Several months ago my favorite running store, Marathon Sports, put out a call to marathon runners who would be interested in participating in a project with Saucony and Competitor Magazine. Without paying much attention to any fine print I raised my hand and was chosen to be part of the Saucony 26 Strong.
The program includes 26 teams of 2 runners – a ‘cadet’ or first time marathoner and a ‘vet’ or experienced marathoner (that’s me). Each team will train for a race with their individual goals but work as a team to help each other through the process. Anyone who has had a conversation or two with me in their lifetime knows that I could talk about running all day so I am really excited to start working with my partner, Christine.
Of course, there is a catch. When filling out my bio survey they asked what marathon I would like to train for in the fall and I answered that I was already registered for NYC. After last year’s drama I’ve been really looking forward to the race and planning to make it my ‘feature’ race of 2013. The coordinator explained that ideally both team members will train for the same race and they probably wouldn’t be able to get a NYC entry for my counterpart so would I be willing to run another race in addition to NYC. I of course replied, ‘Sure, what’s another 26.2 miles’.
Christine and I will be training for the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon on October 6 – exactly four weeks prior to NYC. Thankfully, Mike Norman of Chicago Endurance Sports is the head coach of our program and I have already reached out to him to talk about strategies to properly prepare for both races. This will be Christine’s first full marathon and my first season with back to back marathons so we are both embarking on something challenging and new. Christine has already agreed to do some guest blogging here on Run Like a Girl to share some of her experiences training for her first marathon. It’s going to be a great journey for both of us. Stay tuned for more updates about our training and the program!
Meet all 26 teams here: Saucony 26 Strong Teams