Alex Gardner Sets New Half Marathon PR

Longtime Run SMART client, Alex Gardner, set a huge PR this past weekend at the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in Kansas City, MO. She finished 3rd out of 171 females in the 40-44 age group. Her official time was 1:41:21 (full results), which gives her an automatic qualifying time for the New York City Marathon!

Boston Marathon Update

After about 30K, five Run SMART clients are on pace to set new personal bests.

Cathrine Wolden has been getting stronger throughout the race, averaging 7:00 pace per mile and now about 6:55 pace through 30k. Boston is known to slow you down on the hills late in the race so this is an incredible development. Cathrine’s previous PR is 3:13 so she’s looking at possibly a 12 minute improvement! Fingers crossed.

Alex Gardner Wins Age Group


Run SMART client Alex Gardner placed first in the 40-44 age group at the 28th Annual Children’s TLC Groundhog Run (5k) in Kansas City, MO. Alex’s time was 22:15 (7:10 per mile), which placed her 15th overall out of 1000+ female runners. Check out the full results.

Congrats to Alex and her coach, Vince Sherry, on a fine performance.

Run SMART Clients Qualify For Boston Marathon

Congratulations to Alex Gardner and Tom Klimek for making their Boston qualifying goals.  Alex shattered her marathon PR today at Chicago, running 3:38:22.  That’s a 16 minute drop from her previous best at Chicago last year!  Tom brought his marathon PR down 8 minutes, running 3:05 today at Steamtown.  Both Alex and Tom deserve a lot of credit for executing their race plans meticulously.  Look forward to more results from both as we move towards Boston.

Alex Gardner Accomplishes 5k Goal

This past Saturday Alex Gardner lined up for yet another 5k.  Her goal for the year has been to run 22 minutes and she has come very close a few times.  This would be one of her final chances of the year since marathon training is due to begin in June.  Alex knew it was a long shot, as the course was far from flat, but she took a chance by going out fast the first mile and giving everything she had to hang on.  She ended up running 22 minutes on the dot!  You can read all about Alex’s experience here:  http://www.run350.blogspot.com/.  When Alex started with The Run S.M.A.R.T Project back in September of ’07 her goal was to break 25 minutes.

Alex was also interviewed for an article in the June issue of Runner’s World.  Check out “Get on Track” found on page 65.

Vince Sherry

Run S.M.A.R.T Project Coach

[email protected]

Run SMART Client Spring Race Results

With the warmer weather upon us (a major understatement for some parts of the country), spring racing is in full swing.  Here’s an update on the results we’ve had recently….

Lisa Mire – On March 7 Lisa ran a very impressive race at the Corporate Cup Half marathon, in the midst of her training for the Flying Pig marathon (which takes place this Sunday).  Lisa’s time was just under 1:36, on what was to be a marathon paced effort.  She recovered quickly and resumed for her marathon.  Keep an eye out for her result from Flying Pig early next week.

Bill Risch – On April 10th Bill ran a very smart race at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  Bill averaged 7:24 pace, finishing with a time 1:13:51.  Not bad considering his original goal was closer to 8 minute pace.  Something worth mentioning about Bill’s race is that his finial mile only varied by 3 seconds from his first.

Everett Hill – On April 11th Everett better his 7k PR by 30 seconds.  In my opinion Everett’s 7k PR from April of ’08 was his strongest up until this point.  To have bettered that race by 30 seconds was impressive, to say the least.

Phil Manning – On April 25th Phil Manning dropped his 10 mile PR from a year ago (from 1:15:30) by almost 2 minutes (to 1:13:31).  Phil is currently training for the Cleavland Half marathon, on May 17th.

Alex Gardner – Alex decided very early in the year that it was time to focus on the 5k, rather than the marathon this spring.  She set a very respectable goal of lower her PR by over a minute and thirty seconds.  Alex has run a handful of 5k races this spring and every one of them has beat her previous PR from a year ago.  Her best time to date stands as 22:17 (over 1:20 better that her PR from a year ago).  Alex has a couple more chances to achieve her 5k goal before it’s time to shift to marathon training.

Stay tuned for more results over the next few weeks.  There are several races to come.

Alex Gardner Betters 5k PR… Again

This past weekend Run SMART client Alex Gardner dropped her 5k PR another 21 seconds!  Her time of 22:17 was good enough to win her age group by over 2 minutes.  In her quest to break 22 minutes Alex has bettered her 5k time by over a minute since last year.  For details on the race and Alex’s training, check out her blog at http://www.run350.blogspot.com/.

Vince Sherry

Run S.M.A.R.T Project Coach

Alex Gardner Crushes Previous 5k Best

Anyone who’s ever set out to PR in 5k knows how difficult it can be to shave a few seconds off. How about a minute or more? Run SMART client, Alex Gardner, did just that at the Groundhog 5k, yesterday. In Alex’s quest to transform herself form marathoner to 5k runner for a season, she has started out with a very respectable time of 22:37 for the distance (crushing her old PR of 23:38). It will be fun to see what Alex can run when spring rolls around.

Alex Gardner

Run SMART Athletes Set PR’s In Chicago Heat

For the second year in a row the Chicago Marathon saw some unseasonably warm weather. And, for the second year in a row Run SMART Project athletes set personal bests. Alex Gardner and Everett Hill set out for big results, and though the conditions didn’t allow for the kind of times they were hoping for, both set new PRs.

I spent the morning of the Chicago Marathon at home in Flagstaff, furiously hitting the “refresh” button on the race tracker. I took down every 5k split and calculated the mile pace. Both Alex and Everett were on their planned pace through 30k… As the 35k splits appeared I knew something was off. The pace had slowed, but I knew there was still a chance that both could pick it up. What I didn’t realize was that around this time the temperature had reached 84 degrees!

Alex crossed the finish with a new PR of 3:54:15. And Everett crossed with a new PR of 4:08:23. They may not have accomplished their goals on this blistering day, but as we all know PRs don’t come easy. Congrats to both on a fantastic effort.

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 http://www.run350.blogspot.com/.