Shelby Harris Sets PR and BQ On Even Splits In Chicago

Shelby Harris of Briarcliff Manor, NY set a new PR and BQ at the Chicago Marathon with very even pacing. Her coach, Ann Alyanak, was proud of how well she paced, out in 1:49:18 and back in 1:49:29. [Full Results]

The experience working with Ann was awesome and I’m so grateful for it. Thanks!

“This Was My Lifetime Half Marathon PR And I Didn’t Even Try That Hard”

Michel Werthenschlag trains with our NYC Marathon Training Program via the NY Flyers. All his consistency and hard work is starting to pay off.

“Felt great! This was my lifetime half marathon PR and I didn’t even try that hard. I tried to keep a 7:12 pace for the first half and then realized I could push and beat my best time on the 2nd half, which I did by 1:30!”

“I Had More In The Tank When I Finished!”

Stephanie Tang set her second straight marathon PR, conquering the late climb at Twin Cities with a negative split (first half 1:45:54 vs second half 1:44:36).

A huge congrats to my teammates and thanks to New York Flyers for your support, and The Run SMART Project for the great coaching, as always!

I honestly felt great the entire time, no pains, sprinted to the finish, envisioning our threshold miles, and I had more in the tank when I finished!

What a great race, city and day!

Jorge Ospina Hits 2:52 In Berlin

Longtime Run SMART Project client Jorge Ospina of Detroit, MI ran 2:52:03 at the Berlin Marathon. [Full Results] This marks Jorge’s third fastest marathon ever and within 2 minutes of his personal best set six years ago.

Thanks again for a great training cycle. Even though I did not break 2:50 I am very happy with the result. – Jorge

Stefano Battaglia Sets New Half Marathon PR

Stefano Battaglia set a new PR and exceeded his goal/VDOT projected time in Rome:

I just completed your 12 week half-marathon program. I’m very happy to tell you that I (we) achieved the goal to complete Rome half-marathon via Pacis in 1:42:50, better than planned. The course is a bit longer than 13.1 miles so the real timing for the correct half-marathon distance would have been 1:40:53 which makes a VDOT of 44.7 (good improvement).

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