Signmaker Adriane wishes good luck to mom

By Keri Mandell

Running a marathon is one of the most challenging and rewarding events that any of us will ever experience. The human body imposes natural limitations on the distance we can run easily. Twenty miles is about the furthest we can go comfortably. After 20 miles, we begin to run out of fuel and our muscles begin to hurt. The marathon distance, 26.2 miles, is designed to take us beyond our comfort zone, to a place in which we confront the limitations of our bodies and our minds. I could not think of a better place to be, to learn, and to grow.

I firmly believe that anyone with the right training, preparation, and mental discipline can complete a marathon. However, you need to know that there are no shortcuts or easy ways out. Marathon training can be tough, but you need to remember, so are you! After you’ve run your first marathon, there is no better feeling in the world. Knowing your hard work has paid off and what you’ve accomplished as a result of finishing is something that no one can take away from you.  

It is so worth it in the end. If you’re someone who has debated about doing one for a while, now’s your chance (no time like the present). Join me in signing up for The New Jersey Marathon and get yourself ready for a challenge that will take you into an unknown zone, where you can confront your true self and discover your inner strengths and limits. But, be careful, running a marathon can become an addiction. After it’s done, you can’t wait to sign up for the next one.

The April 30, 2017, marathon will mark my 10th, and I could not be more excited nor could I think of a better place to run! So without further ado, here are 26 reasons why you should run The New Jersey Marathon:

  1. Its close to home! The point-to-point marathon course starts in Oceanport at Monmouth Park and ends on the oceanfront promenade just north of Pier Village and opposite the stage on The Great Lawn. And if it’s not close to your home, it’s definitely an awesome place to visit and great excuse to head to the Jersey Shore.
  2. The course is virtually flat. It has a few gentle rolling stretches and bridge crossings, but overall, it’s fast and flat.
  3. Flat and fast = many participants will obtain new PRs (personal records)!
  4. It’s a great Boston qualifying course!
  5. You get to run through the diverse neighborhoods and business districts of Oceanport, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour, Asbury Park, and Ocean Grove.
  6. You can achieve a lifelong goal. Many people have “run a marathon” on their bucket list, but few actually follow through with it.
  7. Training for a marathon helps keep you motivated to run! You can’t get away with not training with a marathon so having training runs marked on your calendar will keep you motivated and force you to stick to your schedule.
  8. Running keeps you healthy and strong! Running regularly strengthens your heart and also helps keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels. It also improves your immune system.
  9. Get into better shape! By the time you’re done training you may possibly be in the best shape of your life.
  10. You’ll get a medal, a cool shirt, and an awesome finishing photo as a recognition of your achievement.
  11. You’ll meet new people. Joining a running group is a great way to make new friends. The friends you meet and the bonds you form are like none other.
  12. You’ll sleep better. Marathon training can be tiring on your body, so you’ll definitely find yourself getting to bed earlier and sleeping a lot more soundly.
  13. You’ll have a lifetime of bragging rights. Once you become a marathon finisher, you’re always a marathon finisher. No one can ever take that away from you!
  14. You’ll have a great excuse to buy new running clothes. You’ll be running a lot, so you need quite a few outfits. Picking up some new running clothes and gear is a great way to reward yourself for sticking to your training.
  15. You’ll be a great role model and be setting a great example for your friends and family.  It’s hard not to respect someone who is dedicated and determined to complete a large goal like running a marathon.
  16. People will make signs for you.  A marathon is definitely a sign-worthy endeavor and friends and family always love to come up with creative signs to show their support.  It’s so fun to read the signs along the course on race day!
  17. Running is a good stress reliever. Running helps take your mind off your troubles and get lost in the run.  
  18. Running can be euphoric. You’ll get to experience the runner’s high that everyone talks about.  
  19. You’ll gain confidence you never knew you had. After you’ve logged a 20-miler, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.
  20. You’ll find new places to run. Since you’ll be running a lot more, you may get bored with the same routes. Check out MapMyRun.com to create new routes. You can also find runners in your area on FB or visit your local running store (i.e. Pacers) to ask for suggestions on where to run.
  21. You will most definitely be inspired along the way.  Whether it’s the double-amputee wheelchair racer, the 75-year-old grandmother running, the person completing their 50th or 100th marathon, people running in honor of loved ones who’ve passed, the charity runners, or the kids holding the signs that say  “We Love You, Mom/Dad!”, inspiration is everywhere.
  22. You can indulge a little after your long runs. During your very long runs, you’ll be burning thousands of calories, so it’s OK to be a little indulgent after. You can run hard, and celebrate hard.
  23. You’ll better understand runners’ lingo and find yourself talking more about running.
  24. You have an excuse to get a massage.  While training, you may find that you have tight muscles, so regular massages can help you feel comfortable and stay injury-free. Treat yourself to a massage or two during your training to help relieve some of that tightness.
  25. You’ll have an amazing feeling of accomplishment.  Although you’ll experience rough patches during marathon training and during the race, it’s all worth it once you cross that finish line. You’ll feel proud knowing that you set a goal of finishing a marathon and you followed through with it.
  26. The experience will change you. You’ll forever know that you have the mental and physical strength to persevere, even during times when you think you can’t and won’t succeed.

Let’s get ready to run!!