Learn : Marathon Story  

Note from Editor: Brent was featured in Runner's World magazine (A Sick Pace) for his remarkable battle with chronic myeloid leukemia. If you would like to learn more about how you can help with blood cancer research, visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society web site. You can help the cause by running a marathon with the Team in Training program or donating money.

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an advanced runner and I primarily run for stress relief. I decided to run a marathon because I have CML Leukemia. Running helps my liver function at a higher level so it can handle the chemotherapy treatments I take daily. Also, running is a great stress reliever.


I somewhat followed the training program for advanced runners on the Boston Marathon Web site. I run 85-95 miles per week which is higher than what they outline. As the race approached I followed the program more closely. I don't do as much speed work as they suggest, but I run more miles. I run by myself so speed running is tough.

The best advice training advice I received was to add easy days to the tough ones.

Race Day:

The 2007 Twin Cities Marathon was worse than expected. I came into the race in good shape. I don't think I was quite at my 2:54 marathon level of one year ago, but I was close. In April I ran a 3:03 in bad conditions, and I took it easy and ran a 3:05 at Grandma's on tired legs. I drank fluids along the course and prior to the race knowing it was hot. I believe the temperature was about 85 and humid.

I was moving at a 3:00 hour pace through around 18 miles. I noticed that my sweat was no longer salty which isn't great. By mile 23 I had stopped at the bathroom 3 times and was at about a 3:05 pace which still would have put me in the top hundred or close. My hamstring started to cramp and my left leg kept shooting out. I had a sick feeling stomach. For the next two miles, I continued to stagger along at about a 3:10 pace.

Two-thirds of a mile from the finish my calf, quads, and hamstring cramped and I dropped. An older guy watching the race stretched me out, I got up, and I fell back over because my right leg went. I finally got going and picked up speed. As I gunned for the finish line, I decided to back way off thinking if I cramped again I would go sliding across the tar. After crossing the line in 3:28.31 (my worst time by 15 minutes), I tipped over and cramped for 45 minutes in the medical tent with a warm body temp.


My recovery wasn't too bad. I started training almost right away. Because of the cramping, I hadn't exerted myself as much as normal. I tried to get extra sleep (tough with 3 kids).

Running Gear Recommendations:

Nike Structure Running Shoes
I trained in the oldest model of these shoes.
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Powerbar Power Gels
I used these on my long runs.
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Body Glide
It saves my skin on the long runs. I've found all of the interesting places that the skin takes a beating
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Don't try to get ready on a 16 week plan unless you are all ready in fairly good shape. I trained for a whole year before my first race. If you are ready for that 1st race, I think you will continue to run marathons.

Plans to Run Another:

I ran the Las Vegas marathon a couple months after this race. Having races planned keeps me focused. For my next marathon, I'm going to start at a leisurely pace and accelerate as the race goes on.

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