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Tufts University: The President's Marathon Challenge

Coach's Blog

September 30, 2008

A former Tufts swimmer exceeds personal expectations ... READ MORE!

I met Steve Sklivas (a former swimmer of mine from 1982) at the finish line of the 2008 Boston Marathon ... his personal account of the race will help many veteran and novice marathoners.

I finished in 3:12:58, far beyond my expectations!
  The only race I had run in 20 plus years was a 10K (the previous Sept) and I had not ever run longer than 10 miles when I signed up for this endeavor about 9 weeks in advance.  It still seems like one of the craziest things I've ever done.

I knew enough to keep my training really simple and hoped that not having any room for injury/sickness would actually help--It did!  I know this sounds strange but the race itself was in many ways my most satisfying, if not best, athletic performance.  Once I crossed the starting line everything went so smoothly--almost dreamlike.  I envisioned the start of a normal long run and after a couple miles I was chomping at the bit and settled into a strong pace.

The last 3 miles were hard and I had to sacrifice some time to keep the cramps in my legs at bay. When you saw me at the finish line I knew that I had run the absolute best race I was capable of running.

Overall, I went out in 1:36:04 and back in 1:36:54, so pretty close to even splits. I understand that I could be stronger and fitter next time and still not do as well, which is fine!
I will sign up with the PMC.  I'm hoping to enlist some fellow Jumbos to help with the fundraising.  I'll try to stop by one of your Sunday training runs before the end of October.  I'm running a half marathon on Oct 26th and am trying (?) to focus my training on that race.

I liked the story about your high school X-country race that I found in your training manual.  It reminded me to focus on the enjoyment of running and not to let the goals and technical stuff get in the way of that.

-Best Regards,
Steven Sklivas '82

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"You helped me to overcome the barriers between wishing I was a marathoner and seeing myself as a strong, tough, powerful, determined, athletic, successful runner and woman. Thank you for the most amazing gift one could ever receive!"

- Elizabeth Bennett, F08