healthcare, were on hand. Colleen to cheer them on and document the occasion. Dr. Mary Elizabeth ran the half marathon as well.