Who is Karen Kasich? 6 things about John Kasich’s wife

By Laura Bischoff

Columbus Bureau

Here’s a look at Ohio first lady Karen Kasich. Now that her husband, John, is getting some national attention, here’s 6 things to know about her:

1 Karen Waldbillig Kasich is an Ohio State University graduate and a native of Upper Arlington, a Columbus suburb.

Famed ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, runs with Karen Waldbillig Kasich, wife of Governor John Kasich. Karnazes hosted a 5K in Springfield with more than 300 runners, including 130 kids from Reid Primary and Middle schools, on Thursday, April 21, 2011. Staff photo by Marshall Gorby

Famed ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, runs with Karen Waldbillig Kasich, wife of Governor John Kasich. Karnazes hosted a 5K in Springfield with more than 300 runners, including 130 kids from Reid Primary and Middle schools, on Thursday, April 21, 2011. Staff photo by Marshall Gorby

2 She ran the 2010 Air Force Marathon in 4 hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

She said running through the “chute” of planes just before the finish line gave her chills.

Taking part in her second marathon, Kasich, 46, finished in 4 hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds. She was greeted at the finish by her husband and 10-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Reese.

“I didn’t know she was doing this until she was way into it,” John Kasich said. “She rocks. She crossed the finish line, it was like she was out for a Sunday stroll.”

She’s also ran in other area races including one in Springfield in 2011.

3 She left her job as Vice President of GSW Worldwide, a health care advertising agency, to stay home full-time when her daughters were toddlers.

4 She married John Kasich, who was a Congressman, in 1997 and they have 16-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Reese.

John and Karen Kasich on their wedding day in 1997.

John and Karen Kasich on their wedding day in 1997.

5 Karen Kasich works on children’s fitness and women’s heart disease prevention issues. She teamed up with Nationwide Children’s in Columbus to develop free, 10-minute videos geared toward K-5 classrooms statewide.

6 Karen beat John on the giant slide at the Ohio State Fair at least once.


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