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Runners, Take Your Marks 
Just as the Memorial Day weekend marks the ‘official’ start of summer and brings with it the Indianapolis 500 call to “Drivers, START YOUR ENGINES"—this week marks the official start of marathon training season, and the heart-stirring call to "Runners, TAKE YOUR MARKS."

In that spirit, please consider this my official and most heart-felt wish for every success as you begin your 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon training journey.

Whether this is your first marathon, or your tenth... I wish you a strong, injury-free and thrilling training experience.

(Seriously. If this isn't going to be "thrilling"... why the heck would we ever think of running 26.2 miles!)

For a lot of runners, the mileage in your training plan during these first few weeks may not seem all THAT challenging—especially if you've been running all winter or spring; or if you've been 'base building' these past 6 weeks.

If that's true in your case, and you are able to run longer distances or more miles per week, or run these early miles at a faster pace because they are "shorter" distances... please, STAY WITH THE PLAN—exactly following whatever training schedule you have selected.

The (painful) truth is, too many runners train too hard; run too fast; or run too many weekly miles, too soon... and wind up injuring themselves in the process.


As Coach Brendan says in his training tip this week--marathon training is more about the QUALITY of your training and not the QUANTITY of your training.

And one other "TAKE YOUR MARKS" note—every day of this training season, do the best you can.

That doesn't mean that every day needs to be your 'best' training day ever, because every day will not always be better than the day before.

It simply means that every day, do the best you can on that day.

Hey. ‘Life happens.’

Family, work, travel, stress levels, diet, how much rest you’ve gotten (staying out too late on the Friday night before a Saturday long-run)—they're all going to impact your training, and every training day IS going to be different.

But regardless of the week’s circumstances, make sure you do the best you can—during any given training session, and on any given training day.

Nothing more is required. And nothing less should be accepted.

Having the good health and desire to train for a marathon is a blessing and a gift... and in the words of running legend Steve Prefontaine, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

Again, my very best wishes to each of you for a successful marathon training season.

And a huge THANK YOU(!) for the commitment you’re making to run with us—keeping families close and supporting the health and well-being of the children and families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities.

I am truly grateful for your becoming a Team RMHC runner.

Train safe. Run strong.



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