The World Marathon Majors -The 6 Largest Marathons on Earth


In this podcast episode we speak with Tim Hadzima, the Executive Director at Abbott World Marathon Majors, about the six largest marathons in the world and what makes them unique.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. The purpose of the Abbott World Marathon Majors is to advance the sport, raise awareness of its athletes and increase the level of interest in elite racing among running enthusiasts.

“Each of the six races that make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors boasts an international elite field for both men and women in the open and wheelchair categories, has a mass participatory field completing the same course as the elites, takes place in a major international market, has a history of 25 years or more and is regarded among the very best in the industry. Collectively, the group annually attracts more than 5 million on-course spectators, more than 250 million television viewers, 300,000 applicants and 150,000 participants. It also raises more than $80 million for charity worldwide and generates an economic impact of more than $400 million”.

In addition to the five races, two other Qualifying Races were included in the series: the IAAF World Championships Marathon and the Olympic Marathon.

We had the chance to speak with Tim Hadzima for this episode. Tim has been the Executive Director at the Abbott World Marathon Majors since 2013. He is also a marathoner himself and based in Chicago.

Interesting Facts We Learned from Talking to Tim Hadzima

  1. The Tokyo Marathon was not originally part of the Majors.
  2. The Chicago Marathon donates the red carpets the cover the bridges.
  3. Over 400,000 people enter the lottery for the London Marathon.
  4. The New York City Marathon had 52,000+ runners in 2018.
  5. The Berlin Marathon has one of the best start lines in the world.
  6. The London Marathon has raised 1 billion pounds for charity.
  7. The Singapore Marathon is under consideration to become the 7th World Marathon Major.
  8. Running is becoming more global. A decade ago there might have been a dozen marathons in China, now there are 1,200-1,300.
  9. Eliud Kipchoge, who is highest in the global rankings, is a once-in-a-generation gifted athlete.
  10. Elite wheelchair athletes can recover more quickly and most of them do every race or ever other race.
  11. If you’ve run one of the Majors you can claim a star towards a Six Star Medal.
  12. Over 4,000 runners have completed all six Majors.
  13. There is also a global ranking system for amateur athletes.

Medal for Six Star Finishers

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Earbuddyz Ultra -solve all your AirPods woes so the next time you’re running that marathon, dropping or readjusting your AirPods mid race is the last thing you need to worry about. Visit EarBuddyz.com or get them on Amazon for and use the promo code “mtafriends” for 20% off.

Topo Athletic -Our first running shoe sponsor!!! Topo Athletic makes a gimmick-free running shoe with a roomy toe box that promotes functional foot movement. And the cushioned midsoles come in a variety of thicknesses and heel elevations, so you can pick your unique level of protection and comfort. Get 10% off your first pair with promo code MTA.

Take our Podcast Survey -In order to find great advertisers, we’ll need to learn a little bit more about you. Once you’ve completed the survey, you can choose to enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

Experiencing “Phantom Pain” during marathon training. Have you ever found yourself obsessing over little aches and pains as you get closer to race day. Read Angie’s post here.

Help us Plant a Tree for the John Muir Trust!

Help us plant a MTA Forever Forrest in partnership with the John Muir Trust. We’ve set an initial target of planting 262 trees (you will see what we have done there) as part of the Trust’s Wild Woods tree planting appeal during 2019 as they look to significantly increase the number of native trees across the land in their care.

Angie visited one of the places where they are planting trees when she walked the slopes of Schiehallion, a few days before she ran the Loch Ness marathon.

By helping us plant the MTA Forever Forest, you’ll be helping the MTA community to create an everlasting feature of the Scottish landscape. Each donation of £10 (about $13 USD) will cover the cost of planting one tree, including staff time and equipment.

www.johnmuirtrust.org/MTA

Angie with Kevin Lelland of the John Muir Trust

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Meb Keflezighi -Live Podcast Interview!

In this special podcast episode we bring you to the Tallahassee Marathon in Florida for a live interview with the great Meb Keflezighi -the only man who has won the New York City Marathon, The Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal.

For years we’ve been wanting to get Meb on the podcast. Well, it finally worked out and all I needed to do is drive to Florida and back to bring it to you!

I made it to Tallahassee which is the capital of Florida and checked into my hotel, which was also the race headquarters. Big thanks to the race director Sheryl Rosen for helping me arrange this interview!

Let me set the scene for you guys . . .

We had a dedicated room at the race expo at the session was open to the public. I wasn’t sure how many people would show up but even an hour before we were supposed to start there were runners already in the room. By the time we started the room was completely full and there were people standing in the doorway.

Meb was born in Eritrea in 1975. The country had a 30 year war with Ethiopia to gain independence. It was during this period that Meb’s father Russom Keflezighi had to flee the country because he was a supporter of liberation and was wanted by the Ethiopian soldiers.

In this conversation you will hear him talk about his family and what it was like growing up in Eritrea and immigrating to the US and the people who impacted his life. He also talks about how he got into the running and specifically how he became a marathoner. He will hit some of the highlights of his career and describe fighting through injury and dealing with unexpected mishaps – there is one marathon where he had a plastic breath rite strip in his shoe before the race that he meant to take out of his shoe and put on his nose before the race start but he forgot.

Among his many accomplishments:

  • Meb won a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • He won the 2009 New York City marathon in 2:09:15.
  • He won the Olympic trials in Houston in 2012. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.
  • He won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, two weeks before his 39th birthday.

He’s retired now and has a new book coming out in March called 26 Marathons, What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from my Marathon Career.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation Ucan -a fueling product that Meb calls his secret weapon. Use the code MTAMEB to save 15%.

NuNeeShop.com -NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Drury Inn and Suites -where we stay when we travel. Free evening food and drinks!

Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Meb Keflezhigi -Live Podcast Interview

In this special podcast episode we bring you to the Tallahassee Marathon in Florida for a live interview with the great Meb Keflezhigi -the only man who has won the New York City Marathon, The Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal.

For years we’ve been wanting to get Meb on the podcast. Well, it finally worked out and all I needed to do is drive to Florida and back to bring it to you!

I made it to Tallahassee which is the capital of Florida and checked into my hotel, which was also the race headquarters. Big thanks to the race director Sheryl Rosen for helping me arrange this interview!

Let me set the scene for you guys . . .

We had a dedicated room at the race expo at the session was open to the public. I wasn’t sure how many people would show up but even an hour before we were supposed to start there were runners already in the room. By the time we started the room was completely full and there were people standing in the doorway.

Meb was born in Eritrea in 1975. The country had a 30 year war with Ethiopia to gain independence. It was during this period that Meb’s father Russom Keflezighi had to flee the country because he was a supporter of liberation and was wanted by the Ethiopian soldiers.

In this conversation you will hear him talk about his family and what it was like growing up in Eritrea and immigrating to the US and the people who impacted his life. He also talks about how he got into the running and specifically how he became a marathoner. He will hit some of the highlights of his career and describe fighting through injury and dealing with unexpected mishaps – there is one marathon where he had a plastic breath rite strip in his shoe before the race that he meant to take out of his shoe and put on his nose before the race start but he forgot.

Among his many accomplishments:

  • Meb won a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • He won the 2009 New York City marathon in 2:09:15.
  • He won the Olympic trials in Houston in 2012. He is the oldest winner of the Olympic Trials Marathon at age 36.
  • He won the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:37, two weeks before his 39th birthday.

He’s retired now and has a new book coming out in March called 26 Marathons, What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from my Marathon Career.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation Ucan -a fueling product that Meb calls his secret weapon. Use the code MTAMEB to save 15%.

NuNeeShop.com -NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Drury Inn and Suites -where we stay when we travel. Free evening food and drinks!

Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes.

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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How to Use Suffering to Your Advantage as a Runner

In this podcast episode you will learn how to use suffering to your advantage as a runner and transform fear into positive growth as we talk with ultra runner and author Akshay Nanavati.

Akshay Nanavanti is a Marine Corps veteran and ultra marathoner who has set a goal of running across every country in the world. When we spoke with him he just finished Liberia.

He’s author of the book Fearvana -the Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Akshay Nanavati website: https://fearvana.com

Yoga Trapeze -Yoga teacher, Lucas Rockwood, has come up with a unique solution called, The Yoga Trapeze. This lightweight, versatile inversion sling can hang in a doorway or from an exposed beam…

… and for traction, 1-7 minutes upside down daily is recommended. 
 You can try the Yoga Trapeze for 30 days for just $1 by going to YogaTrapeze.com, and if you use coupon code “marathon”, you’ll get a free instructional DVD with your order. 


Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways and need-to-know information. 8 Million people are using Blinkist right now and it has a massive and growing library: from self-help, business, health to history books.

Mace -When runners hit the road or trails, they shouldn’t have to worry about self-defense. You can stay focused when you carry Mace Pepper Spray, because you’ll be prepared when it counts. Mace actually invented pepper spray – and they offer tons of other self-defense products. Enter promo code MTA for 20% off the kit today

Shoutout!

At age 62 I just completed my first marathon (Disney) in a time of 4:06:09. Couldn’t have done it without the very helpful MTA podcasts. Proud to say I just signed up as a MTA member. Now I can become even more informed! Jeff

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Taking Action and Setting Big Goals in Running and Life!

The beginning of the year is definitely a great time to set aside space for self reflection, both on the year gone by and the year stretching ahead. This can help you stay the course or correct your course.

In this episode we want to offer you two simple but powerful tips for making 2019 an epic year. Plus, we are going to be sharing a lot of books with you. So get ready to channel your inner student!

The way that you best achieve goals is going to depend on your personality and how you respond to expectations. A couple books that I highly recommend when it comes to setting goals are Better Than Before and The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. But I think that there are a few key areas that will enable each person to make progress.

Take Daily Action

The fact is that you can set all the goals you want but to actually carry them out you have to take daily action. It’s not enough to dream that a future version of yourself is more disciplined or virtuous. The things you do today are making your future self. So start today with your goals. Maybe this is the year that you’re going to build back your running base, train for your first half marathon, your first marathon, your first ultra, train for a PR, or make changes in your eating. Whatever the goals you have to be very clear about what you want and what it will take to get there.

If it’s helpful you can enter these daily action steps on your calendar so you have constant reminders and can get the satisfaction of checking them off. Part of taking action involves getting the support you need. Most people do best when they are surrounded by an encouraging support system. Maybe that means a friend, family member, online group, journaling, or an app. The bottom line is that you don’t have to go it alone. Maybe you’ve been interested in or on the fence about Academy membership. Our goal is to have your back. To be positive, encouraging, and help you make your running goals a reality.

Set Bigger Goals

If you’ve just started to run the thought of running a marathon is going to seem overwhelming. It can seem overwhelming even when you’re in the midst of marathon training. As you take daily action you will grow as a person and will be able to set bigger goals. This will give you an increased sense of confidence which will lead to more growth.

Part of the process of setting bigger goals involves not being afraid to fail. Many of us tend to avoid committing to anything that we’re not sure we can accomplish and avoid things that might make us look foolish. But if you truly have the desire to do something, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Former Navy Seal Brad McLeod says this, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Without failure you won’t know your limit. And it is impossible to win every day. You may even feel like you are regressing at times. This is where you have to fight through.” Failure doesn’t have to have such a negative stigma. In fact, if we never failed we’d be completely perfect (and I’ve never met a perfect human). Fear is one of those tricky emotions that needs to be examined before it’s acted upon.

Finally, having a growth mindset doesn’t mean that you’re constantly dissatisfied with where you are in life or with what you’ve accomplished. It’s also not helpful to be constantly comparing yourself with other people, which is often what social media draws our attention to. Often we’re comparing our worst with someone else’s best. Sometimes the running world can leave you with the impression that you’re not fast enough, you don’t have enough endurance, you’re not thin enough, or you’re not making progress quickly enough. I’ve thought all those things too. But feeling like you’re not enough doesn’t actually lead you into a positive space for growth. It leaves us stuck and discouraged which saps our energy.

As we continue into this year I’d encourage you to do it with the mindset that you are enough. This will lead to more progress as you take action and set bigger goals. Knowing that you are enough will give your efforts a sense of positive energy.

My Goals for 2019

  • To write a daily gratitude list
  • Increase to 20 min of daily meditation
  • Spend more one on one time with my boys,
  • Run a sub 4 marathon
  • Run a marathon in 3 new states
  • Strength train 2-3 times per week consistently,
  • Continue reading good books.

And speaking of books . . .

Books I Enjoyed Last Year

I read a total of 263 books in 2018 (more non-fiction than fiction which was a first for me). Here are my top 7 favorite non-fiction books from last year:

  1. Daring Greatly, How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown (Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and Dare to Lead). She talks about vulnerability, whole heartedness, shame, and courage. The fear of vulnerability is at the core of many of our difficult emotions. She writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” Her message calls us to dare greatly and strive for whole heartedness in our lives.
  2. Get Well Soon, History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright: as a nurse I’m fascinated by the history of diseases, epidemics, and medical practices of the past. This book is a great blend of history, storytelling, some very gruesome practices, and humor.
  3. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This is the autobiographical tale of Bill Bryson who after living in the UK for many years returns to the US and decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with a good friend from the past. He’s an amazing storyteller and dives into the history of the Trail along with his preparation and experiences alongside it. I just recently learned that it was made into a movie that was released in 2015.
  4. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This book tells the story of the 1936 US men’s Olympic 8 person rowing team. These were just ordinary young men after the Great Depression from poor backgrounds that were transformed into a force to be reckoned with. They went on to defeat the elite Eastern rowing clubs and compete in the 36 Olympics in front of Adolf Hitler, defeating Germany’s Aryan team.
  5. Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gossling. This is written by a psychologist who studies how people project and protect their inner selves by looking at their belongings. He can predict with uncanny accuracy so many things by looking at people’s stuff. There’s a lot of interesting research, psychology and stories packed into this book.
  6. Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor. Deena does an amazing job of weaving her personal story of training and growth along with inspiration for the reader. There is so much about mental toughness and mindset that can be gleaned from this book.
  7. Endure by Alex Hutchinson. This books explores the variable limits of the human body and mind where it relates to human performance, particularly long distance running.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Generation UCAN, our go-to fueling source for long runs and races. Use the promo code “MTANOBONK” to save 15% off your order.

Athletic Greens -With 75 whole-food sourced ingredients, Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

About Angie Spencer

Angie is a registered nurse and running coach who empowers new runners to conquer the marathon, run faster, and take their health and fitness to the next level. Join the Academy

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Year in Review: the Historic, Unbelievable, and Inspirational Running Stories of 2018


In this podcast episode we take a look back at the biggest stories in the running world from 2018, it was quite a year! And in this episode’s quick tip Angie shares two simple questions that can improve your training this year.

New Records

Eliud Kipchoge smashed Dennis Kimetto’s world record in the marathon by more than a minute, finishing in 2:01:39 in Berlin. This was his 3rd Berlin win and 11th marathon.

Gladys Cherono of Kenya won her third Berlin Marathon while setting a new course record of 2:18:35.

Molly Huddle set a new US Half Marathon Record at the Houston Half Marathon breaking the tape in 1:07:25 and beating Deena Kastor’s 12-year-old record by a nine seconds,

Abraham Kiptum set the new half marathon world record in Valencia Spain. His 58:18 finish was also a 51-second personal best for Kiptum.

Zach Bitter broke the 100-mile trail world record at the Tunnel Hill 100-mile race in Vienna, Illinois with a time of 12:08:36

Camille Herron won the 100 mile challenge at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational in Phoenix, AZ, while breaking both the 24-hour world record and the USATF 100-mile world record on the track. Herron, who is from Oklahoma City, ran 100 miles (160K) in 13:25 and 162.9 miles total (260.6K) for a new 24-hour world record.

Andrew Snope won the world 24-hour barefoot track record by running 144 miles/230.4K during that time.

Cynthia Arnold of Montana set a new record for half marathon pushing a triple stroller record when she ran 1:29 while pushing three kids at the Missoula Marathon. The kids were ages 6, 3, and 10 months. https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/half-marathon-triple-stroller-record-broken-in-montana/

Mo Farrah set a new Eurpoean record in the marathon with a time of 2:05:11 at the Chicago Marathon.

The 2018 Boston Marathon had extremely challenging conditions with wind, rain, and cold. Many of the elite favorites dropped out or performed much more poorly than they expected. In a surprising upset, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi won in 2:15:58. He’s an extremely prolific marathoner who holds a job as a teacher.

Desi Linden won Boston in 2:39:54 after doing her best to encourage other runners like Shalane Flannigan during the race. An unknown runner named Sara Sellers placed 2nd at Boston and has launched her running trajectory in an entirely different direction.

Jim Walmsley  set a new course record at the Western States 100 with a time of 14:30:04.

Gene Dykes of Pennsylvania broke Ed Whitlock’s M70 marathon record with a time of 2:54:23 at the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida on Dec 15th. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25593341/70-year-old-marathon-record/

Jeannie Rice, age 70, of Ohio ran 3:27:50 at the Chicago Marathon—smashing the 70-plus women’s world record. Rice, who still works as a realtor in the Cleveland area, felt fine after her marathon. She was back at work—in heels—Tuesday after the Sunday race. www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a23742988/70-year-old-woman-sets-marathon-record/

Pete Kostelnick, who we had on a recent episode ran from Kenai Alaska to Key West Florida (a total of 5,390 miles in 97 days. He also ran a total of 10,000 miles in 2018 and was recognized by Strava for that accomplishment.

Pete Kostelnick

Karel Sabbe from Belgium age 28 set a new Appalachian Trail FKT (fastest known time) by covering 2,189 miles in 41 days 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is almost 4 days faster then the previous time!

Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer earned his 40th career 100-mile victory at the age of 50.

Notable and Interesting News

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes, passed away in 2018 at the age of 88.

Abu Dhabi ADNOC Marathon has its inaugural race this year. They offered a large prize purse with $100k to both the male and female winners!

UN employees called PRunners meet for a weekly run in Central Park. “Founded by the representatives of Finland and Liechtenstein, the group includes members from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lebanon, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Tunisia”. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/americas/united-nations-running.html

The Wonder Woman Run Series was launched by DC Comics with five events across California.

The Bizarre and Unbelievable

Cheng Kean Wee, a pacer for the Penang Bridge International Marathon in Malaysia may have had his balloon save his life during a lightning strike. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25309340/marathon-pacer-balloon-struck-by-lightning/

The Honolulu Marathon was plagued by course cutting according to Marathon Investigation which claims that more than 300 people’s results show no splits for one or more timing mats but still crossing the finish line and claiming false finishing times.
https://www.marathoninvestigation.com/2018/12/honolulu-marathon-over-300-runners-flagged-in-initial-review.html

Shenzhen Half Marathon in China disqualified a total of 258 runners for cheating at the after traffic cameras show large numbers of runners cutting through trees. Race organizers announced yesterday that there were 18 runners with fake bibs, three imposters and 237 cheaters, most of which took a short cut on the course. https://runningmagazine.ca/sections/runs-races/traffic-cameras-catch-mass-cheating-at-shenzhen-half-marathon/

2018 Telco Mexico City Marathon has seen an estimated 13,000 runners facing disqualification for shortening the course! https://runningmagazine.ca/sections/runs-races/13000-alleged-cheaters-at-mexico-city-marathon/

Ginette Bedard finished her 16th New York City Marathon in 6:19:01 at the age of 85. Bedard is quoted in Runner’s World, “I always thought to myself, I’m not qualified to do the marathon, those are superhumans. Until somebody told me, ‘What do you care?’ That gave me some kind of incentive, and I got addicted, because I was better than I thought. The assuredness extends to dating, too. She’s all but given up finding anyone “interesting” or “suitable to my tastes” after her husband passed away four years ago. “A man of my age is too old for me,” Bedard said. “[A man with a cane] isn’t what I’m looking for. https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25049407/ginette-bedard-new-york-city-marathon/

Proposals during marathons/races: There has been a growing trend of marriage proposals happening at marathons, particularly during races. This has created some controversy with some people speaking out on social media that during a race isn’t the time to propose. Many think that it’s only proper to let the runner finish their race and not to take away from their hard work.

Brendan Morphet encountered two grizzly bears at August’s Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse, Canada, and lived to tell about it.

Highlands College students run a half marathon every year as part of the curriculum. https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25323961/highlands-college-all-students-run-half-marathon/

The Inspirational

Dr. Theodore Strange was running the NYC Marathon and came upon an unresponsive woman. He performed CPR until police came with a defibrillator. The woman didn’t respond until the third shock. She was transferred to the hospital and thankfully recovered. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a24846279/doctor-saves-womans-life-at-nyc-marathon/

Dan Leite crossed the finish line of the Columbus Marathon in 4:54:59 with a new heart, after receiving a heart transplant three years earlier.
https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a25457903/dan-leite-marathon-after-heart-transplant/

Justin Gallegos, a runner at Oregon, became the first professional runner with cerebral palasy when he was given a pro contract from Nike. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a23760216/justin-gallegos-nike-contract/

Dave “The Washing Machine” Garvin from Australia, ran the Melbourne Marathon with a 20kg (45 pound) washing machine strapped to his back as part of a challenge to raise money and awareness for mental health services. He’s done multiple marathons, often in costume.

Matt Daniels of Australia finished a stretch of running 535 half marathons in 535 days to raise funds for Leukemia research. He’s no stranger to endurance events having completed 55 marathons in 55 days back in 2016. https://www.pressreader.com/australia/geelong-advertiser/20181226/282114932689709

Daniela Ryf a Swiss triathlete who is the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Ironman World Champion was stung by a jelly fish during warm up. “It felt like having fire under my arms,” Daniela told CNN Sport. “A bit of me wanted to go back to the hotel and cry but I thought that wouldn’t really help much,” said Ryf. “My team invested so much time to help me achieve everything. The race was my turn to give back. Her efforts culminated in a new course record of eight hours and 26 minutes. She has an incredible mentality which has helped her push through the pain barrier on countless occasions and remain positive throughout her glittering career. “If giving up isn’t an option, you don’t have to think about it,” she said. “You then just need to figure out how to keep going. “The body only does what the mind tells it to do. I told myself I wouldn’t give up and that I’d be the champion. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/16/sport/daniela-ryf-ironman-world-champion-hawaii-spt-intl/index.html

Nate Viands, an 8-year-old leukemia survivor finished his first marathon 3:32!
https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a25617079/eight-year-old-marathoner-beat-leukemia/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_rnw&utm_medium=email&date=122318&src=nl&utm_campaign=15487824

Xolani Luvuno of South Africa completed his nation’s iconic Comrades Marathon, the world’s largest ultramarathon — with one leg. Luvuno, who lost his right leg to amputation following a bone cancer diagnosis in 2009, conquered the 90.184 km distance on crutches in an official time of 15 hours, 50 minutes. https://www.thesouthafrican.com/comrades-marathon-xolani-luvuno-video/

Also Check out this article:
https://www.runnersworld.com/news/g25596959/best-race-moments-2018/?fbclid=IwAR2v4AUe5d1yzr-bc_i6–C3oEuy8xmqRkqaEiFzrSkutKsW28Qx1YFvQMk

The NuNee Device – NuNee is designed specifically to relieve that dreaded Runner’s Knee pain. Available today at NuNeeShop.com
Use code MTA20 for a 20% discount.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so, you can read or listen to them into just 15 minutes. Start your free 7 day trial today.

Athletic Greens -With 75 whole-food sourced ingredients, Athletic Greens is the best of the best in All-In-One whole food supplements. Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

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Unraveling the Mystery of Your Metabolism


In this podcast episode we bring you a fascinating conversation about how the body’s metabolism works and how you as a runner can lose weight and keep it off.

Our guest today is Angelo Polo -an expert on the metabolism and the founder of Metpro. He has worked with NFL players, celebrities, physique models, entrepreneurs, and politicians to help them achieve body transformations. We wanted to have him on the show to pick his brain.

In this episode you will hear . . .

  • The mysteries of the body’s metabolism explained and why it is so unfair
  • What the diet industry gets wrong
  • Considerations for runners
  • Positive disruptive habits that you can start implementing now to see results in your nutritional intake.

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Metpro – Take a metabolic assessment and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of their experts by going to www.metpro.co/mta

The Tallahassee Marathon -Run a fast course through Florida’s capital city this February 3. Plus meet special guest Meb Keflezighi! Trevor will be doing a live audience interview with Meb on Saturday February 2nd at 1:30 at the race expo. The marathon and half marathon is on February 3rd. Use code Academy for 20% off your race registration.

Sun Basket offers 18 weekly recipes including Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, and more—all delivered to your door. Get $35 off your first order with our link!

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Finding Your “WHY” as a Long Distance Runner

Why do you run?  In this episode we talk about the importance of finding your “why” if you want be a long term runner and what listeners shared with us about what motivates them.

Plus we give you a quick run down of this year’s MTA Virtual Half Marathon.     And in the quick tip segment, Angie answers a question about how to implement treadmill running into your training. 

When it comes to running or any other important habit that you want to implement in your life it’s important to find your “why.” In fact, finding your why is probably the most important thing you can do to create a sustainable running habit.

I know that right now we’re talking to aspiring runners, brand new runners, lifelong runners, and those somewhere in the middle.  Maybe you’re still a bit on the fence about this whole long distance running thing.  You know that it can be a key to making you healthier and happier, but some days you just don’t have the motivation to get out there and some days you find yourself just plodding along. 

All of this is totally normal.  Not everyone falls in love with running during the first steps…in fact, many very accomplished runners had a bumpy start.  Like Pete Kostelnick who we interviewed on our last episode. He didn’t always pump out 55 mile days for weeks on end.  In fact, after running his first marathon he swore he’d never do another.

Some “Whys”Are More Sticky

One way to turn an “it’s complicated” relationship with running into a full blown commitment is to find your why.  And I’m going to let you in on a little fact…some whys are more “sticky” or meaningful than others. 

My Story

When I first started to run as a teenager my whole motivation was to lose weight.  That began an on again, off again relationship with running that would last the next decade.  As soon as I started feeling too fat or out of shape I’d jump back on the running bandwagon.  But it was a means to an end.

When I started running again at the age of 27 my weight had nothing (or at least little) to do with it.  I was looking for a change in my life.  I was seeking something that I could do for myself to make myself healthier and happier.  And this time it stuck. 

Angie at her first marathon

I ran my first marathon in 2008 and haven’t looked back sense.  That’s not to say that there haven’t been bumps in my running journey.  I’ve dealt with setbacks, discouragement, and many runs that just sucked.  But I’ve stuck with it because part of my identity is based on being a healthy and strong person and being a runner makes me feel both of those things.  Along with the benefit of being healthier physically running also helps me manage anxiety and depression.  I also love the way running has allowed me to explore the world. Now I’m one of those people who hopes I can run up until the day I die.

Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about your why is that it may (and probably will) change over time.  It’s important to reevaluate your WHY on a regular basis.  Some of your whys will be serious and life-changing, some will be fun and whimsical, and most people have a combination of reasons.

We asked the participants of the 2nd annual MTA Virtual Half about their why.   And here’s what they said:

Love of food/drink

“I like eating ice cream and drinking brewpub beer.”  -Kathleen

“I like to drink beer year round.”   -Stephen

Friends/running community:

“Besides my love of food? Well, it’s my running friends.  No matter how crappy my day can be I know they are there to make me laugh.” Kathleen

“Endorphins, girl time, chocolate.”  Jennifer

Races:

“I made a goal. Run 26.2 in all 50 states by the time I turn 50 (2019). Although I’m 2 states away from finishing my goal, I know I won’t stop. It keeps my head level. It’s my ME time. Oh, and it’s my bad ass feeling.”  JoAnn

“Running in the winter can be tough. I always have to sign up for another race to keep up my motivation.” Margaret

Alone time:

“I love being out in nature, having some Me Time with a podcast.”  Amanda

“Running is a huge part of who I am, and I can’t even conceive of a week without running. I run for fun, to enjoy being outside in every type of weather, to challenge my body, to focus my mind, and also to let my mind drift. Plus I love to eat chocolate.” Lynne

Supporting charity:

“I started long distance running to support a local charity. It helped to find the right charity, the right coaches, the right races, and most importantly the right running buddies. I went from a novice to half marathoner to marathoner and will hopefully keep adding on the distances. Running keeps me sane. And the MTA family keeps me motivated.”  Pamela

Because I can:

“Because I can! When I’m running, all of the “I shoulds” turn to “I cans” and then “I dids.”  Rachael

“Because I can and what keeps me going? My friends do as does my community, but so does my family. Having that support and knowing I can, and that my body allows me to do this is my why, because I couldn’t always run and only started 4 years ago. I am the sole healthy member of an immediate family struggling with morbid obesity. I also live in the second most unhealthy state in the US and see my community struggle with health. Some in my immediate family are completely immobile because of it and I think about that when I run and feel much gratitude for my ability but also sadness and empathy knowing that they cannot do the same. I run for myself and my health but also for those who can’t and hope that I might, in even the smallest way, be an inspiration to someone in a similar circumstance, whether it be in my family or community. I want to challenge the doubts of people who fear starting an active lifestyle and think running (or walking) is not possible. I want to help others love to live healthier active lives. This is my “why” every single day.”  Jennie

To be a positive example:

“I’m a positive example for my kids to follow. It’s something my wife and I share.”  Ryan

“Running is my passion and purpose and allows me to connect with and inspire others. I enjoy running with friends and coaching kids. Reaching goals feels amazing.”  Cari

“My two kids are my why.” Kyle

“My girls, my patients, my health, and because today I can and tomorrow I might not be able to.”  Jennifer

“Started running 2 1/2 years ago for my health. Never thought I would love to run but I do! Helps me keep my head clear, de-stress, sleep better, maintain a healthy weight, and be a role model for my daughters. If their Momma can become a runner at age 45 they can do anything they set their mind to. I ran my first marathon this year.”  Hope

A way to enjoy nature/fresh air:

“I have been looking at running as an opportunity to enjoy ALL seasons rather than always sitting inside waiting for Spring to come and just feeling cooped up and inactive all winter. It has kicked seasonal blues in the butt so far this year!!”  Sara

“Because I love being outside, because it helps me with stress, and because I never feel better than after I’ve finished a run!”  Suzanne

“Fresh air and being outside – I need my outdoor time!”  Jo

Stress relief/better headspace:

“Running is like medicine for me. I’m a pastor and my job is never done. When I finish a run, I feel accomplished something and it helps me with the stress of life. A good long run is one of the few times in my week that my mind can just relax and enter into the pattern of foot-falls, breaths, and motion.” Eric

“I’m in law enforcement and running is my stress relief as well. I started running to lose weight and redirect my thoughts from stress at work.”  Joel

“Because I love it! For my mental health, it makes me happy, the feeling I get after finishing a long run or race is the best!”  Annabelle

Change or improve my health:

“Stay healthy. I also remember how good I feel afterwards.”  Valerie

“About 18 months ago I was fat and unhealthy and hated what I had become. I read a book that spurred me into action, lost 30kg. Then I started running and found my new passion. I did a 282 day running streak, found the MTA podcast along the way…I have first marathon in 7 days time. My why is that running is my new addiction…it’s better than food, better than alcohol, it’s the best way to start my day.” Simon

“I have been running for 5ish years and it’s the whole package of clearing my head of negativity, being healthy and sleeping better.”  Scott

Challenging myself/achieving goals:

“What keeps me going is the challenge and the accomplishments. Plus I feel good after I’ve done it, may it be a half, a full or an ultra. I’m trying to see if I can do a 50 miler next year. Which is definitely another challenge for me. But first, I’d like to finish my 50 states half and full by next year.” Lynne

“I just enjoy challenging myself….trying things I’m not sure I can do….and it’s something I get to do for myself that’s healthy.”  Tom

“The thought of something greater within myself waiting to be discovered.”  Andrew

More confidence:

“I love the process of working towards a goal that is challenging and something I chose for myself. I love how it puts structure into my daily life and how it affects me as a person – I’m so much more confident, independent and enthusiastic than I used to be.”  Cecilia

“Because of all my “nevers” that actually came true. I never thought I could get a doctorate, mountain bike race, have twins, have amazing family and friends, have a rewarding career/business of my own, have a heart attack at 45 and bounce back. Running certain races/distances/times/with friends is a satisfying way to keep quashing my “nevers” and continue to test my limits physically, mentally, and spiritually…on my feet and in my life as a whole.”  Jennifer

“The confidence that running gives me is my reason and my hope is to run forever!”  Tricia

“It makes me feel like a stronger person. Knowing I have the ability to win the battles with feeling tired, being cold, and being lazy. Every time you go running; that’s a win.”  Stephen

“I can’t imagine not having running in my life. My “why” is that it completes who I am. It helps with my fitness and stress and my ability to think more clearly. It provides me with the opportunity to be outside where every run is a different adventure. I love the struggle and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a 20 miler. I love the running community. It’s fun quirky and tremendously supportive. I’m 53 and I’ve only been running for 5 years and my largest regret is that I didn’t find it earlier.”  Gregory

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Pete Kostelnick, Self-Supported Run from Alaska to Florida!


Pete Kostelnick was looking for a way to unlock his wildest dreams so he ran from Kenai, Alaska to Key West, Florida. He set out to accomplish this as a self-supported run, pushing all of his gear in a jogging stroller.

He began on July 31st and reached Key West on November 5th. In this interview you will hear how he got into long distance running ten years ago. Why he decided to take the adventure of a lifetime, and how he managed to pull it off. Enjoy!

Pete Kostelnick is a 31 year old ultrarunner from Iowa (currently living in Ohio) who holds the world record for fastest coast-to-coast crossing of the United States by foot -a record he set in 2016. He crossed in 42 days, six hours and 30 minutes . . . beating the previous record of 46 days, 8 hours, and 36 minutes set by Frank Gianinno Jr. in 1980.

Pete is also a two time winner of the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon in Death Valley and set the current course record there.

Stats from Pete’s Alaska to Florida Run

From Pete’s Feat Across America FB Page

  • Start point: Anchor Point, AK
  • End point: Key West, FL
  • Total Miles 5,390.76 miles (when mileage is added to the hundredths)
 distance in kilometers is 8675.58
  • 97 days 6 hours 57 min

  • Daily average: 55 miles
. (88.5 kilometers)
  • Total elevation gain: 175,301 ft (that’s 6 Mt. Everests)
  • 
Highest elevation gain run: 5,034 ft Day 6 in Alaska

  • Lowest elevation gain run: 238 ft Day 96 in Florida
  • 
Total moving time: 969 hours 32 min

  • Highest mileage run: 93.22 miles Day 24 in Yukon

  • Lowest mileage day: 0 Day 23 in Yukon (only 0 day due to wildfire)
  • 
Highest mileage state: Alaska 622 miles
  • 
Lowest mileage state: Kentucky 110 miles

photo credit: Pete Kostelnick

photo credit: Pete Kostelnick

photo credit: Pete Kostelnick

Pete Kostelnick

photo credit: Pete Kostelnick

About Trevor Spencer

Trevor Spencer is the producer of the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. He loves to inspire people to take action in their fitness and life.

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Smart Pacing Strategies in the Marathon

In this episode we discuss smart pacing strategies with Coach Steve Waldon -one of our coaches here at MTA and a 3:30 pacer at the New York City Marathon. You will hear how to establish goals, the tricks to pacing (tools and tips), how to adjust mid-race, and how to get through the tough later miles!

Coach Steve Waldon is a RRCA Certified Running Coach and a 3:30 pacer at the New York City Marathon. He’s a 2:53 marathoner with over 25 marathon finishes, nine 50 mile finishes, and two 100Ks. He also completed the Atacama Desert Crossing -155 mile self-supported stage race.

Topics/Questions Covered in this Discussion

  • Common mistakes people make
  • Choosing an appropriate pace
  • What if you start out too fast?
  • Adjusting Mid-Race
  • The reliability of our GPS watches
  • What to do in the later miles
  • What about run/walkers
  • What does it take to become a pacer at NYC Marathon?

Also Mentioned in This Episode

NuNeeShop.com. Don’t let knee pain keep you from completing your long runs, or worse, sideline you altogether. Let NuNee help you get back to running without knee pain. Use code MTA30 for a 30% discount.

Audible.com. Right now, for a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month
Text MTA to 500 500.

Action Heat -makes the world’s best heated clothing, like Heated Jackets, Socks, Gloves, Hats, and more. Save 20% off your order when you go to www.actionheat.com/MTA

Pace Bans -here are some websites for finding both free and paid pace bans.

About Angie Spencer

Angie is a registered nurse and running coach who empowers new runners to conquer the marathon, run faster, and take their health and fitness to the next level. Join the Academy

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