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Tufts University: The President's Marathon Challenge

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10 Mile “Qualifying” Run: PMC Participants Greet First Major Training Milestone

On Sunday, December 7, more than 200 President’s Marathon Challenge (PMC) trainees braved a chilly New England morning to complete their first major training milestone, a ten mile run.

The group, including novice and expert runners alike, has been training as a team since early September. The 10 mile qualifying run, the longest of this fall’s training period, took four weeks to plan and included police cruisers, emergency automobiles and other elements of an “actual” marathon route.

Since the completion of the 10 mile run, there has been a tremendous sense of pride among team members. As Jeannie Vangelist explains: “Everyone says if you keep up with the PMC training, you will cross the [Boston Marathon] finish line. So, I continue with the team religiously attending the twice weekly long runs. I do long for the feeling that this is getting easier from one run to another, but that feeling never quite emerges. One thing holds true each time, after the run is over; and that is a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, no matter how difficult it was that day.” Vangelist is a staff assistant in the Department of Computer Science. She has been an employee at Tufts for 16 years. This will be her first marathon.

This “qualifying run” is the first step toward registration for April’s marathon. Upon completion of this 10 mile run, interested individuals finalize application packets, all due on December 20, to obtain one of 200 “numbers” for April’s race. Coach Megerle has been very busy with application packets!

The PMC team will be solidified in late January. Last week they completed their final outdoor run and indoor interval training of 2008. Group-based training will resume in the New Year. Once the Tufts University campus-based PMC runners resume training in January, they will continue with longer runs that go beyond Mystic Lakes and over the Arlington Hills. This 11 mile loop becomes an integral part of their training for the marathon. In addition to the extended running program, four long runs on the Boston Marathon course will be announced. This offers many runners an opportunity to experience first hand the actual race course terrain.
 Coach Megerle offers this advice for those planning runs over the semester breaks or running on their own during winter conditions: “Be very cautious of black ice and snow drifts. Due to colder conditions your running is always slower; however, you are still training even when you are not running as fast as you would in a warmer climate.”
Up next for the team? Once the team is solidified, they can look forward to Boston Marathon course runs (in conjunction with the John Hancock Team). In addition, there will be the popular team presentations (Nutrition, Training, Evolution of Running, Taper) already scheduled in January, February, and March.
For more photos of the 10 mile qualifying run and marathon training, see the team's photo gallery.



"Running with the PMC has been such a fantastic, wonderful and rewarding experience. It's difficult to describe, but the running is almost secondary."

- Rebecca Boulos, N10

Coach's Blog
Catch up with Coach
Don Megerle. Have a
question? Email him at marathonchallenge@tufts.edu

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