Learn : Marathon Story  

Note from Editor: Brent was recently 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:

I consider myself an advanced runner and I primarily run for stress relief. I continue to run marathons because I'm trying to work my time down to where it was before I had leukemia. Running is a great stress reliever for me, but I get lazy if I don't have a goal. I hadn't competed on a flat course before, so I was looking for a fast time at Chicago.


I trained for 6 months without following a specific training program. I run probably more miles than I should. I try to do a couple of tempo runs per week, but I don't do a lot of speed work. A month prior to the race I start doing intervals, hills, or other speed work. Usually I run 85-110 miles per week.

Some advice I received during training was to take a 30 second break on long runs to help prevent injuries. I think mentally this hurts because I don't take breaks in a race.

Race Day:

The 2006 Chicago Marathon wasn't quite what I expected. My goal for the race was to run under 2:50 and get close to what I had trained for the year before.

Three weeks before the 2005 race doctors performed surgery on my abdominal area to see why I was having pain. The surgery caused internal bleeding and ended up in rough shape. In addition, they discovered the cause of the pain was due to complications of cancer. I was diagnosed with leukemia and had to withdraw from the 2005 race. Based on my training for that race, I was on pace to run a 2:40. I had run 23.5 miles in 2:23 about 6 weeks before the 2005 race.

I signed up for Chicago because of its reputation for being fast. It was cold on race day and very windy. It seemed like even when we were running with the wind it would swirl between the buildings. The last 4 miles were into the wind. Usually I'm a strong finisher, but I only had enough left for a 400 sprint at the end. Last spring, at Boston, my last mile was a 5:45. Overall I had a great time and without the wind I think I would have hit my time.


My recovery wasn't bad. I've had some leg problems, so I took a break from running.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Nike Running Shoes
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Start slow and increase your mileage gradually. If your legs are sore, running on a treadmill gives you a smoother run.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run more marathons because running is a great stress reducer and I can eat as much as I want.

For my next marathon, I need to do more speed work.

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