On Sunday, August 14, 2022, Leslie Smith conquered many, many things when she ran the Drake Well Marathon in Titusville, Pennsylvania!
In the spring of 2021, Leslie was running the Gettysburg Marathon and did not finish (DNF) the race. This DNF has haunted her since then. (We’ve called it The Ghost of Gettysburg in an attempt to make it humorous and less haunting. :D )
In August 2021, Leslie hired me to coach her on Performance Coaching. In our 12 months of working together, Leslie has had three marathons on her racing calendar that were not the Drake Well Marathon. For various reasons, none of those three marathons came to be. And so, not only was The Ghost of Gettysburg haunting Leslie, but so were The Ghosts of Marathons Yet To Come.
When the third marathon fell off of her schedule, I strongly encouraged Leslie to find A MARATHON - somewhere, anywhere - that she could do to prove to herself that she COULD still run 26.2 miles successfully. I knew she could do it, but 18 months is a LONG time to go without a big goal race. To target three different goals races and have them not be realized? That’s even harder.
So, I did my best race finding sleuthing and discovered that the Drake Well Marathon was on a weekend that Leslie could race, was within driving distance of her own, and was located in what looked to be a beautiful region. After some convincing, Leslie signed up.
I’m so, so proud to say that Leslie rocked this race and successfully exorcized The Ghost of Gettysburg. She executed a run/walk strategy that was effective for her and kept her moving the entire race. The course was gorgeous and the weather wasn’t outrageously hot and humid. She thoroughly enjoyed herself, and more importantly, she proved to herself that she is capable of doing hard things.
Leslie’s next goal race is another marathon later this fall and we have some big goals for it. The Drake Well Marathon was a stepping stone race for her (a B-Race) and I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
Daria and Christina are great friends who happen to be training for the same A-Race later this fall. The Geneva Half Marathon Relay was a wonderful opportunity for them to combine their talents and to race together as a team in a C-Race enroute to their big goal race. Daria ran the first leg (5.7 miles uphill) and Christina ran the second leg (7.4 miles downhill). As they did for Leslie, the weather gods smiled on them, and they had a beautiful day for this picturesque race in the Finger Lakes Region.
Way to go, Daria and Christina!
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.