Marathon High: New Season, New Goal

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Jeff Knight coaches Team Rogue el Jefe, RogueAC and is the current director of Marathon High. He is a (running) nerd and loves using parentheses. Note: lab coats not provided.

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Training Bonus.
If I run, I get to eat a giant plate of hash. (http://rebecaelisa.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/austin-city-food-guide-diners/)

We all know (or will some day learn) that training for a marathon is more than just crossing a finish line or getting a medal, even if some double as a wine opener. There are a lot of “training bonuses”.  Marathon training is friendships, happy hours (i.e., a socially acceptable form of  “I’ll have a few drinks before dinner”), brunches (i.e., a socially acceptable form of “Ill have a few drinks before lunch”), long runs together and all the other things that bring us back to the training. Think about that for a split second.

As many of you know, Marathon High seeks to bring the marathon experience to underserved students in Austin — minus the happy hours and brunches! This previous year (our first year!) was a resounding success. We saw not 5, not 15 but 29 high school and middle school students complete the Austin Marathon or Half Marathon. Now, think about that for a second.

Next year, we have a new goal…a new PR. And that PR is centered on providing worthy and constructive “training bonuses” in conjunction with our run training.

Let me give you a sneak peak…..

Urban Roots ATX

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(urbanrootsatx.org)

Urban Roots is an organization very similar to Marathon High.  We both have the similar mission except they using farming where we use marathon training.

In 2013-2014, we plan to take a field trip to the farm where Marathon High runners will learn about sustainable agriculture, healthy forms of food and experience the beauty of the true “farm to table” idea; all from their peers that work the program.  In return, we share the gift of running with their student workers.  Both sets of students gain a small, life-shaping experience that they’ll never forget.

The Trail Foundation

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Eastside trail extension (artist rendition) via TTF website.

We all know and love the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. For the Austin runner, this is our old friend.  It is like a good pair of leather boots. We may stray for awhile but when we return, we are welcomed with open arms. Well, this old friend is growing some and learning a few new tricks.

The Trail Completion project is well under way and by this fall the progress (and excitement) will be very visible.  The planning and preparation for this project has been truly awesome.  There are entire ecosystems that have to be considered for a project like this. Trees, fish and animals. Errosion, soil content and traffic patterns. The list of things is endless and crazy interesting!

Marathon High is partnering with the The Trail Foundation to learn about this project. As users of the trail, our runners are the next generation of trail stewards and what better way to gain an appreciation, or a sense of responsibility, than by seeing this project in an up close way. This coming year Marathon High will experience guided canoe tours of the project, lead by engineers and project managers; laying out the “whys” and “hows” of the project.

Whole Foods Market Cooking Classes

Accessing inexpensive produce from farmer’s markets programs like Urban Roots ATX of Green Gate Farms is one thing, preparing that food is another thing. After seeing the source of good foods, our student will learn how to cook those same foods in an easy functional way.

We’ve partnered with Whole Foods to use their chefs and kitchen space to give our students real life experience preparing wholesome foods with ease.

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Whole Foods Lamar via Tumblr

Girls on the Run

If you don’t know GOTR, you should.  They are like Marathon High for elementary school girls. As a national program, we aspire to reach their level of expertise and programming.

Marathon High has partnered with GOTR to give back.  Returning MH runners will get the opportunity to teach a younger generation about running. By attending GOTR workouts and races, our runners get the chance to mentor students in a new way through something they are passionate about, running.

So, who is excited about the next goal?  With all new goals, training starts now, in the off-season. Like you need training partners and running buddies, we need you. Help us take the first step toward achieving our new goals by supporting our Marathon High + Groupon Grassroots Campaign.

This Thursday (May 16th), purchase a $10-Groupon here.  Share the link of Facebook, Twitter and through email. Get your mom to buy one, your coworker, your imaginary friend and your dog. It doesn’t take much for our staff to make these dreams a reality but it takes some.

Help us Share the High starting this Thursday because I love new PRs!

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One thought on “Marathon High: New Season, New Goal

  1. Marathon High is a great mentoring program that teaches young people HOW to make and reach life goals. HOW to create and build healthier lives: for themselves, their friends, perhaps their own future children. Bravo!

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