Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon and Marathon Pre Race Introduction:
One of the biggest weekends for the RunnersFix family is upon us! We will be sending the biggest group we’ve ever had at a race to Biloxi, MS to compete in the Half Marathon and Marathon races! I would like to introduce each of them and let you know what to expect on race day. However, I will not be posting their individual goals. The weather conditions are still up in the air at this point but if it’s even just slightly in our favor then you should expect a great day for us! Here are the runners who will be competing:
• Cindy Lunsford: Working with Cindy has been such a great experience for me! She is the definition of a True Racer! She works hard during training and then shows up big on race day! We have one main goal in mind for this half marathon distance. Of course I’m not going to say what it is but her training has been going better than ever so I’m predicting she nails this goal! Expect to see her entering the MGM Stadium with a big smile on her face! Great things to come! You just wait and see!
• Tom Lunsford: The man, the myth, the legend! Lol. Tom will be heading into this race with a recent improvement to training. Things haven’t been the easiest for him since he works such a demanding job. Luckily, he has overcome this challenge and it has been showing these last few weeks in training. If Tom has a good day on Sunday then I’m predicting he surprises not just us, but himself as well. Stay strong, Tom. You’re ready for this challenge!
• Melanie Cookson: Half marathon debut on tap for Melanie! We’ve seen some huge improvements from her over these last few months. PR’s in both the 5K and 10K! And her training has been super consistent. I don’t think she’s had one bad workout this entire training cycle! If Melanie can pace herself properly, like she always does, then she’ll be crossing that finish line with her biggest result to date! Let’s have a great race, Melanie!
• Kelly Cannan: She is a true example of someone who has overcome the challenges this sport has to offer! What’s a runners worst fear? An injury! Not too long ago a knee injury took Kelly out for a good amount of time and the clock was ticking to start training for this race. And it wasn’t just the injury we had to battle. We also had to gain back the fitness that was lost. Fortunately, with some hard work, Kelly has been making all the improvements that I was hoping for leading up to this race. We have a big barrier to crush on Sunday and I can’t wait to see it all come together! Stay strong, Kelly!
• Lee Rietsma: My sleeper pick to make the podium for the half marathon goes to this man! Lee isn’t someone who likes to brag or post about his training or racing. He’s as humble as they get! I have a good feeling Lee is going to surprise a lot of people on race day. He’s a smart racer and will catch runners off guard late in the race. I wouldn’t give this guy an inch on race day! Race strong, Lee! A great result is heading your way!
• Paige Campbell: One of my newest clients is Paige who has a goal to bust through a big barrier that’s she’s been working so hard towards! When race day approaches we just need to make sure she shuts her brain off and accepts the pain the race has to offer. She needs to stay strong when things get tough. Physically you’re ready to achieve your goal! Let’s have the race you’ve been dreaming of, Paige!
• Jason Stafford: There are no words to describe how much this man will sacrifice on the course to achieve the goal he has his eyes set on! As of recent things haven’t been going Jason’s way with training. A leg injury has interrupted things the last few weeks. But if there’s anyone who will show up on race day and give every single ounce they have it’s Jason. An example of a true grinder! When things get tough Jason get tougher! Let’s run this race the way you run every race and you’re going to be rewarded! Let’s get after it, Jason!
• Chris Baker: Committed is just one word that describes Chris! When it comes to training he makes sure every little detail goes to perfection. This is what has allowed Chris to see the success he’s had with training and racing. He is someone who has gone from being hurt and dealing with low fitness to the best shape of his life because of his dedication to this sport. Chris just needs to ignore his thoughts on race day and run the race his body is capable of. If he can accomplish this then his dream result will be waiting for him at the finish line! Trust your fitness, Chris! You’re ready to attack this course!
• Coach Jon Mott: I can’t wait to be competing with my wonderful team! I have set some high expectations for myself. Training has been going better than ever. I made some big changes this time around as I’ve experimented with different training methods. Personally, this is a race where I want to take a risk. There is no prize money or qualifying for the trials. It’s a no pressure race. My plan is to get after it after the first few miles. I’m willing to sacrifice my whole race and training, even if there’s just a small chance I’ll be rewarded. Now is the time to test the waters. Let’s see what I can offer everyone race day!
• David Reiber: When someone mentions the word “talent” we automatically assume it’s how fast someone can naturally run. But talent comes in many different forms. With David, he possesses the talent to handle high volume mileage without any issues. And because of this he’s been able keep progressing as a runner. David started from the way bottom and has worked his way up to the top grinding out high mileage weeks! He might be the only runner to be able to say he’s PR’d in every single race he’s done. I can only wish! David is heading into this marathon with high hopes to keep his streak alive. There’s no making predictions for this guy because he’ll always outdo them. Stay confident, David, and great things will happen!
• Jeff Bowman: Here we have a man who isn’t afraid of any challenge thrown at him. Jeff has come such a long way to be the runner he is today. When I first started working with him the main goal was just to get him healthy so he could get some consistent training in. Once we accomplished that the results really started to show at races! He made some big jumps in fitness in such a short period of time. After his 5K PR a few months ago we decided we would go big here in Mississippi. If Jeff can stick to the planned pace and take care of his fueling then he’s going to take a monster chunk off his PR! Patience is key, Jeff! You got this!
• Ann Centner: Perseverance is the name of the game for Ann! What an awesome training cycle she has had leading up to her debut marathon. She is not only one of the toughest runners out there but she’s also one of the most dedicated! Ann is a great example of a runner who trusts the process. When that gun goes off Sunday morning I expect Ann to shoot straight to the front and run one of the smartest races. The podium is waiting for you, Ann! Stick to the plan and the result will be well worth it!
• Stephanie Leone: I like to consider Steph the dark horse heading into this marathon! She has been quietly running some monster sessions unnoticed! And she’s been doing this on high mileage legs. When it comes to what type of a runner a person is, there’s speed based and endurance based. Of course endurance based is what’s going to make someone successful at the marathon and that’s exactly what Steph has to offer! I’m just saying...watch out for her on race day. I’m not only predicting a fast time, but I’m also predicting she places amongst the top finishers! Race smart, Steph, and you’ll be rewarded big time!
• Ryan Joiner: This man is the definition of a hard worker! To say he’s dedicated is an understatement. He’s super committed to the big goal he’s created heading into this weekend. When we first started working with each other I don’t think either of us knew how much of an improvement he was going to make with the training. It wasn’t long until his original goal would be something that we would now consider to be a disappointing day. And what’s so special about this race is that it’s right at home for him! From Gulfport to Biloxi, Ryan will be working hard from start to finish to achieve his new shiny PR! Grind hard, Ryan!
• Andy Osborn: This easy going guy made some big improvements right from the start of working with me. It got to a point where he was making me adjust his paces several times during training. And that’s a good thing! Andy is the type of athlete every coach dreams of working with because he does what he’s supposed to do without asking any questions. On Sunday I think he’s going exceed expectations because he makes training seem so easy. Run the race you’re capable of, Andy! You won’t regret it!
• Kaelani Leone: Last but not least we have Kaelani who will be making her marathon debut! Another runner who has made some huge improvements with her training and racing. Consistency is Kaelani’s secret weapon! Day in and day out Kaelani has been out on the roads crushing the training and nailing some huge sessions! We have seen PR’s in both the 5K and 10K and she has cemented herself as one of the top runners in Lakeland! Expect to see her giving it all she has on race day, especially those final miles heading towards the finish line! Have a great race, Kaelani!