It’s been a hot summer and those of us who have been training for a fall race have had our fair share of struggles. Even the most seasoned runners have had to take extra water breaks, adjust our paces, and start even earlier to beat the heat.
But what about our gang of unlikely runners? Our Local Joes have been taking on the challenge of going from non-runners or novice runners to half marathon finishers. How have they fared this training season?
Our Local Joes are just 32 days away from the starting gun of The Prairie Fire Marathon. Just four months ago many of them couldn’t run a mile or even fathom running 13.1 consecutively. Their training has got them up in the neighborhood of running 10 miles and they are surprising themselves and all of us watching with what they’ve been able to accomplish since May.
Trainer Holly Perkins laid out specific plans for each of our runners back in the spring. The plans were designed to get our Joes to the finish line. They had to overcome more than just the physical, but the logistical and even emotional issues that all runners deal with. Time is always fleeting and our brains don’t always rally for us. The Joes have had to learn what all runners deal with. Simply put: life can get in the way of running.
Besides the hurdles of schedules and commitments some of the Joes have had to fight harder than others to feel comfortable running. But overall, they’ve all made amazing strides. We checked in with each of them this past week:
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Saturday was a big day for our running project, The Local Joes. They took on their first group long run and I got a chance to get to know these great people who have already inspired so many.
I had the privilege of running with the Joes this Saturday morning. We met bright and early at the start of the three-day weekend and took off for a three mile run. We were short one Joe as Cassandra Schwartz wasn’t feeling well. A mighty group of three Joes took off and endured my incessant talking for about a half mile and then I realized they were all on their individual interval plan from their trainer, Holly Perkins, and I shut my mouth and let them do their thing.
I just helped by showing them the route and the mile markings to help them get familiar with the course. This provided one of my favorite quotes of the day. As our 6’7”, 300-pound, football player Nathan Carr reached the spray painted one mile mark, he said, “Awesome. That’s the furthest I’ve run in a long time.”
Gives me chills. I can still recall my first mile and all the unknown possibilities that followed.
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Have you ever watched a marathon run past your house or followed the training of a pavement-pounding friend and thought these individuals are cut from a cloth very different than your own? We’re here to tell you they weren’t. At some point, they were just average joes hoping to get to the end of their first mile without croaking. Their gazelle-like pace as they chase one more finish line only came as the result of a lot of hard work and ignoring people who called them crazy.
We’re excited to turn four more average joes in to runners, to prove that with the right training, the right commitment, and the right support, just about anyone can go after a finish line. Today, we introduce the Prairie Fire Marathon Local Joes class of 2012.
Each year, the Prairie Fire Marathon, held in Wichita, Kansas in October, hosts a team of Local Joes, four non-runners who become so over a course of training that leads them to the starting line and well past the finish. This year, we’re proudly sponsoring this group of new runners, and excited to see their growth physically as much as mentally.
Our team is made of two men and two women who are already pretty active on Twitter and about to become pretty active IRL (in real life), too! Meet our Local Joes:
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