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. 

“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

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!”

Hat Trick: BQ, Age Group Win, Lifetime Best

Kelly Dial won the F40 age group at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and set a new lifetime best in 3:29:12. [Full Results]

I have been receiving coaching from Ann Alyanak. I can’t say enough great things about her. She has supported me, cheered me on, and provided superior coaching for me over the last year. When Ann and I were connected, I set out to for my second qualification for the Boston Marathon. I was able to not only beat the qualification time by 11-min, but I beat my marathon PR from 20-years ago by 3-min 30-seconds! I could not have been more pleased.

“I Love Both The Training And Working With Leah”

Melissa Perlman was top overall female at the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon in a new personal best of 1:24:50. [Full Results]

Leah Rosenfeld was pumped about her athlete’s performance, “This is a 3-minute and 53-second personal best AND she PR’d in her 10k en route!! This is all a part of her build-up to Boston this spring and she’s exactly where she should be. Another cool part of her race today is that she was 9-seconds faster than the time we predicted :)… looks like she wanted to prove me wrong!”

“Training Has Been Great!”

Ana Aguilera set a new PR (2:15:52) at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. She dropped another 2-minutes after setting a personal best this fall. [Full Results]

“I’ve Stayed Injury-Free For The Last 15-Weeks”

Brooke Watson of Olathe, KS is a happy customer…

I decided to use the personal coaching services for my fall 2018 season. I was assigned Coach Gary Berard. Right out of the gate, I noticed changes to my usual training: 1) my speed work mileage was increased, but encompassed a broader range of paces; 2) my rest days were also increased.

I found the app easy to use and Gary was great about responding to email. Sometimes we had to make adjustments for schedule changes or weather, and he was very agreeable. Which is great for a working, single mother!

And the outcome of all the training was fantastic!!! I’ve stayed injury-free for the last 15-weeks of training and had a lot of success!

My greatest achievement was to PR by over a minute in my 10k on a very challenging course and by over THREE minutes in my half marathon. I also ran my fastest pace in a 5k (6:17) on a challenging and long course.

I enjoyed the quality professional instruction you get for a great price with this program!

Lifetime Milestone Achieved

Kathleen McGeer reached her goal in her first half marathon. At the Hershey Half she finished in 2:08:29. [Full Results]

Thank you Run S.M.A.R.T for helping me achieve a milestone marker in my life.  I never thought I was a “runner” who could make it 13.1 miles, yet on Sunday I did just that.  Not only that, but i met my goal of finishing with a time better than 10 min miles.  It wasn’t the best run but it was perfect just the same.

John Bott’s Breakthrough In Berlin

John Bott had a breakthrough performance in Berlin last month. The 30-year-old Australian native managed to run even splits throughout with a 1:22:21 first half, finishing the second half in 1:23:05. [Full Results]