Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ASICS LA Marathon Blogger Challenge

Seven years ago, I broke a box of KOOLS in half and bought a box of ASICS, pictured here. I started running. Little did I know that tonight I would receive an email from ASICS, welcoming me to their team!

I am proud to announce that I am selected for the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon Blogger Challenge. It is a new 12-week program that starts now and culminates in the annual race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Pier.

More details on this adventure are forthcoming, but I can tell you this:

Andrew Kastor -- @CoachKastor on Twitter -- is our coach. He works with top runners such as Ryan Hall, and is half of a running royalty couple in America. His wife is Deena Kastor, the 2004 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist and U.S. women's marathon record holder. Andrew has already provided us with two 12-week training plans from which to choose, either Advanced or Beginner/Intermediate. I consider myself Intermediate, so I will go with the latter. My training is already under way and I never really stop.

The ASICS welcome email said: "He will lead all of you through the training and getting you to the starting line healthy and the finish line happy!"

That's my objective -- that and a PR. My best was 5:13 at the 2008 NYC Marathon. Lately I have drifted almost robotically into the 5:40s, training in my solo ways and always trying to overcome this or that headwind up the Seine in Paris or on Fort Lauderdale's beach. I am going to seize this moment to push. I will be blogging about my training and then right through the race, and I will be sure to show you what cool ASICS gear shows up at my doorstep during these 12 weeks.

No matter what happens, this already shows two things:

(1) It's not about your finish time. It's about the fact that you finish marathons. I believe I am representing the many runners in back of packs everywhere, those who push themselves at advanced ages (I'm 54) and with bodies that lack the metabolism of our 20s and 30s. It is for those determined, unstoppable friends of mine out there, including those Big Cats I started with in our first nationwide running group.

(2) Remember that Chad Stafko idiot who caused an uproar by writing in the Wall Street Journal recently that he deplores those runners who talk about their running and put 26.2 stickers on their cars? Well, Chad, check this out. ASICS just sponsored me for doing all that. It's called a running community. And ASICS just took a huge leap past everyone in it by reaching out to running bloggers and customers like me.

It will be a nice homecoming, because LA is where it all started for me -- specifically Fontana, where I was born. Now my 13th marathon is going to take place in the area. You can follow my ASICS LA Marathon Blogger Challenge adventure here and by following @Marathoner on Twitter.

4 comments:

Cheri Fiorucci said...

I am so very excited for you Mark!!! What a fantastic opportunity - .truly, truly happy for you!

CTBamaFan said...

Every time I look up Mark Newman in the dictionary it returns the definition "a dedicated beast that inspires others daily".

That works for me. Congratulations and I can't wait to follow your winter long journey in ASICS to #13.

Mark said...

Thanks, Cheri and Jeff! This is going to be a fun adventure and I can't wait to show off any new ASICS gear that shows up at my door! Here's to running "continuously" again. :)

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