“I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life.” -Susan Sidoriak
Attention RVA runners! Our summer camp for grownups is set to begin next week! Just in case you haven’t heard via social media or email, the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team will begin June 6th and 7th. It goes without saying that this season will look much different from previous years. And although we will initially meet virtually, we anticipate meeting for smaller group runs beginning on July 11th as state ordinances allow.
I can tell you from experience that training for and running a marathon will, in fact, change your life. Sports Backers is responsible for my success in training for and running 7 marathons! I have found their program to be extremely supportive and comprehensive, with education including, but not limited to, what to wear, how to fuel, and how to prevent injuries. There is hill work and speed training. And besides the training, there are the friendships. My running family has been solidified through these programs. Yes, we are one big team, but we are split into sub-teams by long run day, speed, and start times; we can accommodate anyone from the back of the packers, like me, to 3 hour marathoners.
Last year, I was asked to coach for my sub-team, the Pink Nation. I am coaching again this year. We have been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure your training experience will be amazing. And although I’m hopeful we will get to run our race in November, I can understand the apprehension in signing up for the program based on our current situation with regard to the pandemic.
That’s why I’m excited to tell you that Sports Backers has extended their deferral decision option. Anyone who signs up for 2020 MTT has the option to defer their MTT registration, with all its perks, to 2021 MTT through September 1st at 11:59:59pm at NO additional cost! It’s essentially a risk-free trial, which is comforting with so many ongoing changes this season. Also know that your training team fees generate funds for all of the wonderful community programs that Sports Backers produces that help promote an active RVA, like the Fitness Warriors and Kids Run RVA.
Now, hear me out. I know that with Boston now canceled after being postponed, Berlin canceled, and other earlier fall marathons on the brink of succumbing to the same fate due to the pandemic, you may wonder why we should bother to train at all. But for many of us, a fall marathon is now a part of our DNA. We have sacrificed group runs for months and really miss this human connection we get through group training. I personally have been in maintenance mode for weeks. As of now, the Richmond Marathon is still on the books for November 14th, 2020. Getting back to a training program may help us battle quarantine fatigue and help us return to some semblance of normalcy, even if training looks a bit different this year.
Many of you may have had your heart set on running your first marathon in 2020. And although we may not be certain of the fate of fall races yet, you can bet there will be some virtual options. And there will be many of us veterans who will be more than happy to help you reach your goal, including me.
If you are not in the Richmond area, or if you want to continue to avoid group runs but still have excellent guidance, there is a completely virtual team available which has been a part of our program for a couple of years. You will get support from your own team of coaches, regardless of what marathon you are training for, but note that your training team fee includes entry into the 2020 Richmond Marathon, dubbed America’s Friendliest by Runner’s World Magazine.
Looking for another way to stay motivated with running? Check out Sports Backers’ new virtual event, the Great American 5000k team race! In teams of 12 or 24, you collectively run the mileage across the US (3,107 miles). You do not need to be a resident of the Metro Richmond area to participate! Sports Backers has partnered with Feeding America, raising funds for this worthy charity.
As our world begins to re-open and as the height of the pandemic seems to be passing, perhaps it’s time to return to organized training. I hope you will consider joining Sports Backers MTT this year! #letsgorva
Happy running! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.