Days 20 & 21: Fire Up That Rump!

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It’s the middle of the week and time to fire up that rump! The next two days are dedicated to strengthening our glutes and hips. You know you love it!

Quick & effective….no excuses why you can’t get these workouts done. 12 minutes today and maybe 8 minutes tomorrow. Feel the burn and the positive effects of strength work! 🙂

Day 20 exercises: Donkey Kick Workout – I know y’all love to hate this workout. Let’s do it!


Day 21: Mid Week Booty Burn – After the Donkey Kick Workout on Wednesday, you should definitely feel these squats and burpees. Don’t worry, it’s only a few of each to fire up that rump again! 🙂

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Speed Work: Structured Fartleks – If you didn’t race last weekend, and don’t have a race coming up this weekend…you should be making time for speed work! Below is a link to the post with this week’s workout in case you missed it…or are just trying to get out of it. 😉

Click here and scroll down for workout!

When you’re done, don’t forget to ROLL then Stretch!


If a 30 minute workout is only 2% of our day, then what is a 12 minute workout? Sorry, I’m terrible at math…but we know it’s less than 2%! 🙂

Happy Hump Day Crew….let’s FIRE up that rump!

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Days 18 & 19: The Second Half…

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Think back to your first race, your first 5K, or maybe the first time you went bigger and signed up for your first half or full marathon. As race day got closer, you were nervous, but excited. You drove to the race site full of hope and determination. 

The gun went off and the race started….you did really well through the first half but then it got ugly. You slowed down, but you pushed through. It hurt, but you didn’t quit. You’re probably remembering tears of relief and happiness. A feeling of contentment and absolute power in being able to finish what you started.

It wasn’t so much the race as it was all of the work you put into that moment. It reminded you that you’re tougher than you think you are. That when you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. It was an amazing feeling and you were hooked!

You didn’t quit halfway, you didn’t stop when you got tired or your mind was telling you you couldn’t do it. You pushed through. YOU FINISHED!

Time to put that grit, that resolve to finish what you started, to the test. This is one of the busiest times of the year. So many people pulling you in different directions, vying for your time and attention. But you made a commitment to yourself. And it’s time to finish it!

The 2nd half of your race is here. You didn’t quit before…no way are you going to quit now!

Day 18 exercises: Nike’s Strength Workout for Runners – You’ve been working on this each Monday and you’re getting better at it. Let’s do it again! 15 minutes and you’re done! Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 7.53.22 PM

Day 19 exercises: Muffin Top-Less Dorm Room Workout – We’re not dorm dwellers, but sometimes we can feel the pressure of crunch time weighing down on us and we need a quick workout to give us energy and get us mentally prepared to face the busy day ahead! 3-5 rounds of this workout will have you feeling calm and ready for whatever comes your way.

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Speed Work: Structured Fartleks – Fartlek is a swedish term that means speed play. So this week we are turning our intervals upside side and playing with speed in a different way, by ushing HARD through that normal “rest” period and taking the longer interval as recovery. What does this mean?

We’re going to run fast for :30 – :60 then walk and let our heart rate drop for the same amount of time. But these faster run segments aren’t just a little faster. They are at push pace, with you giving it 90% of your maximum effort! Think a full minute faster than your 5K pace. So it you run a 30 minute 5K and your average pace is 9:40/mile, then these short run clips should be at a 8:40/mile. Same goes if you run a 40 min 5K and your average pace is 12:55/mile. Then these short run clips should be at 11:55/mile. Whatever your most recent 5K run or race was, use that average to determine your pace for this workout.

This is a great workout for the road so no need for a track. Set whatever timer you use or the intervals on your watch for :30 – :60 run and the same :30 – :60 walk. I know each and every one of you better than you think…if you’re capable of :60 run clips, don’t sell yourself short…

Total workout should include 1-2 mile warm up + 2-4 miles of fartleks using the above scenario + 1-2 mile cool down. Total of 3-8 miles depending on your level of fitness. This is a simple workout that you can squeeze in on this busy week before Christmas! Just set your intervals and go!


We’re busy… We’re stressed…. We’re tired…. but all those things are just the negatives that are keeping us in our comfort zone. It’s easy to stay comfortable. But nothing incredible every happens inside our comfort zone.

Give it a try…your heart wants the challenge!

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Days 13 & 14: Double Whammy!

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Suffer from knee pain? IT Band tightness and pain? Sciatica issues? Stabbing or aching piriformis? Thoughts on where your issues are stemming from?

Most people don’t realize that the pain we have in our glutes, quads, IT Band, and knee often come from the top. Our HIPS!


Our hips play a major role in keeping runners healthy. Numerous scientific research studies have proven that runners routinely suffer from weak, tight, and under-developed hip muscles.

These hip muscle groups are particularly important because they’ve been implicated in a range of running injuries. Weak hips can often be the cause of IT band pain, patella tendonitis (runner’s knee), piriformis issues, sciatica, and a myriad of other common running injuries.

So how do we strengthen this area? There are lots of exercises we can do…clams, donkey kicks, fire hydrants, side lying leg lifts, knee circles, hip thrust, hip hikes, etc…and we do these exercises often. If you’re suffering from any kind of lower leg pain, you really should add some these to your regular routine!

Today, we’re doing our “holiday simplicity” version with our favorite Modern Moms Hip strength + a fun bonus exercise!


Day 13 exercises: 1 round per leg of our favorite Modern Moms Hip Strength

Bonus: Donkey Whip – AKA “Oblique Lateral Raise and Donkey Kicks”

  • 3 sets of 10 each leg 

Strengthen your the glutes and obliques with this double whammy!

Extra Credit: 5 Minute Plank – It’s been a while and today’s exercises are so quick, so we’re adding another triple whammy…a tough (but still quick) little and OH SO GOOD for us! Hold strong Crew YOU GOT THIS! 🙂

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Day 14: 300 Abs – I really liked the look of this quick ab workout that Julie posted for us on Tuesday. Let’s do it!

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Two days of HIPS & CORE! This DOUBLE WHAMMY will sail you into the weekend feeling strong and ready for whatever comes your way! Let’s knock it out and bring home the strength! 😉

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Days 11 & 12: Be Strong. Be Inspiring!

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We all want to get stronger, healthier, and be a better version of ourself, but what we do affects more than just us. When we put forth the effort to be better, we inspire others to be better too.

That’s one thing I love about our Strong to the Core family. I’m in a lot of groups, and there is no other group that supports, motivates and encourages others like we do. There is no other group where I feel comfortable sharing my my ups and my downs then our group. There is always a nay sayer, always someone who will come up with something negative, or someway to put people down. Not in Strong to the Core! We are always positive and always inspiring!

When you post, be proud of your accomplishment, because no matter how big or how small…there is someone watching who you will inspire. They may not reach out and tell you…but I promise there is someone who will do a little more because of you.

Let’s not forget those outside our group as well…who are you inspiring at home? Does your significant other look at you like your crazy but quietly admire all the work you put in? Do you little ones look at you with awe because you never give up and continue to push yourself?

There is always someone you will inspire…so keep pushing Crew!

Day 11 exercises: Nike/Runners World Strength Routine – 15 minutes y’all and a great well rounded routine to start our week. Remember that the fist video is about 12 minutes, then they give you a “water break” then it rolls over into the next portion which is about 3 minutes. This video has it all and I know it’s not easy but each time you do it you will get a little better! Click on the link above to follow along.

Day 12 exercises: 8 Minute Core Workout – Wherever you are, whatever your day looks like….everyone can make time for an 8 minute core workout! No equipment needed…well you need a watch, but that’s it!

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Speed Work: Beginner Yasso 800s – This week we are taking a step back from the mile repeats and are going to try out some Yasso 800s! This is a well known workout that will push you, help you increase your VO2 Max and your leg turnover, and teach you how to keep moving when you are tired. The full Yasso workout is geared toward marathon runners but anyone can do them. The real difference between running Yasso 800s and just doing regular 800m repeats is that you WILL NOT stop to rest in between your 800s. You do get recovery time but that comes in the form of slow jogging or even quick walking for 400m or 1/4 mile.

HOW DO I RUN YASSO 800S?

Alternate between pushing yourself for 800 meters (or one half mile) on a track and jogging easy for 400 meters (or a quarter-mile) to recover. The speed workout is often done on a track, but it doesn’t have to be—a quiet stretch of road or a smooth trail would work just as well, as long as the surface is fairly flat and you’re able to measure how far you’re running. As with any hard speed workout (on a track of elsewhere), you’ll want to start and finish with at least (I would prefer for than a mile for warm up) a mile of easy jogging to warm up and cool down.

What pace should you aim for? 800s (1/2 mile) are much shorter than a 5K race, so these need to be ran at OR faster than 5K pace. Remember, you get a recovery period in between each faster interval so don’t hold back.

5 might sound like a lot, but 5 is 2.5 miles so we can all do this workout! If you are training for a half or full marathon, you should be doing more like 6-10 of these 1/2 mile repeats. You know who you are…it’s up to you to put in the work if you want to be the best you can be! Questions? Please ask me!

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Time to get to work! Be STRONG. Be AWESOME. Be INSPIRING! Even though you do it for you, you will inspire someone else too! You might never know it…but what you do affects those around you and every time you do a little more than expected you inspire someone else to do a little more too!

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Days 9 & 10: Grit Over Gift

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“Passion, not talent, should determine how hard a runner trains. If you love running enough to want to find out how good you can be, even if you’re really not that good, then you should go for it.”

Have you finished a race disappointed by your finish time? Do you wonder what went wrong then end up blaming it on something that was out of your control like weather or the course? Could it be that maybe your training wasn’t really what it should be?

How much effort are really putting into your training? Are you putting in just enough to get by? Or do you push yourself to see what you are really capable of?

If you weren’t born with the “gift of running” are you tapping into your “grit” and putting in the effort to ignite what it takes to turn your ability into accomplishment?


Below is some recent (December 2017) info I found that is based around a marathon, but as with all things running, we can apply this to running of any distance. It’s all relative.

A recent study on the differences in training patterns between slower and faster marathon runners was published in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Science gathered comprehensive data on the training regimens of 97 recreational marathoners. To no one’s surprise, they found that faster runners trained a lot more than slower ones. The table below summarizes their findings.

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*Side note, just because you run 50 miles a week doesn’t mean you’ll be able to go right out and run a 3-3.5 hour marathon. It takes time to increase your speed if you’re starting from a 10-12 minute pace ability. But you can get there with time, patient and hard work. Again, it’s all relative.

Here’s my “quick story”.

  • First 5K – April 2011 – Guns N Hoses 5K – 38:32, 12:24/mile
  • First Half – February 2014 – Donna Half Marathon – 2:33:19, 11:42/mile
  • First Marathon – February 2015 – 26.2 with Donna Marathon – 4:38:56, 10:38/mile
  • Marathon PR – November 2017 – New York Marathon – 4:05:22, 9:21/mile

There was a lot of running, many races, and a lot of hard work put into these 6 years. I still have a lot of room for improvement and you know I like to practice what I preach, so I will continue to run lots of miles, lots of smart miles. And I hope to add a new marathon PR in the future. Might take a bit…and I think that’s kinda the fun part…but I will do it. 🙂

Time, Patience & Hard Work 🙂

Ok, back to the study. There are two ways to interpret the chart above. On one hand, it might be looked at as evidence that faster marathoners are faster because they train more. On the other hand, the same evidence might suggest that faster marathoners tend to train more because they are faster and believe in their ability, therefore they are more willing to put in the work.

I think both of these explanations are probably true. The more we train, the faster we get. But I think it’s also true that faster marathoners choose to train more because they are faster. Why, though?

Human nature? People tend to invest more time and effort in activities they feel they’re naturally good at. It doesn’t take long for a new runner to get some sense of his or her natural ability level. Runners who have a knack for it are prone to keep piling on the miles in pursuit of their goals, while those with average or below-average speed are more likely to decide that their ability level is not worthy of investing the time and effort into higher mileage.

Let’s start a discussion about the following: Less gifted runners hold a tacit belief that they do not deserve to train a lot.

Do you feel this statement rings true? Do you look at others running higher mileage and feel that you don’t deserve to train in a similar way? Let’s take the marathon for this example; most marathon training plans call for 40+ miles per week. Typically, slower marathon runners don’t hit these numbers. Maybe they will run 3-5 miles a couple times a week, then have their long run on the weekend, averaging about 20-30 miles a week. What do you think would happen if this runner started putting more time and effort into their training cycle? What if they ran more? What if they ran doubles? What if they put in an easy recovery run the day after their long run, logging more miles and getting their muscles moving again?

Of course, and I hope it goes without saying, that an increase in mileage should come on gradually, and the large majority of these miles should be done at an easy, comfortable pace. But what if? If your training schedule says, “run 8-10 miles” do you run 8 and call it a day, or do you put your mind to running the higher mileage? I think it says a lot about a runner when they choose to do a little more…

While we’re talking about higher mileage, we need to chat again about intensity. If you’re looking to increase your mileage, how fast should you be running?

There are two main schools of thought: the high-mileage school and the high-intensity school. Representatives of the high-mileage school believe runners should do most of their training at an easy pace–but lots of it. Representatives of the high-intensity school believe it’s better to run less but run hard. I’m sure you already know which school I gravitate too….but let’s look at a recent study.

This study looks at a 10K race (or close to a 10K), which reinforces the thought that the same type of training goes into every race, no matter the distance. AND they are training for a 10K over 5 months. Most runners would feel they are ready much sooner than 20 weeks for a 10K. Maybe we should take more time to train properly…just a thought that I had when ready this. 🙂

Some of the best studies on the effects of specific training practices in runners have been conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Madrid, Spain. And it so happens that a recent study by this team provides support for the philosophy that distance runners should do most of their training at an easy pace.

The team divided 10 high-level male runners into two groups. At the beginning of the study period, all 10 runners completed a 10.4-km time trial and their times were recorded. Over the next five months, the runners in the two groups trained identically except for one key difference. The members of one group did two threshold runs per week, while the members of the other group did just one. Their total training mileage, speed training schedules and strength training regimens were the same. The only difference was that the members of one group did more threshold running and less easy running than the members of the second group.

At the end of the study period, all 10 runners repeated the 10.4-km time trial. The members of the “threshold” group improved their time by 2:01, on average, while those in the “easy” group improved by 2:37. Statistical analyses revealed that such a large discrepancy was extremely unlikely to occur by chance. Therefore the researchers concluded that a training program in which 81 percent of running is easy, 10.5 percent is done at threshold pace, and 8.5 percent is done at speeds exceeding race pace is more effective than an equal-mileage program in which only 67 percent of running is easy, 24.5 percent is at threshold pace, and 8.5 is fast.

These results are very troubling for those who deem threshold training to be the holy grail of training for distance running. The runners in the “easy” group trained hard, and those in the “threshold” group arguably trained foolishly hard. We took a closer look at those numbers in the “threshold” training regimen: 24.5 percent of their weekly miles were run at threshold pace (plus another 8.5 at speed pace) for a total of 33% of runs done faster than an easy, comfortable pace. At the end of the training cycle, the runners who did more easy runs performed better on race day.

This study provides solid validation for the notion that a modest amount of threshold training goes a long way. The take-home lesson is this: You’ll get as much fitness as you can get from threshold training with one hard session per week. Adding a second threshold workout will not give you any extra fitness and may actually inhibit your fitness development by causing you to accumulate fatigue that you carry from one threshold workout to the next, so that you don’t perform as well as you should in these workouts and therefore get less benefit from them.

This study is broken down even more in the article, “Easy Does It: High Mileage or High Intensity?” and if you’re interested you can even see their full training schedule. But the takeaway is this, the 80/20 rule of training (80% at easy pace / 20% at threshold or speed work pace) is more effective than running faster more often.

If we put this together with running higher mileage, that means we get extra “faster running time” by increasing the average number of miles we run each week. So if you like to run fast, increasing your mileage will give you the option to run faster more. 🙂

If you’re running 20-30 miles a week, you get 4-6 miles of threshold or speed work. If you up your mileage to 40 times a week, you now get 8 miles of speed work or you can break that into 2 runs, one 4 mile threshold and one 4 mile of speed work. Up that again to 50 miles a week, and now you can safely run 10 miles at a faster pace each week. Everything else should be done at your easy, comfortable pace.

Breakdown:

  • 20 miles/week = 16 miles easy + 4 miles of speed work
  • 30 miles/week = 24 miles easy + 6 miles of speed work (or 3 at threshold and 3 speed work)
  • 40 miles/week = 32 miles easy + 8 miles of speed work (or 2 faster workouts 4 at threshold and 4 speed work)
  • 50 miles/week = 40 miles easy + 10 miles of speed work (again, this can break down into 2 runs)

So, what does your training look like? Are you guilty of not pushing yourself, then being disappointed on race day? Are you passionate about your sport or is it just something you do for fun? Are you running for a time or are you running to finish? If it’s just for fun and you aren’t wanting to improve (that is ok!), or you aren’t concerned with a time and just want to finish (this is ok too!), then you may not need to run as many miles, just don’t be don’t be disappointed or blame your finish time on “something else” on race day…

If you want to get better, you have to put in the work. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a gazelle like figure running down the street. It doesn’t matter if running doesn’t come naturally to you. Choose to do a little more and see what happens! If you’re schedule says 8-10, choose 10.

Again, this principle applies to ALL running distances. If you are training for a 5K, you should be working towards running 4-6 miles as your long run before your race. Yes go PAST your race distance! If you are training for a half, you should be working up to running to 14 or 15 miles. This will give you SO much confidence and endurance going into your Half Marathon. If you’re training for a marathon…you should be working towards, or already running, 40+ miles a week, and for experienced runners, you should be pushing 50+ miles a week.

You have the GRIT even if God didn’t give you the GIFT. You just have to work a little harder for it. What will you do?

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Day 9 exercises: Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles and Lunge Matrix + Long Run + :60 Wall Sit + Legs up the Wall (5-15 minutes) + Rolling + 7 Key Stretches for Runners 

Day 10 exercises: Plank (:60) + Wall Sit (:60) + Active Recovery & Yoga


Homework: We are nearing the middle of the month already (crazy I know!) and this means we are getting closer and closer to the end of the year. Last year, I asked you for your 2017 goals, and half way through the year, you got a note from me reminding you about those goals. Let’s do it again. This weekend, I want you to start thinking about your goals for 2018. They can be whatever you want them to be. Write them down and add or change them over the next few days or week. Sometime this coming week, I will add a “2018 Goals” post in our Facebook group where you can list your 2018 goals. If you don’t want to share them with the whole group, you can send them to me in private messenger. Send me your address (if I don’t already have it) and I will be making a list of all #CoreCrew 2018 goals to keep for next year. Take your time and think about these.

Your goals should be:

  1. Motivating – Make sure your goals are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them.
  2. Specific – Clear and well defined
  3. Measurable – Include precise amounts, dates, etc…
  4. Attainable – Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. Resist the urge to set goals that are too easy.
  5. Relevant – Goals should be relevant to the direction you want to take in life, career, fitness, family & health
  6. Time Bound – You goals must have a deadline. This means that you know when you can celebrate success.

Want to push yourself harder while staying safe and injury free? I’m here to chat and I would love to help you work towards and achieve your goals. Reach out to me and let’s talk about how you can safely put in the effort to ignite what it takes to turn your ability into accomplishment!

Final Thought:

“Passion, not talent, should determine how hard a runner trains. If you love running enough to want to find out how good you can be, even if you’re really not that good, then you should go for it.”

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Day 8: Core of the Matter

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A strong core compliments everything we do. It improves our technique, give us added strength and stamina…pushes us over those hills and carries us across the finish line.

Bottom line…runners need a strong core!

The Runner’s World’ article“The Core of the Matter: Strengthen your core muscles, and you’ll run smoother and faster, with fewer injuries. Bonus: A set of seriously taut abs” stresses the importance of core work for runners.

Exercise Physiologist for the Nike Farm Team, Jack Daniels, Ph.D. explains,

“The stronger your core, the more solid you are as you hit the ground. That reduces your need for unnecessary stabilization, and allows you to be a more economical runner.”

Today’s ab exercises require you to hold your core tight for each move. Think about clenching or “bracing” your ab muscles while you perform each exercise. Pretend someone is about to punch you in the stomach and you need to be ready for it. These are all standing exercises, so no floor work and no excuses. Great exercises for anyone with back pain or weaknesses. These core exercises will give you more stability and help you maintain proper running form during challenges such as hills, sprints or the final leg of long distance runs, supporting tired muscles even when you are fatigued.

And like the article above reminds us, they also help us work towards “a set of seriously taut abs.”

The Core of the Matter? Don’t skip your ab work!


Day 8 exercises: Standing Abs Routine – 3 rounds with 2 minute rest between rounds

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Bonus: Stability Ball V-Pass – I realize I just said no floor exercises…but this is a bonus, and one of my favorites. It’s tough, but a a great exercise for core strength and stability! Keep it slow and controlled. If you don’t have a stability ball, grab a pillow, light weight medicine ball, soccer ball, or something you can you to pass back and forth between your arms and legs. Here’s a how to video to remind us how to do it.


Preparing for Success: The weekend is almost here so it’s time to think ahead so we get in our long runs, and so we can be proactive about making them good runs! Rolling, stretching and hydrating. Planning our pre-run meal, and our post run recovery. It’s all part of having a successful workout!

Stretching and Rolling Links:

We talk a good bit about what to do before our long runs, but we haven’t talked about what we do after lately. Do you come home from your run, take a quick shower, then jet out the door to take care of family or work obligations? Did you know that having a solid post run routine can make a huge difference in how you feel the day after, and two days after a long run? Below is a great post long run checklist that will help us recover quickly and feel ready to go again sooner!

Which ones of these are already a staple in your routine? Which ones can you add to make your post long run days more enjoyable? Have other ideas you can share with the Crew?

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Get sweaty, pamper yourself and share! You never know who you might inspire!

Happy Friday Crew!

Ameris Bank – Last BIG Race of 2017!

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Formerly known as the Jacksonville Bank Marathon, Ameris Bank is proud to carry on the tradition of the oldest marathon in Jacksonville! This is the 35th running of this 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon, and this course does not disappoint. With pancake flat terrain, and lots of shade, this course meanders down Beauclerc Road, travels around the infamous Forrest Circle loop and winds through Scott Mill and Mandarin Roads circling back to end inside the Bolles stadium on the track.

RACE FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Boston Marathon Qualifier
  • Marathon course has a six hour limit
  • Half Marathon course has a 3.5 hour limit
  • Certified courses
  • Course record is 2:14:33
  • Large Medals to all Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K Finishers
  • Prize Money
  • 1/2 zip long sleeve shirts provided to all half and full marathon entrants
  • Race results bib/Tag timing
  • Course features lots of shade and pancake flat
  • Finish inside Bolles Stadium on track
  • Digital clocks at all miles
  • Average temperature is 56 degrees
  • Start and finish location:
    The Bolles School
    7400 San Jose Blvd.
    Jacksonville, FL 32217

One of the last big races of the year, you’re guaranteed to see lots of friendly faces and TONS of fast runners vying for that coveted Boston Marathon qualifying time!

But don’t worry, you don’t have to be fast to have a blast at this race. With options for a 5K, Half or Full Marathon with generous time limits (3.5 hours for the half and 6 hours for the full) everyone is welcome to come out and run their own race, enjoy the scenery and end the year with a BANG!

I’ll be there with lots of my #CoreCrew squad and ALL my Moms on the Run ladies! Come out and run with us! I might even bring mimosas to celebrate after the race. 🙂

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Ameris Bank 2017

1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe have put together an awesome race for us to end the year so don’t miss it…start time is 7am on Saturday, December 16th!

Need to know more? Check out any of the sites below for race and course info, registration links, pricing and more. Stop by any Tropical Smoothie Cafe location or 1st Place Sports and let them know you appreciate all their hard work and dedication to this sport we love!

Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon:
• 7:00 AM START TIME
Race Website
Facebook

1st Place Sports:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe:

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