Dare I say it? "Fall 2009." With Spring just recently being sprung in northeast Ohio, it's hard to believe that the Fall '09 VR Training Kickoff Meeting is only 2 weeks away. Join us on Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm at the Hudson Library.
With many spring marathons complete, we are coming up on the unofficial "end" to spring marathon season with the Cleveland Marathon only a short 11 days away. Believe it or not, if you are planning to run a fall marathon, you should be narrowing down your choices so you can start your training on schedule. As one of the group leaders with VR Training, I want to give you an objective summary of this fall's program. Between myself, Greg Dykes (other leader) and Vince Rucci (Vertical Runner/VR Training owner), we have somewhere between 60-80 marathon medals between us and several ultra-marathons. We all bring a very different background to the "table" and are all committed to see you reach your goals. As always, running with the group on a weekday or any scheduled weekend run is open to anyone regardless of them "officially" paying and entering the program. Those who participate via a fee is transparent to the runners around you. In fact, Greg and I don't even know. Your participation is between you and Vince at Vertical Runner. With that being said, it is my opinion that this fall's program is the most attractive to date regarding everything you get for what you pay for. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I'm always looking for the best value/quality proposition. In my opinion, this has it all. It's also open to anyone whether novice or veteran runner. Granted, it would be good for you to be able to run at least 5 or 6 miles before starting but the program is open to all. (disclaimer: I have absolutely no financial interest in VR Training or Vertical Runner)
a) If you are running the Akron Marathon or 1/2 Marathon:
- Normal registration is $85.00. This year, they have done away with the free Brooks shoes to all finishers. Instead, you get an official Brooks Road Runner Marathon jacket, tech tee at registration, a year's subscription to Running Times, and all the goodies normally expected in your goodie bag.
- VR Training Program including your Akron Marathon registration is $135. So what do you get for the extra $50? Is it worth it? (here is the flyer for the $135 program)
> VR Training Tech Tee valued at between $30-40. Look around...someone is always wearing one on Saturday and there will be a sea of them at any local race.
> 10% off shoes and accessories and 15% off socks and apparel. Do the math: shoes cost between $95 and $145. There's $10-$15 right there not including the socks, apparel, etc. OK, I've already justified the $50...now for the intangibles...
> Personalized training plan built uniquely for you by Vince Rucci. You'll answer several questions regarding your goals, time availability, etc. and he will create a custom plan for you to get you to the finish line. Valuable? Absolutely.
> Supporting your local running store who has given so much to the local running community and continues to give. This one is near and dear to my heart and it truly matters. I moved here in 2002...pre-Vertical Runner. Ask any of the local longtime runners to describe the pre-VR community against the current running community. There is a huge and positive difference. Plus, their new store is awesome!
b) 2nd Option: you're not running the Akron Marathon but want to participate in the program minus the race registration.
- the fee is $75 and everything else still applies
- training plan will be tailored to your target event
It is really exciting to be a part of such a vibrant running community here in northeast Ohio and honestly, I believe we are only at the early stages. There is much more to come! Let me encourage you to take full advantage of our free Cuyahoga Valley National Park, our multiple training runs (always posted on the VR Discussion Board by multiple local runners), and all of the local running talent our area has to offer.
One last thing: at the kickoff meeting in two weeks, Jim Barnett will speak. He is the Race Director for the Akron Marathon and has shaken every hand of every finisher of the Akron Marathon to date. (that's a lot of Purell!!!) Hear about the race's past and also how it has evolved since its inception. The Akron Marathon is a constantly evolving event that is tweaked each year to make it better for everyone so I'm already excited to hear what is new for us in 2009.
Happy Spring to you all and run strong out there! I'll see you out there on the roads and the trails!