November 13th was a big day for our Running Wild family.

Of the 44 participants in our marathon training program, 10 placed in their age groups, one placed 3rd OVERALL female and one won OVERALL female. This training season we saw it all; many FIRST TIME marathoners, veteran marathoners, overcoming minor injuries and VICTORIES across the board.
For 16-weeks 60+ local runners trained with the Running Wild Marathon and Half-Marathon Training program. This training program includes personalized weekly training schedule, coached guidance, and pacers for workouts, gear, clinics and more encouragement than you will know what to do with.
From 5+ hour marathon finishers (five hours of total running time) to the Overall Female winner, we asked about their experiences and what’s next for them.

Shortly after completing her first marathon, Mehgan Cash was feeling that runner’s high, “I am so overwhelmed with emotion today. Never have I felt so much support and love from people.” A runner in the 5:00 training group (self-proclaimed “Fierce Fivers”…how awesome is that?!), not only overcame but EMBRACED mental and physical challenges on race day which led to her incredible success. “My experience with the Running Wild training program was nothing short of wonderful. The pacers I ran with are Liz Mulcahy and Greg Schnoor. Liz is one of the most upbeat people I’ve ever met, never wavering on support and energy. Greg is without a doubt the most inspiring person I’ve met, overcoming his own obstacles and dedicating one-on-one time to pace us when needed. The program was organized and thorough, and I felt prepared to tackle 26.2. When it came to race day, nothing has ever been so exciting for me. I had so much fun…for the first 17 miles. After that, I relied solely on the support of my pacers and running partners. Without their encouragement, I’m not sure I would’ve finished it on my own. At mile 20, the Phat Girls were there to provide water and fuel. They provided much more than that: they let me cry and they hugged me and told me I could do it. I didn’t think I had it in me but I did. I couldn’t recommend the Running Wild training program enough. It turned me into a marathon finisher.

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Joel Fleekop was a part of the 4:00 group (four hour total run time). This group was led by experienced marathon and ultra-marathon runner, Vernon Compton. “For most of my adult life running has been a solitary activity; a chance to quiet the demands of work and fatherhood; to escape into the rhythm of my stride and the distraction of a favorite podcast. But as my running goals changed, and the distances to which I aspired increased, I knew there were things I couldn’t do alone. As in so much of life, success would depend on the support of a community. I found that community at Running Wild. The training schedules, nutritional guidance, and other information provided by the Running Wild Marathon program have been indispensable. Equally indispensable are the words of encouragement and support one receives; the sense of community that somehow makes getting up at 5:00 in the morning to run 20 miles in the heat something to which I look forward. I have now completed two marathons. I am not sure I am yet, or will ever be a “marathoner.” But I do know that neither journey would have been possible without the staff, pacers, and fellow runners in the Running Wild training program. I still like to escape into the rhythm of my stride and the distraction of a favorite podcast, but now I do so running alongside a community of friends.

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