Here’s the official holiday letter (the first of its kind) that gives a snapshot of what went on here at Marathon Training Academy in 2023.
We had the chance to visit some beautiful places and meet with many clients, customers, and fans of the MTA Podcast.
It was a fun year, take a look.
MTA Holiday Letter
In the first part of 2023 we had the chance to run the Revel Mt. Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas, a fun downhill race with mountain views. I paced my brother-in-law Tim through his first half marathon, and he didn’t die.
Next year we’re running Revel White Mountains in New Hampshire! (Pssst. Email us for discount codes).
In May I traveled to Belgium to run the Beer Lovers’ Marathon. This race was the culmination of 18 days of travel through the Low Countries and meet-ups with European audience members. The marathon itself was a wild and raucous gallop all over Liege with 12-15 beer stops. (For obvious reasons I can’t remember the exact number.)
I ran the whole course dressed as Clint Eastwood from The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. This wasn’t my fastest marathon but I looked cool while doing it! Do you agree? CHOOSE YOUR NEXT WORDS CAREFULLY
While in Europe I visited 4 countries, 3 castles, 4 museums, 1 national park, 1 cathedral, 1 monastery, 2 disc golf courses, and many bars, cafes, and coffee shops. Read about my top six excursions.
In October Angie completed her first obstacle race at Tough Mudder Pittsburg. She was part of a team of four ladies. Their official team name was “Ultra Power Rangers”.
Other team names included:
- Lord Rupert Everton, Shipping Merchant Who Raises Fancy Dogs
- Beasts of the East
- Muck Around and Climb Out
Inspired by the holidays I’ve composed a poem in honor of Angie and her team. (To the tune of Dashing Through the Snow).
Dashing through the mud
On a ladies holiday
Over the wall we thud
Cackling all the way!
This mud and dirt and ice
Won’t help my eczema
But what fun it is to stand in line
for the Arctic Enema!
Dear readers, Arctic Enema is the name of the obstacle. It’s an industrial sized dumpster filled with ice water and ice cubes. The Tough Mudder website says, “it’s like quickly eating ice cream and getting punched in the balls at the same time.”
As far as travel goes, we also made it to Costa Rica, California, Texas, and Montana.
In October I hosted a live podcast interview with Scott Jurek (who’s just as cool in person) at the Boulderthon in Boulder, Colorado. The next day I ran the half marathon, it’s beautiful out there!
Then in November I was back at the Richmond Marathon for the third year in a row. This time I spoke on a live panel on Finding Community in the Running Space. After the Richmond Half we had an epic MTA meet up with 32 people attending. It was the friendliest meet up at America’s Friendliest Marathon.
Huge thanks to Boulderthon and Richmond for hosting me. I used to make a living as a public speaker, so it was fun to feel the energy of a live audience again!
Coaches and Clients
I feel like I get to live vicariously through our clients and members who are running marathons around the world. Last time I checked we have runners from 18 countries currently training with us. One of our newest clients is from Curaçao (hello Jeinny!). I admit, I had to google Curaçao. It’s a Dutch Caribbean Island.
This year we started consistently sharing client wins, because success is contagious. Seeing posts like this one below is what fires us up here at MTA!
“I just finished the Atlantic City Marathon in NJ today! I completed 7 marathons in the past 12 months in order to jumpstart my 50 state journey and I’m grateful to wrap up this year with another safe, healthy finish. My body has taken on a lot this year and I am going to take a while off to recalibrate and plan for 2024. I couldn’t have done any of this without my MTA coach Lynn who is so so good to me. Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s fall race recaps-keep em coming!” –Candis Ruth
If you want to look through our success stores you can use this tag. Also, here are the stories we featured on the podcast this year.
- Chris Farrands -Sub 3 Marathon at Richmond
- JJ Stark-Modlin -Earning a BQ after Injury
- Marty Gardner from overweight to 100 mile ultras
- Parker Watson -first two marathons with MTA Coaching
I’m also impressed by what the MTA coaches are doing in their own running. Here are some examples from 2023.
- Coach Steve finished 10th at the 155 mile Gobi March
- Coach Kristyn, Coach Steve, and Coach Antonio ran Boston (Antonio ran a new PR in 3:20).
- Coach Athena ran the Broken Arrow Skyrace, Pikes Peak Marathon & Ascent, and the Honolulu Marathon.
- Coach Henry finished the Burning River 100 Miler
I’m not going to run a 100 miler anytime soon but I’m glad Steve and Henry enjoy it.
This year we plan to keep growing our coaching program and make room for more clients. Huge shoutout to our whole team and Head Coach Nicole Hart for the excellent work. You are changing lives!
2500 Mile Challenge
We also launched the 2500 Mile Challenge this year for our customers who love to complete virtual challenges. It all started with the 100 Mile Challenge back in 2020. See how things have escalated!
The finisher’s medal is inspired by the Dutch artist M.C. Escher, with our own twist.
The MTA Podcast turned 13 this year. We’ve released an episode every 11.6 days since we published our first episode on February 24th 2010.
There’s no way we could have made it this long without an engaged and supportive audience. You guys rock!
Other popular episodes this year included:
- The Lazy Runner’s Guide to Success
- Nutrition for Runners Q and A
- “Let the Race Come to You” -Interview with JJ Stark-Modlin
Thanks to our Podcast Sponsors!
We’d like to thank the following sponsors for another great year!
We are looking forward to great things in 2024! Happy Holidays from our family to yours!