Volkswagen's Ellis Runs First Marathon This Weekend

Sees Parallels Between Long-Distance Running and Brand-Building

By Published on .

Sunday will be a big day for Tim Ellis, VP-marketing of Volkswagen. He's running in the Chicago Marathon along with VW CFO Michael Loescheller. Though it's VW's 14th straight year as the event's auto sponsor, this marathon is the first ever for Ellis, who started running as a teen to successfully beat childhood asthma.

He said he hurt his calf muscle just three weeks ago and had to take 11 days off from running. But he rode a bike and ran in deep water every day to keep training.

Ellis said his boss, VW CEO Stefan Jacoby, also a runner, advised him to settle down and not get caught up in the emotion of getting stronger and faster.

"It's like brand building," Ellis said. "This whole industry just went through a panic, but you can't lose your head. Just keep focused on your end goal and keep going."

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