Make Every Mile Count

Vander Jacket has come a long way.

Thank you for following and supporting our journey throughout the years. Below are some accolades and highlights of Vander Jacket.


Denver International Airport’s Latest Exhibit Creatively Remade: Upcycled Art and Design Showcases Materials Once Destined for the Waste Bin

DENVER – May 21, 2024 – Creativity meets sustainability in Denver International Airport’s (DEN) newest exhibition, Creatively Remade: Upcycled Art and Design, which features art, fashion, and functional objects designed to breathe new life into materials that would have otherwise been discarded. 

Creatively Remade: Upcycled Art and Design showcases art from innovative designers, artists, and organizations who embed sustainable practices in their work using materials destined for the waste bin. From recycled plastics to upcycled textiles, these talented makers are masters of transformation, turning found objects into unique sculptures, seat leather and end bolts of fabric into fashion statements and food wrappers into landscape collages.

Passengers will be able to see how strong the power of imagination and resourcefulness can be and how inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.

Sustainability is a guiding principle of DEN’s Vision 100 strategic plan and this is just one of many ways DEN is bringing that to life via its robust art program. Travelers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to explore Creatively Remade, a one-of-a-kind exhibition spread across the DEN campus, and to discover the diverse array of mediums and techniques that are used to redefine materials often considered waste.

Creatively Remade is located in Ansbacher Hall (before A-Bridge security), Concourse B East between gates B60 and B62, on level three of Concourse C, and east and west baggage claim. This exhibition will be on view through October 2024.                                          

Southwest Airlines® Repurpose with Purpose program                       

View the photo gallery of the artworks on view.

Want to Run the World Marathon Majors?

Wisdom from a Runner Who Has Run All Six:

Lauren Dreiling Shares Her Experience

VJ: What was tougher, training for the run or raising charity funds? 

Lauren: Both aspects are challenging, but I think just training for and completing a marathon is difficult!  What I loved about fundraising for charity was the direct connection to my training.  Just like the marathon training, fundraising is a gradual build. When I was fundraising and training together, I found a greater connection and consideration of my training. I was more cognizant to share my training milestones whereas without the fundraising component, I became more complacent with the routine. 

I am in consistent awe and admiration of runners that regularly fundraise and successfully fundraise HUGE amounts for their charities of choice. I love watching their journeys because I know the deep connection their fundraising has with their training block and the marathon itself.  

VJ: Which race was the toughest and which race was the most beautiful

Lauren: This may be a bit controversial but… I think New York was the toughest!  Boston is notoriously noted for being a difficult course (and it is!) but I think it is very doable with strategy.  There is a significant net downhill in the first half, and the energy is amazing, but the toughest is yet to come! The Newton Hills are challenging because of their late location in the race when you are more fatigued. I had the immense pleasure of listening to Meb Keflezighi recap his 2014 win a few weeks before I ran Boston. Meb reviewed his strategy and I tried to yield those pieces of advice on race day. “Run conservatively in the first half and preserve your energy.” 

Personally, New York felt like 26.2 miles of challenge. There is elevation gain and descent the entire course due to the bridges, so you never have much reprieve. I will note, I was MUCH better strength trained for Boston than I was when I ran New York; we shall see if this opinion changes when I run New York again this fall!

Most beautiful course of the World Marathon Majors?  That may be like asking to choose your favorite child!  Each course had their own unique attributes that made them all beautiful and special.  

VJ: If you were to hand out awards to each of the Marathon Majors, what would they be?

Chicago: my first marathon EVER and I fell in love. I have done Chicago twice now and will ALWAYS put in for the Chicago lottery. The marathon highlights 29 neighborhoods in the city and the marathon course showcases their best parts. Running and being able to see Lake Michigan in the distance is pretty spectacular and special.  Running alongside the Chicago theater is iconic. My favorite neighborhood was Chinatown because the food smelled delicious! 

Chicago- easiest start line to get to! Well located within the city so you can easily walk or ride public transportation. The ease is always appreciated on race morning because it decreases some of the stress associated with running a major marathon.     

New York: runs through the 5 boroughs and each borough is special and unique. As the largest WMM, it is amazing to see the city accommodate 50,000+ runners through the streets and is truly a spectacle to behold. The logistics to get to the start line can be A LOT, but we took the ferry and got to see the Statue of Liberty while we were at it, so it was a win-win experience for us.  New York- the most iconic start line: Cannon send off for each wave of runners, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” is blasting, and running up and over the Verrazano Bridge. WOW.  Just wow.  

Berlin: the most underrated major, but there are reasons this course held the men’s world marathon record for so many years!  It is flat and it is FAST! I had the race of my life here, running a 7-minute negative split!  I think due to loop nature of the course, this is the best course for spectators and being able to see their runners’ multiple times on course. Berlin- most iconic finish line.  As you near the finish (40K) there are six turns. When you finally make the last turn and see the Brandenburg gates, it is a sight to behold! There is something extraordinary about ripping down the Unter den Linden and through the Brandenburg gates to the finish line. It makes the most average runner, feel like Kipchoge.   

London: the “poorest” weather conditions for my majors with rain for 20 out of 26 miles.  Despite the rain and colder temps, I was pleasantly surprised with how many spectators still showed out on the course, supporting the runners. I did not fuel well in the days leading up to the race, so I was famished after 14 miles. One of the very nice spectators gave me a banana and I will never forget her! London- the most historic of the majors!  

You see some amazing landmarks during the London marathon, but a word of caution: the historic landmarks are few and far between. There are 3 key areas with historic landmarks (~10k with the Cutty Sark Ship, ~12.75 miles just before halfway with Tower Bridge, and the final mile with the London eye, Tower of London, Parliament/Big Ben and Buckingham Palace). 

Tokyo: the nicest volunteers and the best post-race warming attire.  I can’t say enough nice things about the Tokyo volunteers!  Every single volunteer had the biggest smile, was so kind, and beyond excited to be there, supporting the marathon.  Many aspects of the Japanese culture reflect selflessness and these attitudes were present in all of the volunteers.  When I ran, it was warm but Tokyo provides you with a warming blanket AND a terry cloth poncho post-race.  This poncho is so soft, comfortable and I now use it as a bathrobe.  

Tokyo was my favorite city and country (Japan) to travel to but if I absolutely had to rank them, probably my least favorite course.  However, this race holds my marathon PR, so it has many great qualities too ☺  The marathon absolutely highlighted the most gorgeous parts of the city, the stunning architecture, and was visually stimulating the entire 26.2 miles but had so. Many. Out. And. Backs. The constant stream of runners flowing in the other direction made me nauseous.  I was doing everything in my power to look elsewhere, but the other direction runners were in my peripheral vision, no matter what.  The out and backs did allow me to see to the elite women lead pack at one point, and that was an absolute treasure!  

Boston is the oldest running marathon and most sought-after marathon in the world and for good reason!  This was my “hottest” World Marathon Major and was deemed the 4th hottest race day in the race’s 128-year history. There are so many aspects of the course that are unique to Boston and were fun to experience; the Wellesley scream tunnel, the Newton Hills (most notably Heartbreak Hill), the Citgo sign and of course the only two turns on the entire route; right turn onto Hereford and the left onto Boylston. The day exceeded my expectations and it was the perfect finale to my six-star journey. I am certain all of the majors make a grand conclusion for a 6-star journey but for me, it HAD to be Boston as the finale.    

Boston: the “best” spectators. I use quotations because I feel like all of the World Marathon Majors had the BEST spectators and I don’t feel like any one of them was better than another but the spectators meant a little bit more to me in Boston. The left turn onto Boylston was unreal due to the spectators. The streets were lined with people at least 5-6 deep and the sound is impossible to describe. I have a race picture as I am turning left and you can see it in my face and the faces of the runners around me, it was an extraordinary moment.