Run SMART Clients Place 14th,18th at Flying Pig Marathon

On May 4th Lisa Mire and Melissa Bell lined up for the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, OH. Both women traveled from Charlotte, NC with the intention of setting a personal best at the distance, and so they did.

Lisa ran near even splits throughout the race to set a new PR of 3:17:38. The time bested Lisa’s previous marathon PR by 5 minutes 21 seconds.
Melissa went out at a slightly faster clip, coming through the first half of the race on 3:10 pace. Though she started to feel the fast early pace around mile 16, Melissa stayed tough and finished in a very strong time of 3:19:12. Melissa bettered her previous marathon best by over 20 minutes.

The race was not without its share of drama this year. As it turns out the course had to be rerouted due to an “early morning fire emergency.” The course ended up being .2514 miles long. The times above reflect Lisa and Melissa’s adjusted times. We’ll call the extra quarter mile a cool-down.

Ben Koch Wins Local 5k

This past week in Frederick, MD Run SMART coach, Ben Koch, made his first racing appearance in almost two years. He’s been slowing climbing his way back into shape as of late and decided to test the waters with a local 5k race. Apparently, the water seemed nice as Koch strolled through the rolling course in 15:59 besting second place by roughly 90 seconds. Ben has been coaching for Run S.M.A.R.T. in the D.C. area for about two years. He’s currently training for the NYC marathon this November. I’m hoping to tag along that day as well!

Jeff Weatherhead – 1st Place Age Group Finish!

Jeff Weatherhead finished 6th overall and first in the 50-59 age group Simsbury River Run 5k. It was Jeff’s first road race and second race of the year. He has been concentrating on building a strong base to prepare for a full summer and fall of racing. Jeff’s official time was 18:57. Full results can be found here on Cool Running.

Jeff’s next races will be a 1500 and 800 at the Connecticut Senior Games on June 7th. He is currently doing hills and tempo work with a long term goal of being a top finisher at the USATF Master’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon this August.

Everett Hill Sets 5k PR

There’s no question that Everett Hill’s favorite distance is the marathon. In fact, this past winter I asked Everett if he would be interested in training for some shorter races this spring… His response was, “Vince, I’m a marathoner.” By the end of the discussion Everett came around to the idea, and the change of pace (and distance) has proven to be fruitful experience.

Everett started with a strong 7K on April 19th and followed it up with a 10K on the 26th. Despite great showings at both events, Everett felt that he had another one in him. He finished the series with a 5K PR this past weekend, running 24:31. Everett has dropped his relatively high mileage in exchange for some shorter speed sessions throughout the spring. The goal remains the marathon and Everett will be uping the mileage late summer.

-Vince Sherry

Avi Kravitz Sets Huge PR At Boston Marathon

When Avi Kravitz signed on with the Run SMART Project he had the goal of making the Boston Marathon qualifier by 2009. Having come in with a PR of 3:27, Avi dropped his PR to 3:10:32 at Chicago this past fall. This granted him the Boston qualifying mark for 2008!

You would think that just to run Boston would have been enough, but Avi had other plans. The quest was now to run as fast as possible at Boston. Avi dedicated himself to improving upon every small detail. By working on his training, nutrition, flexibility and core strength Avi saw small but gradual improvements in his fitness that would help carry him to this elusive new PR.

One month prior to Boston Avi knew he was in the shape of his life and ready to run, but as his coach I was getting a little nervous. I was afraid that Avi was ready too soon. His workouts were faster than prescribed and he was using words like “great” and “easy” far too often. I feared he was on the verge of peaking early. Two weeks later my fears were confirmed. I received an email from Avi, stating that he was feeling tired and sluggish. We backed off the workouts, but the fresh legs Avi had become so accustomed to hadn’t returned. A week and a half before the race Avi was still feeling tired and flat. My advice at this point… “Take two days off.” Avi resumed training a couple of days later and kept the positive attitude that had brought him so far.

The finial result was another PR. Avi managed to drop over 19 minutes off of his time in Chicago, finishing the race in a very impressive 2:51:12! Coming through the first half in 1:26:07, Avi negative split Boston’s tough second half closing in 1:25:05.

Phil Manning Sets 5k PR In A 10k

Run SMART client, Phil Manning, finished his first 10K of the season on Sunday, April 20th. Phil completed the race in a time of 44:04, running the second half of the race in 21:50. The 21:50 was good enough on its own to better Phil’s previous 5k best. Phil is currently training for Cleveland Half Marathon on May 18th.

Jeff Weatherhead Finishes 6th At USATF Championships

Run SMART client, Jeff Weatherhead, started the season off on the right note with a 6th place finish in the Men’s 55-59 age group at the USATF Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships. Jeff’s focus this year is the outdoor nationals in August, so he ran this race without spending too much time doing speed work. It was a positive effort to start the year.

Jeff’s official time was 5:28.84, good for 6th place overall. Full results of the meet here.

Melissa Bell and Lisa Mire Represent at Corporate Cup Half Marathon

Run SMART clients Melissa Bell and Lisa Mire represented well at the YMCA Corporate Cup Half Marathon on Saturday, March 8th. Melissa placed 4th in 1:30:58, while Lisa was fifth in 1:34:59. The last third of the race was run into a very strong head wind, making for a tough finial stretch. Despite the challenging conditions both women managed a strong showing and Lisa even managed to pull off a new PR!

Both Melissa and Lisa are training for the Flying Pig Marathon, which takes place in Cincinnati on Sunday, May 4th.

Alex Gardner Sets 5K And 10K PRs In Same Race

Two years ago Run SMART client Alex Gardner lined up for the Groundhog 10K in Kansas City MO wondering what she could run. Having only matched the distance a couple of times before in training, the 10K seemed formidable in mileage alone. She finished the race in a very respectable 55:41. Since that day Alex has logged hundreds, if not thousands of miles and added a couple of marathons to her credit.

Alex entered the race again this year with the goal of running at least 53 minutes. Having narrowly missed her goal of 25 minutes in a local 5K just a couple of weeks ago, Alex would have considered the sub 52 minutes mark to be a great race for her current fitness. Not only did she beat the 52 minute mark, she crossed the 5K mark in a huge PR of 23:40! Alex continued to press, finishing the 10K in 49:25!
Read Alex’s story of the race on her blog at

Alex Gardner Sets 5k PR In Season Debut

On January 5th Run SMART client Alex Gardner lined up for her first 5K of the new year. Though Alex missed her goal of sub 25 minutes, she did open the year up with a 14 second PR of 25:18. If your interested in more details on Alex’s race, check out her very well written and informative blog.