There is nothing quite like training for and running your first ever marathon.
There is also nothing quite like being by a friend’s side, guiding and helping her, celebrating her ups and staying by her through her downs- every step of the way – for her first marathon.
Last year I had the honor and the privilege to be a coach for the Saucony 26 Strong program. Saucony and Competitor Group chose 13 experienced marathoners to coach 13 women (of their choosing) for their first marathons – making up an incredible team of 26 strong and inspiring women to support one another and share the journey of a lifetime. It was honestly a magical experience for all of us, and one I will most surely never forget.
When I was selected last year, I had it in my heart to ask my dear friend and Pilates mentor Kathryn to be my ‘cadet’ for the program. Kathryn had done so much for me and had shared with me that she had found running to be very healing for her after the sudden death of her father that winter. We talked about it and both believed that training for and running a marathon, and this incredible program, would be wonderful for her. So I put a training plan together for her and in December we ran the Honolulu Marathon together along with several amazing women from some of the other 26 Strong teams. Kathryn’s mother and her aunt and uncle were all there to support her as well.
It was such a beautiful and fun experience!
I honestly never imagined getting to have this sort of experience in my life again, so when Saucony contacted me recently to ask if I would be a coach for this year’s program, I felt like I had won the lottery! This time it feels even more exciting to me in a way, I guess because after last year I truly know how special it is. I just can’t wait to share the experience with my cadet.
This year all 13 teams will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 11. I have run Chicago before and it is one of my favorite marathons. It is big and exciting and the energy there is just beyond awesome! I’m so happy that all 26 of us will be there together, really united as a TEAM and that we will have the chance to spend time with one another, to get ready together and to celebrate together after the race.
This year I am choosing my cadet differently than I did last year. I want to put it out there to all my readers, to my friends and family, and select someone through my blog!
So here are the details …
To be considered (no exceptions):
- You must have completed a half marathon already.
- You must be female.
- You must be a first-time marathoner.
- You must be willing to commit to training for a full marathon with me (either virtually or in person)
- You must live in the US or Canada.
- You must be okay with sharing your journey and inspiring others via social media (no need to have a blog of your own, but be cool with sharing (and me sharing) our story here, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and via Competitor and Saucony media channels).
- You must be able to travel to Chicago for the race on October 11, 2015 (tentative trip dates are from October 8-12 – race registration, travel and accommodations will be covered!).
- You must be able to commit to all of this by this Friday, April 24th!
To enter, please leave a comment here or send me an email directly at email@example.com by this Thursday, April 23rd at 4:00PM EST. I know it’s a quick turn around, and I apologize for that! I am going to have a lot to read through and consider in a short amount of time. My plan is to select and notify everyone by this Friday the 24th at 4:00PM.
What do I want to know? About you! How do you FIND YOUR STRONG? Why do you want to run a marathon? What does running mean to you? Share whatever you think would be helpful in expressing why you would be the perfect person for our 26 Strong team!
Thank you so much! I can’t wait to hear from those of you who are interested in sharing this experience with me. Please spread the word and pass this along to any friends or family who you think would be great for this, too. I just know the perfect person is out there. I will be so honored to help her every step of the way to her first 26.2!