Archive for February, 2012

Everyone Is A Coach!

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Are you surprised by how many people offer you advice once they learn that you’re running the Boston Marathon?  People that haven’t even run the marathon seem to have words of wisdom for you.  They can range from diet, shoes, avoiding injuries, managing the course and the list continues.

It can be so confusing and overwhelming because, aside from the volume of opinions, it’s difficult to determine what information you should follow.  My suggestion is to simply follow the advice that I offer you.   While these people are well-intentioned, I recommend that you rely on the information that I share at training, in our weekly communication and on my daily blog.

I’ve always marveled at the pattern of communication I have with runners.  There’s always a core group that regularly communicate with me but there’s also an equal number that either don’t attend training or ever communicate with me.

If you were taking a college course and knew the professor was providing regular answers to the final exam on their blog, would you take the time to obtain that information?  The primary purpose of my blog is to educate you about running in general and the Boston Marathon in particular.  Inevitably I eventually hear from the runners in the final weeks that I’ve had little or no communication with and it’s never as comforting for them as I would like.  Their questions tend to mirror the questions that I’m commonly asked in the first month of training, not the final weeks.   This can cause a state of panic at a time where they should feel more comfortable and confident. 

As the marathon approaches the volume of opinions tend to exponentially increase.  You will be well-served if you focus on the training techniques that I have offered you throughout training.  If you’re uncertain about any aspect of your training please notify me and I’ll provide further clarification.  I’m always comforted when I hear stories like this from a former runner:

“Rick, I couldn’t wait to share this story with you!  One of my colleagues, who has run more than 10 Boston marathons, learned that I was running Boston and began offering a battery of recommendations and asking an equal number of questions.  He seemed particularly shocked that I had answers for every question and was also familiar with every recommendation he offered  since Boston is going to be my first marathon.  I just want to thank you for all the support, encouragement and inspiration that you’ve provided all of us the past several months.  I’m convinced that I am in good hands and right on track with my Boston preparation.”

As a coach, there’s no better endorsement than that.  Keep all the advice that you’re being offered in perspective and let me know if there’s anything that I can do to support you!

Boston Marathon Checklist

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Imperfect preparation gives rise to the thousand-fold forms that express physical and mental inferiority and insecurity!”    -Alfred Adler

It’s never too early to begin planning for Marathon weekend and beyond.  Here are my recommendations that will hopefully provide some basic guidelines to ensure you’re as prepared as possible for the marathon.  This checklist has been developed over 15 years of coaching marathon runners for the Boston Marathon.

I hope that you will offer any additional recommendations!

Marathon Weekend Checklist

• Rick Muhr •

Copyright: Rick Muhr•Head Running Coach•Marathon Coalition ©

Ÿ  Be sure to bring your driver’s license and your Number Pick Up Card when picking up your marathon number.

Ÿ  Save the bag that your number comes in as this is the bag that you will drop off at the buses returning to Boston once you leave the Athlete’s Village for the starting area.

Ÿ  Be sure that you have your Champion Chip before you depart the number area.

Ÿ  When visiting the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo DO NOT INGEST ANY OF THE SAMPLES BEFORE THE MARATHON!

Ÿ  Most of the Boston Marathon apparel that you see in local stores and at the Expo will be on sale after the marathon at significant savings.

Ÿ  Don’t wear anything that you purchased at the Expo in the marathon.

Ÿ  Try to get your number and Expo visitation over sooner rather than later.  As the weekend progresses this area becomes far more hectic.  You want to minimize the stress as much as possible before the marathon.

Ÿ  Saturday night is your most important night of sleep.  The odds are that you will not sleep as well Sunday night.

Ÿ  Don’t introduce anything new or different into your diet before the marathon.

Ÿ  Start organizing EVERYTHING that you think you’ll need before/during/after the marathon now.

Ÿ  Check your shoe laces to be sure they don’t require replacing.  It can be disheartening to break a lace just before the marathon.

Ÿ  When you affix your number to your singlet DO NOT attach the bottom of your number to your shorts.  You will understand why if you have to use the restroom.

Ÿ  Place your Champion Chip near the top of your laces.  You’ll want the BAA volunteers to be able to remove this quickly once you cross the finish line.

Ÿ  You can improve the circulation in your legs if you elevate the foot of your bed several inches Saturday and Sunday night before the marathon.  This results in your legs not feeling as tired.

Ÿ  DO NOT WEAR THE SHOES YOU ARE PLANNING TO WEAR IN THE MARATHON TO THE ATHLETE’S VILLAGE.  I have seen countless runners walk through wet grass in their marathon shoes before the race.  Wear an old pair and change into your marathon shoes after you leave the Athlete’s Village and are on pavement. 

Ÿ  Double knot your shoes but not too tightly because your feet are going to swell during the marathon.

Ÿ  Bring several large garbage bags to Hopkinton (several to sit on in the grass and one to punch a hole in the bottom and use as a poncho.

Ÿ  Bring a marker if you want to write something on your arms or legs before the marathon.

Ÿ  Writing your name on your singlet may seem like a good idea if you think you’ll benefit from the encouragement but I would not recommend it.  You want to recognize the people who REALLY know you when they call your name from the crowd.  It gets a little annoying, especially for the people running near you, to constantly hear your name being called.

Ÿ  Don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure to apply it even it’s going to be overcast.  The back of the neck and the back of the knees are two areas extremely vulnerable to sunburn.

Ÿ  Coat your feet and areas of friction liberally with Body Glide before the marathon.

Ÿ  Remove all jewelry before the marathon.  Fingers and toes tend to expand quite a bit during the marathon.

Ÿ  Wearing sunglasses will keep your face relaxed and will actually conserve energy.

Ÿ  I carry a small sponge with me to douse with water and wipe my face during the marathon.

Ÿ  I also carry a small straw with me to sip through at the aid stations.  You want to avoid taking in excess air as it can upset your stomach.


Ÿ  Leave the Athlete’s Village for the starting line no later than 9:45 a.m. and enter the corral that corresponds with your race number.  You will be allowed to move back to a corral with higher numbers but you cannot move forward. 

Ÿ  If you plan to check a bag in Hopkinton and retrieve it in Boston you should do this on your way to the starting line.  The buses will have a range of numbers posted on them so simply go to the bus that has your corresponding number.

Ÿ  Your official running time will not begin until you cross the starting line and activate your Champion Chip.  None of the times posted on the marathon course will have any relevance to you so simply monitor your watch if time is important to you.

Ÿ  Here is my strategy for running Boston:  Run the first 5 miles extremely conservatively, allowing my body to completely warm up and minimizing the damage of the extreme downhills.  I will then do most of my faster running from miles 5-15.  I will throttle my pace back as I drop down into Newton Lower Falls just after mile 15 and until I get to the top of Heartbreak Hill (Mile 21).  I will then evaluate how I’m feeling and then push again the final 5 miles.

Ÿ  The best way to complete a marathon is with even and negative splits.  Negative splits simply mean running the second half faster than the first.  This is not very easy considering the second half is more difficult than the first.  But if you run conservatively the first half you’ll improve your chances. 

Ÿ  Your goal should be to get to mile 15 in relatively good shape/condition.

Ÿ  If you have friends and family meeting you along the course be sure you know which side they’ll be on as you are running.  I recommend having them carry a helium balloon so you can spot them immediately.

Ÿ  I don’t recommend taking aid from any of the spectators.  While good intentioned, there could be bacteria on their hands (remember the aforementioned samples at the Expo) that could adversely affect you.

Ÿ  If you wear a watch during the marathon please don’t shut it off as you cross the finish line.  You don’t want your finisher’s picture to be of you shutting your watch off.  You will get an official time after the marathon so the time on your watch is really meaningless.

Ÿ  Be sure that your number is completely unobstructed as you approach the finish line.  Otherwise, you risk not getting a picture of your finish.

Ÿ  Once you finish your goal should be to continue moving and eat and drink as quickly as you can.  Be sure to accept the mylar blanket the volunteers will wrap around you.

Ÿ  Take a moment to glance down and appreciate the medal they will also place around your neck once you finish!

Ÿ  Taking a hot shower is possibly the riskiest part of your marathon day.  Keep the temperature moderate and have something non-alcoholic to drink while showering.  Keeping the door open, if possible, will also help prevent the humidity from building up. 

Ÿ  Check it with your respective Charity to let them know you have finished and are okay.  My cell phone is 508-353-6699 and I will be monitoring this number all weekend.  The only time I will not have my phone with me is when I’m running.

Ÿ  I don’t recommend running after the marathon until the pain completely subsides.

Ÿ  Walking and cross training will be instrumental in your recovery.

Ÿ  Take the time to thank all the people who were instrumental in helping you accomplish this incredible achievement.

Ÿ  I will always be grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in your amazing accomplishment…thank you!


Developing Good Habits

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Developing good habits  provides many benefits to your running.  Starting each week on a positive note is critical to a productive week.  Sunday’s are typically a rest and family day for most runners following their long Saturday run.  But you can’t completely disengage from the training mindset.

You still need to prepare for your upcoming training week so you can’t abandon discipline and focus altogether.  Eating well, staying hydrated and receiving adequate rest should be omnipresent every day of the week.  Sure, you can indulge in some of the things you deprive yourself of during the week; but moderation should reign supreme.

Setting your running things out on Sunday is a good starting point.  Planning your pre-run meal establishes a training mindset that doesn’t have to be jump started if you completely abandon your focus upon the completion of your training run on Saturday. 

Getting a good nutritional start each day with a well-balanced breakfast minimizes the chances of low-blood sugar and major indulgences in foods with high sugar or fat content later in the day.  Eating every two hours will also sustain your blood-sugar and minimize these indulgences.  Another good habit is not to eat too late in the day.  I try to limit my carbohydrate intake after 7:00 p.m.  

I recently mentioned the importance of a post-run routine (e.g., changing into warm comfortable clothes, using the stick, foam roller and stretching, eating within 30-60 minutes, taking an ice bath etc.) that will also pay huge dividends in all aspects of your running.  Years of running can make you muscles tighten and contract, which places more stress on your tendons and ligaments.  Increasing flexibility in and around the areas that runners typically experience tightening, particularly hamstrings and calves, reduces the likelihood of an injury.

Just as beginning each day with a well-balanced breakfast is a good habit, so is beginning each week with a well planned and strategic run.  I have always accepted the reality that the first mile of every run is going to be the most difficult so I decrease my pace by nearly 2 minutes than I expect to average for the remaining miles.  This gradual decrease in pace allows my heart to gradually pump blood/oxygen to my major muscles.  I also focus on my running efficiency and breathing so that I develop a rhythm to each run. 

I also focus on the mental aspect of every run.  I expect the demons of doubt to accompany me during the first mile of every run.  So I focus on why completing every run is important and how blessed I am to be able to run.  If you’re training for Boston, you simply need to think about April 16, 2012 and the importance of arriving at the starting line in the best possible physical shape and mental state.  And if you’re a charity runner you need no greater reminder than the funds that you are raising, which are so closely connected to your running, are making a considerable difference in the lives of others!

Running can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.  Developing good habits will allow you to keep it simple, reduce injuries and maximize the enjoyment of your running!

Benefits Of Variety

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Several runners have contacted me recently expressing concern that they felt unusual pain after running in a new pair of shoes.  It’s very common for runners to think that a new pair of shoes is the solution to all their aches and pains.  However, in every instance the problems were not a result of the new shoes but rather because they stayed in their old shoes too long.

As the outsole and midsole of your running shoes wear, your legs go through a greater range of motion.  Eventually, even someone with a normal range of pronation will place as much stress on their lower extremities as an over-pronator.  This is a very subtle process that most runners won’t even notice until they run in a new pair of shoes.  New shoes will restrict this excessive movement and actually place greater degrees of stress on tendons and ligaments simply because they’re being used differently.

So what is the solution?  I recommend that you rotate multiple pairs of shoes to avoid becoming accustomed to the movement of just one pair.  I realize this can be an expensive prospect but rotating multiple pairs of shoes is actually more cost-effective than running in just one pair.  Let me explain…by only wearing one pair of running shoes you never allow your running shoes to fully recover.  It’s similar to you having to work overtime for weeks without a weekend break.  Your shoes need to recover just like you do.  You place nearly 3-4 times your body weight of force on your shoes with every footstrike.  Most midsoles are composed of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or air blown rubber comprise  of tiny air bubbles that act as shock absorbers against this incredible force of running.  They need at least 24 hours to fully expand back to their full level of resiliency, otherwise they compress and break down prematurely.

Rotating your shoes provides the necessary rest to ensure full recovery.  So rotating several pairs of running shoes, while expensive in the beginning, is ultimately less expensive because two pairs of rotated shoes will outlast 3-4 pairs of running shoes worn individually.

Running in different shoes is also beneficial because your legs don’t become accustomed to just the movement of one pair of shoes.  Incorporating variety into your running is extremely beneficial.  You should be varying your distance, speed, and terrain.  You should also be rotating your shoes!

Counterintuitive Running

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

It has been difficult to convince runners they can actually run faster marathon times by incorporating walking into their race strategy. Many of the more experienced runners that I coach feel that walking is a sign of weakness or failure. They have resisted adopting this running strategy but, because of my insistence, have given it a try.

Without exception, they have all become believers after realizing how wonderful and energized they can feel during and after their runs. I hope that you will also consider incorporating regular walk breaks into your training if you haven’t already. The primary objective of these walking breaks is to conserve energy and reduce the stress you place on your lower extremities and ultimately maintain efficient form throughout your runs. The primary benefits are the ability to maintain your efficient running form throughout your runs, significantly reduce the risk of injuries and more thoroughly enjoy your running.

I recommend that you take regular walk breaks from the outset and not wait until you begin to feel they are necessary. If you wait until you are feeling tired before walking the cumulative fatigue may never disappear. The benchmark that I follow is one minute of walking for every 9 minutes of running. I keep my stride short during my walk breaks to reduce the stress being placed on bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. I would describe my walking pace as moderate as my goal is to maximize the recovery and rest aspects of these breaks.

The water stops are the ideal place in a marathon to take a regular walk break. Stay to the middle of the road to avoid all the runners gathered at the first several tables all fighting for the same cup of replenishment. It is so much safer and the volunteers are far more appreciative at the last tables of every water stop. By waiting until the end of a water stop I am afforded the luxury of stepping to the side of the road in an area not littered with cups to enjoy a few gulps of replenishment before easing back into my running pace.

Now is the ideal time to incorporate walking into your training program. Runners that resist this methodology will pass you in the beginning of the marathon but become believers when you pass them completely energized as they are ‘forced’ to walk.

So walk early and walk often to more thoroughly enjoy every facet of your running!

Balancing fluid intake is very important in marathon training and on race day.  It is essential in maintaining good health and enhancing performance in any endurance event. Until around the last decade, people concentrated primarily on preventing dehydration.  However, drinking too much fluid can be very dangerous and lead to hyponatremia, a life-threatening condition in which the blood sodium levels drop to a seriously low- level causing a possible seizure, coma or death.  Immediate emergency care is necessary for hyponatremia victims. It’s important to educate yourself on the symptoms of dehydration and hyponatremia so you can be aware and know what treatment is necessary.

The BAA usually supplies complete information about Hyponatremia in your race packet- READ IT THOROUGHLY.  The following are guidelines published by the American Running Association and the American Medical Athletic Association

Dehydration and Heat Illness Signs:

Headache Fatigue
Dizziness Nausea
Muscle Cramps Weakness
Irritability Vomiting
Heat Flush Abnormal Chills

Hyponatremia Signs (Look for a combination of symptoms):

Rapid Weight Gain Bloated Stomach
Nausea Wheezy Breathing
Seizure Dizziness
Apathy Confusion
Severe Fatigue Swollen Hands/Feet
Throbbing Headache Cramping
Lack of Coordination  


Risk Factors for Hyponatremia Include:

 -Drinking  too much fluid without adequately replacing the sodium lost in sweat

 -Endurance athletes- exercising more than 4 hours

 -Athletes on a low sodium diet

 -Salty sweaters- often have an obvious white residue on face and skin

Hydration Plan

 -Drink to Stay Hydrated- Don’t Overdrink-  Overdrinking before, during or after a race increases the risk of hyponatremia dramatically. 

 – Determine Your Sweat Rate- The best way to prevent over-drinking is to determine your hourly sweat rate.  Simply weigh yourself, naked, before your run.  Run for an hour, and weigh yourself on your return, naked.  Every pound you lose is equal to 16 oz. of water.  If you take water in during the run, add that to the weight loss to determine how much water is safe to drink per hour.  For example, if you lose 2 pounds, that’s 32 oz. you can drink in an hour (so 8 oz. every 15 minutes).  If you drink 12 oz. of water in that hour, then you add the 32 oz. (for 2lbs. of weight loss) and 12 oz. for (water consumed) to equal 44 oz. total per hour (or 11 oz. every 15 minutes).  This method gives you the best estimate of how much water you can safely consume during your event.

 – Maintain a Salty Diet- to make certain you replace all of the salt lost during training during training. During a long race (e.g. more than 4 hours), eat salty snacks such as pretzels and saltine crackers, especially if you are a salty sweater.

 – Favor Sports Drinks like Gatorade over water during your event to help keep your body hydrated, fueled and salted.  However, sports drinks alone will NOT prevent  hyponatremia- any fluid, if consumed in excess, can cause a drop in blood sodium.

– Recognize Warning Signs of both heat illness and hyponatremia and learn to distinguish between them.

Writing your pre-race weight on the back of your bib number can be a helpful precaution if hyponatremia is suspected during or after the race.  An increase in weight is a sure sign of hypontremia.  Also, knowing your approximate sweat rate will give you confidence in your hydration plan during the race.  When in doubt, stop drinking and seek medical help fast.

The Importance Of Time

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of working with one of my Marathon Coalition runners at the MIT track recently.  He’s unable to attend our Saturday training so I wanted to comprehensively cover every aspect of preparing for the Boston Marathon.   My session with Ed was an important reminder of the importance of time…of being completely in the moment.  He had 100% of my attention!

The focal point of my coaching has been running efficiency and form.  If you’re able to run efficiently you can maintain your form throughout your runs, minimize the risk of injury and enjoy running far more.  He provided great feedback and provided the following testimonial.

I’ve decided to add a ‘Transform Your Running’ component to my coaching.  It will consist of a private 90 minute session for $100 (the average cost of a pair of running shoes) .  I hope you will also check out Ed’s website at the end of his testimonial.  He’s a professional musician and has an impressive list of accomplishments.

 I had the privilege of a 90 minute coaching session with Rick, in preparation for my first (Boston) marathon.  I’m a professional musician.  I’ve never been very athletic, and although I’ve been on a personal journey of physical fitness for the past three years, including becoming a power yoga teacher, and doing my first triathlon, I don’t have a lifetime base of fitness to build on.  So, I run pretty slow averaging a 10 minute long distance pace, with 8-9 minute miles happening here and there – it’s a challenge.

 I was immediately taken with Rick’s enthusiasm and passion and “embodiment” of running, meaning that it is a way of life and not just an activity.  I’ve worked with some of the world’s best musicians from time to time and was able to see an immediate parallel in Rick. With a flash of a smile, you could see the zeal as he delivered one pithy kernel of wisdom after another.  He communicated these in such a clear way that you could duplicate and immediately apply each one – a hallmark of great artists and teachers.

 In one meeting Rick was able to download to me, a basically self-taught runner, salient and essential points covering the entire compass of running.  Particularly, his fine points on efficient running form were exceptionally helpful.  Without going into detail or trying to deliver the lesson here, I can say that on my very next long run, applying what points of Rick’s coaching that I could apply immediately, I was able to run, with no walking, 20 miles in relative comfort, and was able to take about 30 minutes off my overall time compared to the last time I went that distance.  Its hard to make more of a case for this style of efficiency than that. It was immediately effective.

My take on this is that the slower you run, the harder it is to run, and the longer you have to run.  This is especially true in my case.  So, where this becomes most important is on the back end of a long run when you’re tired and your form deteriorates. Efficiency and form become even more vital and make a bigger difference in over all time and effort.  In other words, what matters is how well you run when you’re exhausted, or how long you keep  a solid form.

 Also, Rick is able to deliver a great deal of confidence through his teaching and approach.  As a musician, I’ve often had to assimilate new styles of music.  Each time I do, I go from being the expert to being a novice.  Its easy to lose your confidence when exposed like that.  So, its easy as a musician or other professional to just settle for “kind of running” rather than being a capable runner.  Rick dispelled this notion, underscoring the idea that if you’re going to do it, its worth doing well, expertly, or even professionally: and you CAN!”

Ed “Horsefly” Broms







Posted: February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

One of the greatest benefits of coaching marathoners is witnessing their many transformations  leading up to and beyond the marathon.  I met Trish Reske at an information session for Team In Training several years ago.  She never considered herself an athlete but has become one of the most dedicated runners I’ve ever coached.

Her determination is testament to the power of the human spirit and how just one person can make such a significance difference in the world.  Trish is such an inspiration to me and others.    She  described our initial meeting in her blog:

I went into Boston one night to attend a recruitment seminar for Team In Training, a charitable running group in which my brother was involved. I listened to the speaker and coach, Rick Muhr, and was so inspired by his words and his dedication to Team in Training and to runners like me. I went up to him and casually mentioned that I was signed up for the Ocean State Marathon in Providence, RI, just a week away, and that I thought that I’d run part of it, though I really didn’t believe I’d finish.

Rick locked eyes with me and said, ‘Trish, you’ll finish. You’ve done enough training. And when you do, I want you to email me and tell me all about it.’Then he wrote down his email address and handed it to me. I was floored.

I never had someone believe in me like that, let alone a real, live coach. I took Rick at his word, and set out to run my first marathon, bolstered by his words.

I am so indebted to Rick. He gave me the confidence I needed. I completed the marathon in 4:25, and even helped other women across the finish line. I was ecstatic. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of nearly a decade of marathon and distance running, most recently as a qualified charity runner for the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, I set my personal best (3:50:40) at the Breakers Marathon, which ironically is the “new” Ocean State Marathon, now run in Newport, RI.

I like to say that running a marathon isn’t for everybody. But it is for anybody. Anybody who wants to stretch, to reach the unreachable, to set a goal and achieve it. And to take that experience into the rest of their life. As my beloved coach Rick has said to hundreds of charity runners for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:

 ‘When you cross the finish line of the marathon you may never have a clearer picture of what you are made of and capable of accomplishing.  It is a rare and unique realization that will be more than worth the effort of the next 5 months.  Your view of the world and, more importantly, of yourself will forever be changed!’

How right he is.”

I recently heard from Trish prior to the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, Alabama.  I could not be more proud of her.  Here is her description of the experience:

Trish Reske’s Blog


Enjoy The Journey!

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Everything in life will seem easier after completing the Boston Marathon…but only the complacent will find  any comfort in this.  Most runners, particularly charity runners, will be inspired by the experience and will embark on even greater challenges and accomplishments.

I’ve never understood having a bucket list for the sake of simply checking things off to say I’ve experienced or accomplished them.  I would rather experience all the Boston Marathon offers and not  rush through the journey just to say I did it.  Runners that focus on the destination…the finish line of the Boston Marathon…miss out on the most meaningful aspect of the entire experience…the journey.  

The journey is what defines the experience.  The daily challenges of preparing for each run teaches discipline and the importance of sacrifice and commitment.  The reward is becoming healthier, more fit and getting together with the Marathon Coalition TEAM each Saturday to share in a common effort and to be reminded of the most important aspect of this journey…to provide opportunities that will improve the lives of so many!

Yes, I know that crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon is the crown jewel and having the finisher’s medal is a prized possession.  But those that enjoy the journey will not view Boylston Street as the finish line.  The finish line will actually be the beginning of a much longer journey of believing you can make an even more significant difference in the world! 


Post-Run Happiness

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

I didn’t run with the Marathon Coalition TEAM yesterday because I wanted to take pictures of all the runners.  Lori creates a wonderful presentation for our pasta party each year and it’s largely comprised of training pictures.  Taking pictures allows me to also spend more time with each runner. 

I was joined by John Ryan (Development Director at the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton) who actually took all the pictures and allowed me to interact with the runners.  I learned that John is extremely passionate about helping others and, among his incredible dedication to providing opportunities for others, serves on the board of directors of a homeless and hunger prevention organization.  He grew up in a single-parent home and benefited from his involvement with his local boys & girls club…so he brings firsthand experience to his role with the Newton Boys & Girls Club.

It’s always wonderful to interact with the Marathon Coalition runners at the conclusion of each run.  When you see the look of accomplishment and happiness on the runner’s faces below (Left to Right: Jennifer, Coach Rick, Andrea and Claire), you can understand why running can be so addicting and why I enjoy coaching and supporting my runners so much!