In the days leading up to a marathon, most runners scale back their training in order to rest their bodies for the challenge of running 26.2 miles.
But at the starting line of the ING New York City Marathon on November 3, five runners will have put in a total of 655 miles in the previous week. That’s right: Each runner will have completed five marathons (131 miles) in the seven days leading up to the marathon.
The five runners represent Run for Tomorrow, an organization based in Canada that's committed to inspiring people around the world to get active and commit to better health. The group, which includes two crew members, left Ottawa on Saturday, October 26, in a downpour accompanied by high winds and near-freezing temperatures. Running day and night, relay-style, they made their way across Ontario and Quebec, and by Monday morning they’d crossed the border into the United States. They headed southeast across Vermont and New Hampshire, and arrived in Boston on Tuesday, where they visited schools, ran the Boston Marathon course, and met with Boston’s race director, Dave McGillivray.
From there the runners continued their journey toward New York, visiting more schools along the way. They arrived in Central Park on Friday (in another rainstorm) and gathered at the marathon finish line to celebrate their achievement. They’ll take a well-deserved day of rest on Saturday, and then line up on Sunday morning to run the ING New York City Marathon.
“We’ve run 25 consecutive marathons since Saturday to get here,” said Malcolm Anderson, the founder and executive director of Run for Tomorrow, and one of the crew members. “All the runners are fine and looking forward to Sunday’s race.”
The group represents Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, and the United States. Anderson describes the Ottawa-to-New-York odyssey as a “mini-run” and a dress rehearsal for a non-stop around-the-world relay that Run for Tomorrow will undertake starting in April 2014.
“We’re running to promote the importance of physical activity,” says Anderson. “We had some great adventures on the run—being chased by dogs, encountering wildlife, running in snow, running into New York on Halloween. We’re ready to gear up for Sunday.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg