This past weekend we were honored to be a part of the first ever Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival in Bethlehem, PA. The energy brought to this, once World leader in the steel industry, town was spectacular as thousands of runners from around the U.S. and even the world came to partake in a weekend all about running. Also on site, were Olympians Julius Achon, Derrick Adkins (Gold Medal '96 Atlanta 400m hurdles), Shalane Flanagan (Bronze Medal '08 Beijing 10k), ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes, and the inspirational Matt Long. And we certainly can't leave out the editorial crew at RW, including its Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso. Runners had the chance to chose from a 5k, 10k and half marathon or could sign up for the "hat trick" and do all three!
The Garmin Pace team was out in full force and were armed with Forerunner 10 running watches to keep them on track. These pacers are machines, with most of them coming across the finish line within less than a minute of their goals.
Many of the weekend's finishers will be toeing the line again, in just a couple weeks, at the NYC Marathon. Garmin athlete, Olympian and Silver Medalist in the marathon Meb Keflezighi has been preparing for this race since finishing 4th at this year's games in London. We sat down with Meb to chat about his training and up coming race which he won in 2009:
Garmin: Do you feel extra motivation coming off such a great performance in London?
Meb: I am happy with the results from the London Olympics. I had a lot of problems during the race and through perseverance I was was able to go from 20th place to 4th place. Check out my London blog post for all of the details.
Garmin: Have you approached your training differently for this year’s NYC Marathon since your fitness was at such a high level this summer?
Meb: I did not approach my training for this year's NYC Marathon any differently than in previous years. I took two and half week off because of severe blisters I got from the cobblestones and the irritation from the turns in London. Nonetheless, I worked very hard to cover the three major areas of marathon preparation: tempos, long runs and intervals. Thanks to God and my support team in Mammoth and San Diego, I have been able to stay healthy during this preparation and got up to 130 miles a week. I am still dealing with and managing the sensitive blister spot with less than two weeks before the big race. Thanks to Garmin and my Forerunner for making it easy to keep track of my mileage and pace, especially when I am traveling. Staying healthy has allowed me to build on the strength which I built over the summer. I was getting stronger for the Olympic Marathon this summer, but I was about 2-3 weeks from being at my peak fitness. Now, with the hard work before London and continued momentum from training over the fall, I feel I should be competitive in New York on Nov. 4th.
Garmin: What advice would you give a first time NYC Marathon runner?
Meb: It is a magical place and spot to do a marathon. This will my my 8th time racing the NYC marathon in the last 10 years. People dream to visit New York City....just like I used to dream. Now, you have the opportunity to do sight seeing with your feet on the 26.2 mile tour of the Big Apple. Enjoy the moment, the crowd and the sights. Please take the tangents of the streets if you see it because it is very safe when the road is closed. New York is the capital of the world and running the New York City Marathon is a unique opportunity to see the City at its very best. My only advice is to be patient and be strong when you get to Central Park.
Garmin: Why do you love this race so much?
Meb: Like I said, this is my 8th time running the ING New York City Marathon. I ran my debut marathon in NYC in 2002 and when I crossed the finish line, I never wanted to do another marathon. However, after I came to my full senses I wanted to win the biggest marathon in the world. Mary Wittenberg (race director) and the rest of NYRR team have been fun and fair to me over the years. The NYRR gave me a great stage to compete and I hope I have delivered over the years. New York City is my home away from home. I have so many friends and fans that I cannot imagine being anywhere else on the first Sunday of November. New York City has been the city where I have competed the most during my professional career, including the 8k USA Championships, the Healthy Kidney 10k, the NYC Half Marathon and the Full marathon. I have great memories in the big apple.