13 Coaches
13 Cadets
26 Strong

Runners come in all shapes and sizes and at all levels of experience. Some of us are fast, some of us are slow. We run to let off steam, to spend time with friends, to compete with ourselves. But whoever we are and whatever our reasons, we all started from the same place, as wannabe runners. And for those of us who are now marathoners, before we accomplished that lofty 26.2-mile goal, we were wannabe marathoners.

Running may be a solo sport, but we are stronger as teams than we are on our own. This year, Saucony, Competitor and Women’s Running have come together to create a team of 13 newbies (“cadets”) who are training to run their very first marathon and 13 coaches who will guide them through their journey—all the way across the finish line.

  • Team 12

    Angela Bekkala: Running (In Place) To Music

    Last month, I talked about why I don’t listen to music when I run outside. I’d much rather listen to the music of my run than get distracted by the tunes coming out of my iPod. However, I do listen to music when I run on the treadmill. That is a must! Pandora is my go-to source for upbeat music to keep me distracted from the mundane of running in place. My favorite stations are Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout, Pop Fitness and No Doubt Radio. I especially dig it when old school songs from my past come on.... Read More
  • Team 6

    Danica Newon: Learning From Nutrition Mistakes

    Making a mistake during running? I cannot even count how many times I’ve done that! The biggest thing I had to learn to deal with was having stomach issues while running. I’ve never had a sensitive stomach when running shorter distances or problems with any foods, but when I started running longer distances, I wasn’t able to just to drink Gatorade and take gels how most runners can. I struggled with this for almost two years before I figured out that I could do a few things differently to make running long distances easier and keep my stomach happy. It... Read More
  • Team 5

    Katherine Hopper: Cross-Train To Become A Better Runner

    I have not yet found any other type of exercise that makes me feel as happy and fulfilled as I am when I’m running. It’s tough to compete with the simplicity and beauty of running outside. I love getting fresh air, seeing new place, and having an escape from a busy day. It’s even better when you can share the experience with friends. I like the simplicity of being able to just throw on some running shoes and head out the door. And the feeling after finishing a tough run is pretty unbeatable. So it may come as no surprise... Read More

2014 Teams

  • Team 1

    Dorothy Beal

    Dorothy Beal

    Coach

    The creator of #irunthisbody and #dreambigrunlong, Dorothy Beal’s running story is similar to many other women. She got her start in the sport during college with the goal of losing weight and becoming happier. With her mom’s help, she became a runner and has now completed several marathons.

    Read more

    What are your PRs?
    Marathon: 3:11

    What inspires you to keep running?
    This is a hard one. I can’t even begin to list all the people, places and things that inspire me. If I had to pick one I’d say my three kids—I want them to see what I have accomplished in life and know in their hearts they are only limited by the limits they place on themselves.

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    It feels like I’m at home. Being part of the running community is so special because it’s filled with supportive, like-minded people. People who don’t think you are crazy when you say, I’m sorry I can’t go out to that bar, or attend that party, I need to run long in the morning. It’s not a want, it’s a need. I like being a part of such a fun group of individuals. Runners are the coolest people, right?

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014?What are your running goals for this year?
    My goal is to help my cadet Danielle finish her first marathon strong with a smile on her face. Before that, I plan on running the Marine Corps Marathon again and hope to PR the course for me, which would be sub-3:13. I’d love to be able to fit in as many miles as I want this summer and get a sub-3:10 marathon. I also plan on running the Las Vegas Marathon again—I really can’t stay away from that race.

    Danielle Shaffo

    Danielle Shaffo

    Cadet

    Danielle Shaffo, 31, got into running while trying to lose weight after giving birth to her daughter in 2008. A resident of Dunedin, Fla., she is continually inspired by the stories and positive motivation provided by other runners. “It’s a very empowering community,” she says.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    Women’s Running Series St. Petersburg Half Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    8K: 42:37
    15k: 1:21:27
    Half Marathon: 1:56:52

    Favorite thing to do after a race? Eat breakfast!

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    First off, my No. 1 goal this year is to finish a marathon. I plan to find my 26 Strong by leaving behind all of the excuses that have been holding me back until now.

  • Team 2

    Michele Gonzalez

    Michele Gonzalez

    Coach

    Born and raised in Stated Island, N.Y., Michele Gonzalez has always been a runner: first as a basketball player, then as a cadet at West Point Military Academy, and finally during her three deployments to Iraq as an Army captain. Now 32, Gonzalez has run seven marathons and is also an ultra marathoner and an Ironman triathlete. “I love setting big goals and then pushing myself to get there, day after day,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    Hands down, the New York City Marathon. It’s so special to get to run through the streets of your hometown—where you are familiar with almost every turn, landmark, hill—all while friends and family cheer you on from various locations.

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 1:31:57
    Marathon: 3:21:32 (Boston)

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    The support—when races go well but especially when they don’t go as planned. I’ve had my share of those and there were times where I felt like I could feel the hugs via social media.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I think each day presents an opportunity for me to find my 26 Strong—whether it’s during a 20-mile run, mile intervals, a tuneup race, taking the time to do the little things (core and strength training), or taking a rest day. I’d love to run a sub-1:30 half marathon and 3:10 marathon this fall but I’ve learned to keep my goals fluid until training is complete.

    Nicole King

    Nicole King

    Cadet

    Nicole King has been running for a few years but only began seriously training last fall. She has never run an official race, but that will change this year as she prepares to run her first marathon as part of the 26 Strong program. Her newfound devotion to fitness has led to a 30-pound weight loss. “Michele (my sister and coach) and I went up to Boston to cheer at the Boston Marathon—it was such an awe-inspiring experience and made me so much more excited for my journey.”

    Read more

    What got you into running?
    I used to despise running. I played sports all throughout grade school and high school and always viewed running as something I had to do, not something I wanted to do, so I guess that turned me off to it. A couple of years ago, I decided my life needed some changes—I went back to school to become a registered nurse, developed healthier habits (eating, exercise) and began to exercise (walking, running, going to the gym).

    What inspires you to keep running?
    I always imagine myself crossing the finish line of my first marathon while I’m running, especially when it hurts! I tell myself that I’d rather push now and enjoy it on race day. I also love spectating and cheering at races, especially marathons.

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    I am so amazed by the amazing friendships I have developed through running and social media. It’s so great to have so much support—no matter how fast or slow you run.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My biggest goal is to finish the marathon. But I also want to become a more confident runner. One of the biggest things that has kept me from racing was my fear of being considered slow or inexperienced. I have to realize that everyone is different and at a different place in their training.

  • Team 3

    Dimity McDowell

    Dimity McDowell

    Coach

    Dimity McDowell started running in college as a form of cross-training for her crew team. After college she moved to New York City, where she couldn’t afford a gym. Her solution was to run the 10K loop of central Park five or six times a week—sometimes she did that on rollerblades. “The only goal should be to cross the finish line with a smile on your face and no injuries,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    Golden Leaf Half Marathon in Aspen, Colo.

    What are your PRs?
    I can remember the minutes, not the seconds:

    5K: 23 minutes
    10K: 50 minutes
    Half-marathon: 1:51
    Marathon: 4:13
    Ironman: 12:16:16 (I remember that one because I did it last year.)

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    The instant connection I make with fellow runners; some can be instantly deep and surprisingly intimate.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I’ll definitely find my 26 Strong through helping another mother runner through 26.2; there’s something that’s so fulfilling helping somebody else reach their goals. My personal running goals for 2014 are to not get injured, run the Pikes Peak Ascent in mid-August, and enjoy the 26 Strong program.

    Kelly Pollock

    Kelly Pollock

    Cadet

    Kelly Pollock’s goal when she starred running was to lose weight and balance the stress in her life that came with working full-time and raising two kids. She’s now lost 70 pounds and has a half marathon under her belt, the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Her advice to new runners is to stay positive and not get discouraged. “It is OK to walk. Success in running does not happen overnight,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    My favorite race, so far, is the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. The feeling of running through the Magic Kingdom at dawn is something I will never forget.

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 2:31:43

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    My favorite thing about the running community is how truly supportive and nonjudgmental most runners are. I have developed some amazing friendships with people I might not have met any other way.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I will find my strong in 2014 by never, ever giving up no matter how hard the task may seem—just put one foot in front of the other. My obvious running goal is to finish my first marathon in an upright position with a smile on my face!

  • Team 4

    Sarah Bowen Shea

    Sarah Bowen Shea

    Coach

    Sarah Bowen Shea, the co-author of two running books with fellow 26 Strong coach Dimity McDowell, began running when she was training for her collegiate crew team. Now 48 and living in the outdoor-friendly city of Portland, Ore., Shea says her favorite part of the running community is feeling a connection with her fellow runners. “Dimity and I experience this connection countless times when we travel around the country meeting other mother runners,” she says.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    Big Sur Marathon. Ran it in 2010. I missed qualifying for Boston by less than 90 seconds, but I’m incredibly proud of my effort in the race. Hit a rough patch at mile 15, but dug deep and stayed strong entire way.

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 1:46
    Marathon: 3:52

    What inspires you to keep running?
    A profound love of being in motion, outdoors. I feel both at peace and invigorated. My six-word sentence that sums it up: Outdoors, in motion, I feel alive.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    After thinking my relatively fast days were all behind me, I’m digging deep and attempting to re-qualify for Boston Marathon when I run Victoria, B.C., Marathon on Oct. 12. I squeaked into Boston at 2010 Portland Marathon and ran Boston in 2012, the year of record heat. I want to prove to myself I still have what it takes to get back to Boston. Then I look forward to running side-by-side with my cadet, Alison Pellicci, six weeks later at Philadelphia Marathon.

    Alison Pellicci

    Alison Pellicci

    Cadet

    Alison Pellicci, 37, lives in Stamford, Conn. and took up the sport of running after her children were born. She used to push both of them in a double stroller while getting in her miles. These days, her children continue to inspire her to be a runner. “I think my running is a great role model for them,” she says. “They see that I came keeping active, setting personal goals, and they see my successes and failures.”

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    NYC Half Marathon—it’s amazing to run through Times Square! And the Hope in Motion 5K—a local charity event for which I am a team leader. Donations go to Cancer center in my hometown

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon (New York City): 2:07

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    The camaraderie of perfect strangers that you come across on long runs. I love being out on a Sunday and having brief chats with people that are doing the same. When our paths overlap frequently, it’s nice to hear how their training is going.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My first marathon! With the support of the Mother Runner Community I know I will find my strong!

  • Team 5

    Katherine Hopper

    Katherine Hopper

    Coach

    Hopper used to find running “ridiculous and pointless,” but after a friend encouraged her to take up the sport in 2010, she soon discovered its benefits and was hooked almost immediately. “I understood what all my runner friends had been raving about and I made the leap into marathon” she says. “I just finished my fifth in April, the Boston Marathon.”

    Read more

    What are your PRs?
    10K: 42:44
    Marathon: 3:26

    What inspires you to keep running?
    Running is an amazing way to get outside to see and explore the world. It has introduced me to some of my best friends. Running is a way to connect with people on a whole new level. It also helps make me more focused, patient, and disciplined in other parts of my life.

    Best piece of advice for first-time marathoners?
    Two things: Start slow and trust in your training. The mental battle that may creep into your head will try to plant seeds of doubt, but you have to remember that you’ve worked hard to get where you are and that you are capable of way more than you think you are.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    Balancing running while I earn my masters/doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia will be a challenge for me this year. My running goals for the year are not focused on earning a PR or reaching an all new weekly mileage high. Instead, I’d like to continue to use running as a positive outlet in my life and try to encourage others to discover all the amazing benefits that running can have in all aspects of life.

    Marisa Norona

    Marisa Norona

    Cadet

    Marisa Norona was a cross-country runner in high school but admits she took a break from the sport after that. Now 30, Norona jumped back into running in 2008 and ran a 10K. She’s been hooked ever since. “The camaraderie of runners during a race is amazing,” she says.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    NYC Half. I’ve run it twice now and the course is incredible.

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 23:57
    8K: 42:30
    10K: 49:25
    Half Marathon: 1:49:54

    What inspires you to keep running?
    For the last two years, I have raised money (through TeamFox) for The Michael J. Fox Foundation in honor of my father, who has Parkinson’s disease. I think about him when I am running, and how he struggles daily with simple tasks. His continued strength and optimism, despite this degenerative disease, is what inspires me to keep pushing my limits and running as much as possible.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I will find my 26 Strong by focusing more on the experience of running and racing and less on the numbers (pace/time). That being said, one of my goals for this year is to get a half PR, and my other goal is to run my first marathon and learn as much as I can from Katherine and other marathoners!

  • Team 6

    Danica Newon

    Danica Newon

    Coach

    Danica Newon joined the cross country team in eighth grade and hasn’t stopped running. Now 28, she gives back as a track and field and cross country coach at Lakewood High School in California. “It’s been a part of my life for so long that I feel lost when I’m not running,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    The Long Beach Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 19:50
    10K: 47:45
    Half Marathon: 1:46
    Marathon: 3:32:57

    Best piece of advice for first-time marathoners?
    Enjoy every step of the way and cherish each milestone! I still remember the first time I ran 10 miles and how proud I was. Nothing will take away your first race, so soak it up and don’t set a time goal. Set a goal to finish so you aren’t disappointed at the end.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    Being a high school cross country and track coach, I am always telling my team to push themselves and to work harder. I realized recently that I don’t push my own limits and that is something I really want to do this year, to be a good example to them and to make myself work harder.

    Andi Nido

    Andi Nido

    Cadet

    For Andi Nido, running has been with her since high school. Then she went to college and continued running as a way to unwind after a long day in the classroom. And it became a great way to spend time with her friends. Now the 26-year-old runs to stay healthy. “I don’t keep track of PRs at the moment,” she says. “I run for the health benefits and mostly because I just love running.”

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    10K

    What inspires you to keep running?
    I see people everyday who are unable to walk, let alone run, due to physical disabilities. This reminds me how blessed and lucky I am to be able to put one foot in front of the other.

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    I love how friendly everyone is!

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My biggest goal is to work on overcoming the mental barrier to running such long distances.

  • Team 7

    Jessica Hofheimer

    Jessica Hofheimer

    Coach

    Jessica Hofheimer wanted to change her post-college life, which consisted of bad habits that kept her from taking care of herself, such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. So she signed up for a marathon before running her first 5K and has been running ever since. “I never imagined it would change my life as much as it has,” the 38-year old mother of three says.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    I have to say the Boston Marathon. I just love the energy and excitement of that race so much. I don’t think a drop of it is overrated! For me, Boston represents all that is possible in running and in life.

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 19:47
    10K: 43:46
    10 Miles: 1:05:46
    Half Marathon: 1:26:25
    Marathon: 3:11:56

    What inspires you to keep running?
    Running has truly become a part of who I am. It keeps me connected to myself, is a way for me to meditate as well as let go, and makes me feel strong and so alive. I love running and how it makes me feel, and I really cannot imagine what life would be like if I did not do it. Running gives me a courage and belief in myself and in possibilities I never would have imagined without it.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    Being bold is how I will find my strong in 2014. Taking risks and pushing my limits in a smart and courageous way is what it’s all about. I know that all the strength I need is right here inside of me, I just need to go to my limits and trust myself to push past them. My goal for this fall is to run a 3-hour marathon—while staying healthy and injury free and passionately in love with this sport.

    Kathryn Coyle

    Kathryn Coyle

    Cadet

    Kathryn Coyle played soccer in high school but did not play an organized sport in college, so she started running to stay in shape. Now she’s a 32-year-old living in Herndon, Va. working in the fitness industry specializing in Pilates and yoga. She runs in memory of her father, who passed away in January. “I am really looking forward to reconnecting to a running community,” she says. “You certainly can run solo but having support changes the whole experience.”

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    Hartford Half Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 1:57

    What inspires you to keep running?
    After inspiring me to find my edge and test my limits, my father, who championed my running, passed away this January. I decided that the best way for me to honor his memory and his unconditional support would be to run for him. He always worked out because he wanted to be around to take care of us. Now I run for him to keep my promise to take care of myself and continue to test my limits.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I always thought it would be cool to run a marathon but always dismissed it because didn’t think I could do it. To be honest, I never really wanted to run one enough to put myself out there with all the training, discipline and hard work. This year my goal is to complete a marathon in memory of my father, who taught me to never limit myself and always asked me, “but what if you could?”

  • Team 8

    Jenny Poore

    Jenny Poore

    Coach

    Like a lot of runners, Jenny Poore picked up the sport in high school when she competed on the track and field and cross country squads. She was never the fastest one on the team and says she ran to be part of a team. After college, however, was when she started running with more of a purpose. She watched her brother run the 2010 Chicago Marathon and was instantly hooked. “I haven’t really stopped since,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    Chicago Marathon—there’s nothing like your first!

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 20:05
    10K: 43:08
    Half Marathon: 1:30:13
    Marathon: 3:14:37

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    The running community, especially in Chicago, feels like one big family to me. We all work hard, have scary awesome goals, and find a way to make the day seem longer by going for a run. I love that I can go out for a run on Chicago’s lakefront and see so many familiar faces—and then we can all go out for a brunch and beers afterward.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My running goals for this year are to focus on helping Brittany train for her first 26.2, race some shorter distances (goodbye old PRs!), and prepare for a marathon PR in the fall.

    Brittany Poore

    Brittany Poore

    Cadet

    Brittany Poore has been running ever since her middle school soccer teammates convinced her to join the cross-country team—and they were jealous when she ended up beating them Fast forward to now, the 28-year-old has completed several races from 400 meters all the way up to a half marathon. “I don’t really have a favorite race,”she says. “I like to try new ones, so any summer race that’s early on a Saturday morning with the sun shining becomes my latest favorite, I suppose.”

    Read more

    What are your PRs?
    400m: 64.30
    800m: 2:12
    8K: 40:21.1
    5 Mile: 46:54.7
    15K: 1:24:51
    Half Marathon: 1:55:51

    What inspires you to keep running?
    A lot of my best memories include running and I want to create lots more!

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    Runners are a quirky group of people that I’ve always seemed to get along with. They’re all slightly insane and generally have positive attitudes. Those are the kind of people I want to continue surrounding myself with, so that makes running a good hobby for me.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    This year I will complete a full marathon, no matter what my time is. This has been on my bucket list for a few years now so the opportunity to be part of the 26 Strong program and have my sister as my coach was too good to pass up.

  • Team 9

    Lora Vaccaro

    Lora Vaccaro

    Coach

    Lora Vaccaro watched a friend run the 2009 New York City Marathon and instantly knew she wanted to do the same thing. She found a couch to 5K training plan, completed some races, and eventually ran New York in 2011. “It was one of the most thrilling and personally rewarding goals I ever accomplished,” she says of running New York.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    New York City Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    1 Mile: 6:38
    5K: 21:16
    Half Marathon: 1:45:03
    Marathon: 3:46:43

    What inspires you to keep running?
    Running has been a vehicle for me to continuously challenge and empower myself. The fact that with every goal I accomplish, I can set a new, more challenging one, keeps me running.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    After having to DNF at the 2013 Chicago Marathon due to a stress fracture mid-race, I will find my strong by staying healthy and injury-free. My main goals are to return to laser-focused training with my coach, Kevin Granato, and to to execute my fall marathon at the level to which I train. I want to crush my current marathon PR, and run the race to the best of my ability.

    Bridget Nixdorf

    Bridget Nixdorf

    Cadet

    Running has always been in Bridget Nixdorf’s life, starting with the running magazines her father had at the family’s home. She eventually started meeting people for 3-mile runs during her senior year in college. Now 26, Nixdorf is ready to tackle her first marathon. “I never want to lose the level of happiness, confidence, and sense of community that running has given me,” she says.

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    Brooklyn Half Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 24:53
    4 Miles: 33:08
    Half Marathon: 2:08:20

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    Runners are so encouraging and believe that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. That has helped me immensely in my non-running life as well. I find myself repeating running mantras or favorite quotes from elites to get me though normal days or to encourage my students.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    I’m going to find my 26 Strong by finishing my first marathon at age 26. My biggest goal is to successfully train for the Chicago marathon, get to the starting line without injury, and finish the race. I’m also hoping to PR my half marathon time. I’m chasing the elusive sub-2 hour marks.

  • Team 10

    Amanda Brooks

    Amanda Brooks

    Coach

    Amanda Brooks lives and trains under the hot Florida sun in Orlando. Her first race was the Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon when she was in college. Now 32, Brooks has run seven marathons and countless other races since. “I know more intimate details about running friends than others I have known for years. It’s a bond,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    13.1 Fort Lauderdale—it ends on the beach, need I say more?

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 1:44
    Marathon: 4:07

    What was your first marathon? What was it like?
    In 2005, I giggled my way through 26.2 miles of the Oklahoma City Marathon. I had moments of pondering what on Earth am I doing, but without any pressure on myself I simply chose to enjoy the moment and recognize the amazing achievement. I finished in 4:15 and have probably never felt as great in a full marathon since!

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    In 2014, I will find my strong by pursing new time goals while maintaining my health. It’s a balance that takes more work with hormone imbalances, but I’m loving the process.

    Jodi Tivey

    Jodi Tivey

    Cadet

    Jodi Tivey of Bowman, N.D. started running in 2012 to help ease the stress and anxiety that entered her life after she and her husband bought a business. Now 43, Tivey says the last two years have brought her an appreciation for running. Her favorite part of the running community is the people around her. “Everyone has everyone’s back no matter if you run 1 mile or more, no matter how fast or slow you go,” she says.

    Read more

    What inspires you to keep running?
    The feeling I get after running, the pride I feel when I can run for miles and miles, and the challenge of seeing what I can do.

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 31:03
    10K: 1:01:41
    Half Marathon: 2:25

    Favorite thing to do after a race?
    Eat and reminisce about the race with friends/family. And I always plan on treating myself to a pedicure.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014?
    Honestly, this will be tough for me. I am going to have to believe in myself, find confidence in myself, and believe I am not being selfish in taking the time needed for training and traveling for this amazing program.

  • Team 11

    Morganne Hockett

    Morganne Hockett

    Coach

    Morganne Hockett has aways been active, whether it was playing basketball and soccer or during her days as a young gymnast. Her father was a marathon runner and he inspired her to get out and start running. “Everyone is so supportive of one another,” the 26-year-old says of the running community. “It doesn’t matter if you actually know the person running next to you or passing you by, it’s a very uplifting community.”

    Read more

    What is your favorite race?
    Walt Disney World Marathon

    What are your PRs?
    Half Marathon: 1:44:49
    Marathon: 3:33:28

    What inspires you to keep running?
    I like to set new goals every day, week, month, and year. This keeps me motivated.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My running goals are to continue improving my races and continue having fun while doing it. I love smiling at the end of a race, because that is the most important part.

    Amy Sherman

    Amy Sherman

    Cadet

    Toronto’s Amy Sherman was an athlete during her college days and after she graduated, she turned to running to stay in shape. Now 22, she is studying to be a nutritional practitioner and currently works in communications. She also keeps fit through CrossFit and yoga. “Once I got lost on the pavement and in my thoughts, I knew it was here to stay,” she says of getting her start in running.

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    What is your favorite race?
    The 10K because it is speedy and fun.

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 21:08
    10K: 46:40
    Half: 1:52:19

    What inspires you to keep running?
    To push myself to see what I can accomplish.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My running goals are to train smart, take care of my body, and be proud of every run—even if it is a “bad” one. I hope to find my 26 Strong as I cross the finish line of my first marathon with my mentor and friend.

  • Team 12

    Angela Bekkala

    Angela Bekkala

    Coach

    Thirty-six-year-old Angela Bekkala lives and trains in Dover, N.H. She began running in high school, but never did more than three or four miles at a time. She ran her first half marathon when she turned 30 and hasn’t looked back. “I love that no matter what your background, you can strike up a conversation with a fellow runner.”

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    What is your favorite race?
    I love the half marathon distance. Two of my favorite local races are Wallis Sands Half Marathon and Seacoast Half Marathon. I try to run both each year.

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 23:25
    5 Miles: 39:03
    10K: 50:13
    10 Miles: 1:23
    Half Marathon: 1:47
    Marathon: 4:26

    Best piece of advice for first-time marathoners?
    Throw all your time goals out the window. Your main goal should be to finish and to have fun.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014? What are your running goals for this year?
    My 26 Strong will come from testing my limits, training hard but smart, and believing in myself that I can and I will. My biggest running goal this year is to remain injury-free. For the past two years, I’ve had two different injuries that prevented me from nailing goals. That will not happen in 2014.

    Kailey Ingerman

    Kailey Ingerman

    Cadet

    Kailey Ingerman, 31, grew up watching her dad run and would sometimes join him as he jogged around the neighborhood. Nowadays, she lives on the New Hampshire seacoast in Rye and wants to break 1:50 at the half marathon distance this year—and finish her first marathon. Her favorite part of being in the running community? “The friends I have made and the overall support.”

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    What is your favorite race?
    I love the Wallis Sands Half Marathon in Rye, N.H.—it’s a beautiful course that runs along New Hampshire’s coastline. It’s flat, scenic, and also goes right by my house!

    What are your PRs?
    5K: 23:09
    4 Miles: 29:55
    10K: 51:10
    Half Marathon: 1:55

    Favorite thing to do after a race?
    Rest and have ice cream!

    What are your running goals for this year?
    Staying and sticking to a training program and making sure that I take the time to foam roll and recover correctly. I hope to break 22 minutes for a 5K, 45-48 minutes for a 10K, break 1:50 for a half marathon, and finish a marathon!

  • Team 13

    Siri Lindley

    Siri Lindley

    Coach

    Siri Lindley coaches several top athletes, including two-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae (2010, 2013), 2012 Ironman world champion Leanda Cave, and many others. Before she became a coach, Lindley won the ITU (Olympic-distance triathlon) world title in 2001 and 2002. “Be well-prepared, and have your goal be getting from start to finish, feeling strong, enjoying it, and taking in every moment of this great adventure,” she says.

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    What is your favorite race?
    Boston Marathon.

    What inspires you to keep running?
    The feeling of being fit, and strong and enjoying nature. running for me is my time to meditate, to really take in the beauty of life and think about how grateful I am for the life I live.

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    The mutual support and positive inspiration.

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014?
    Training my athlete Lucy Panko to a fantastic experience at the Twin Cities Marathon in Chicago on Oct. 5.

    Lucy Panko

    Lucy Panko

    Cadet

    Lucy Panko is a 16-year-old high school student in Toronto. She’s always been active and played soccer, basketball, and was an Alpine skier in elementary school. She was introduced to both track and field and cross country in middle school and is now in love with the sport of running. She will run the Twin Cities Marathon in October in memory of her late father.

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    What is your favorite race?
    B&O Yorkville Charity 5K

    What inspires you to keep running?
    There are few other things in life that provide me with the pure sense of joy that training does. I cannot remember a time where I haven’t felt like putting on my running shoes and testing my limits! During a hard workout when I think I can’t go any further I let my dad pull me through, since his death I’ve realized that every minute of life is very precious, and it’s important to cherish every moment working to be the very best person I can.

    What’s your favorite part of being in the running community?
    Runners are so friendly and supportive. It doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow, 90 or 13 years old, male or female, new to the sport or a veteran—it is always interesting to hear about other runners’ goals and aspirations!

    How will you find your 26 Strong in 2014?
    I will find my 26 Strong in 2014 by training for and competing in the Twin Cities marathon all in memory of my dad!