Cory Benson Wins Age Group At New Haven 20k

Cory Benson won the F60 age group at the New Haven 20k. Her official result was a course PR in 1:35:21 (13-mins ahead of the next finisher in her age group). [Full results]

Cory’s performance at age 62 achieved Level 8 (sub-elite) out of 10 on Dr. Daniels’ new age-graded scale. You can learn more about VDOT O2’s new age-graded performances here.

Next up for Cory and her longtime coach Alicia Vargo? 8 weeks until the New York City Marathon!

From 300 lbs To 2:38 In The Marathon

If you asked Ben Kassel just 6-months ago if he could run a 2:38 marathon he would have said you were crazy. He only started running a few years ago with the intention of losing weight. He weighed 300 lbs and didn’t enjoy running until he did his first race. “Most of the reason I run is for the competitive nature of it,” says Kassel. He hasn’t stopped racing ever since with recent PRs of 2:38:34 at Jack and Jill’s Marathon (4th overall) last month, a 16:43 5k at NC USATF Champs and a 1:17:15 at The Scream Half Marathon. 

Bradley Geilfuss Sets PR At Wine Country Half

Bradley Geilfuss set a big PR and won his division (F45) at the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. His official result was 1:27:34. [Full Results]

His training volume was a bit low in this block but he prevailed throughout. He’s a tactician when approaching and executing his quality sessions and he’s a brilliant guy – which makes for a smart runner. – Coach Gary Berard

“Amy Is Such A Nurturing Coach”

I’ve known coach Amy Sitar for a number of years. She was an excellent coach when I took group training classes at a park nearby. As soon as I met her I knew that she is the type of coach I would need one day and she is also the type of runner I want to become. Cool, calm, collected, happy, chatty and cheery even on the uphills.


Years after I finished with the group training my paths crossed with coach Amy again and I asked her to coach me for the NJ Half Marathon. An ambitious runner who jumps from one workout to the next coach Amy knew exactly the type of structure that I needed. She helped me establish attainable goals that made me feel good and challenged me at the same time. Amy is such a nurturing coach, which I loved. She is also not afraid to give tough love when it’s needed, that I loved even more!

I hit a major PR at New Jersey Half thanks to Amy. I learned a ton of lessons and I can’t wait to go back and work with her again. If you are looking for structure, discipline in your workouts and a technical coach who truly cares – Amy is the one! – Elizabeth Tretter

“I Couldn’t Ask For A Better Coach”

Judy Dore of Saratoga Spring, NY set a 4.5 minute PR at the Boston Marathon. Her official result was 3:43:07. [Full Results]

After the race Judy thanked her coach…

This was my favorite training cycle so far. Leah really mixed things up with my workouts, and not only did I get more fit, I had a blast doing it. She really challenged me, and I’m not surprised at how strong I felt throughout the race. I passed quite a few people, especially at the end. I’m especially excited that I’ll now get to register a week earlier for Boston next year, even with the new qualifying times.

Leah is so positive and upbeat, and her enthusiasm is infectious. I couldn’t ask for a better coach.

Melissa Perlman Saved Her Best For Boston

Melissa Perlman of Delray Beach, FL took advantage of her south Florida training in Boston last week to set a huge PR.

Proud to have finished my first Boston Marathon in a time of 3:00:09. It was a personal best by over 9-minutes from my first marathon back in June 2018 and I was the 174th female overall in a race of tens of thousands!!! But as I’m sure many can imagine – it stings a little (or a lot)! Those 9 seconds will motivate me to break (no shatter) the elusive 3hr mark in my next marathon! Special thank you to my dad (Russell) and Mark for being here in Boston to love and support me; Mark for being my day to day supporter through training with food, coffee, driving, sleep, love and letting me be me; to Leah Rosenfeld and The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, LLC. for coaching me to HUGE PRs in the marathon and half marathon this year…

Your First Boston Will Do This To You

Christine Lampe of San Francisco, CA set a new PR at her first Boston Marathon. Her official result was 3:15:46. [Full Results]

“Thanks!! My first time using a Run SMART plan and I think it really helped. I’m looking forward to chipping away more time towards sub 3!”

Manuel Goes 2:48:37 In His First Marathon

Manuel Rodriguez of Bogotá, Colombia completed his first marathon at D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll. He and his coach, Rod Koborsi, decided to put the brakes on his first attempt in NYC last year after a minor injury crept up. The decision to avoid a setback and reschedule for D.C. was a great move. Manuel’s official result was 2:48:37 [Full Results].