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Marathon Success Story with Lee and Colleen Staats

Looking good and loving life.  Colleen and Lee Staats with Meb Keflezighi before the Columbus Marathon.

Looking good and loving life. Colleen and Lee Staats with Meb Keflezighi before the Columbus Marathon.

*[Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now]

In this episode we bring you a marathon success story with Lee and Colleen Staats, two Academy members from Galion, Ohio, who are transforming their lives through running.

They have both lost weight since starting to run and recently completed the Columbus Marathon.

Colleen set a PR in the half and Lee qualified for Boston by running 3:21:52.

They have both battled through injury and a busy work load to achieve their goals.

It has been my great honor to be their running coach. Continue Reading →

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Running to Beat Cancer (Again)

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Editor’s note: On Dec. 11, 2016, Darrell Henry passed away. This ended a three-year struggle that was harder for the cancer than for Henry. “Cancer will have no victory here,” says his sister, Misty Henry.

Darrell Henry has no colon. But he has a heart, the heart of a champion.

Henry’s colon was removed in June 2013 “because of hundreds of polyps and a large cancerous tumor brought on because of familial adenomatous polyposis, a genetic disorder which causes polyps in basically any part of the body. With hundreds of colon polyps it’s inevitable some will become cancerous.”

The biggest drawback to being colon-less: Hydration. “Most of the body’s hydration occurs in the colon. I drink 150-200 ounces per day to stay properly hydrated,” he says.


Doctors used a section of small intestine to build a replacement (called a j-pouch) for the colon and followed up by 12 rounds of chemo. Henry endured one round of chemo every other week for six months.


Henry decided to enjoy the experience as much as possible and dedicate himself to running.

“My intention was to fight as hard as I could, take any treatment necessary and beat cancer but also to gain as much positive from the experience as I could,”

says Henry, who tries to run 50 to 70 miles a week, even during chemo. Continue Reading →

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Musician Conquers Alcoholism, Then Ultras

10003585_10204714372890015_6944650481230729807_o-2Just running wasn’t enough for Ryan Deguzis to break his addiction. It did play a role, however, and now he is loving life and giving back.

By Henry Howard

MTA member Ryan Deguzis has a lot going for him: he’s a classical musician, teaches students, has a steady girlfriend and recently finished his first ultra marathon.

But it wasn’t always like this. Like millions of Americans from all walks of life — millionaires to soccer moms — Deguzis battled an addiction to alcohol. He’s been sober for 3 ½ years now.

“Running was one of the things that helped me escape alcoholism,” he says. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Vinnie Tortorich – Why Exercise is a Poor Way to Lose Weight

VinnieVinnie Tortorich is a Hollywood personal trainer and author of the book Fitness Confidential.

He has been a fitness trainer for over 30 years. Many of you will know him for advocating a no sugar no grains lifestyle. You can hear him on the Angriest Trainer Podcast found in iTunes and at vinnietortorich.com

We brought Vinnie back on the show to talk about weight loss, clean eating, and answer questions sent in by Academy members.

I know you will love this interview! Continue Reading →

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From Couch to Ultra Runner

Molly Badwater 2009 (1)Molly Sheridan was told “she was too old” to run. Since then, she’s completed 50 ultras, including a 138-mile run in the Himalayans that no woman had previously finished.

By Henry Howard

A friend called Molly Sheridan, inviting her​ to run the Marine Corps Marathon, her first attempt at 26.2 miles. It would be fun, the friend advised.

At the time, Sheridan was 48, had a full-time job and was raising three kids. She had a lot on her plate. What she didn’t have was an athletic background. Growing up in California, she swam at the beach and as an adult did some running/walking 5Ks but nothing serious.

She told her friend, “No, it sounds awful. What is that? Twenty miles or something?” Sheridan recalls, adding that she said “no” about 10 times. Then something happened that would change her life. “I was haunted all night, tossing and turning, punching my pillow. Then I thought what have I been doing for exercise?”

And, thus, the quest began. “The first mile out the door was awful. I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” the Las Vegas resident says. Continue Reading →

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Interview with Nikolas Toocheck | Eleven-Year-Old Marathoner

photo credit: Nik's Facebook page

photo credit: Nik’s Facebook page

*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Nikolas Toocheck (age 11) is the youngest runner to complete a marathon on all seven continents.

He was inspired to start running when he witnessed his dad, Daniel Toocheck, cross the finish line at the NYC Marathon.

After completing a half marathon Nik noticed how much energy he still had left so he asked his parents if he could try running a full marathon.

Then he had the idea to run a marathon on all seven continents.

After checking with sports medicine doctors and pediatricians Nik’s parents decided to help him pursue his seven continent goal.

In September of 2014 he completed this goal setting a World Record at age 11 and raising over $40,000 for Operation Warm an organization that provides new coats to underprivileged children. Continue Reading →

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Runner’s Amazing Year: Surgery, Boston and Cover Model

Lindsey Hein photoLindsey Hein is a mom, wife, employee and coach — and still finds time to run, including a second Boston Marathon finish.

By Henry Howard

The past year has been full of momentous occasions for Lindsey Hein.

The long-distance runner from Indianapolis learned she had the BRCA 2 gene mutation in July 2013, the day before her first half Ironman. The gene increases a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Hein was determined to finish the race, which she did. It turned out to be her “find your strong moment.”

She opted to have a prophylactic double mastectomy in October 2013, with reconstruction in January 2014.

Three months after her surgery, Hein finished the Boston Marathon. Again. Continue Reading →

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From Former Smoker to Boston Qualifier

767953-1011-0010sPittsburgh resident dropped the cigarette habit for greater rewards, including a BQ and dozens of finishes in half and full marathons.

By Henry Howard

Kristy Brown’s running journey has come a long way.

The Pittsburgh resident has reformed herself from a pack-a-day smoker to a Boston qualifier. She has run 16 full marathons and 27 halfs. And she’s not stopping there.

But to know Brown’s full story one must go back to the first days when she laced up the running shoes, back in late 2007. She had been a gymnast while growing up, but running was something she took up in adulthood. And not just running but setting and achieving goal after goal. Up first: Brown knew she wanted to finish a marathon by the time she was 30 so she started training.

She accomplished that feat on May 18, 2008, as a smoker. In fact, she did another half-dozen marathons as a smoker. But she wasn’t satisfied with her performances. Eventually she quit smoking on June 8, 2010, “because I wanted to be able to run faster, so I could qualify for Boston.” She took Chantix for two weeks. “It made me feel weird, so I quit taking it, but never smoked again.” Continue Reading →

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Interview with Traci Falbo – 242 Miles in 48 Hours

traci2*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Traci Falbo recently set the World Indoor 48 hour record by running just over 242 miles at an event called Six Days Under the Dome.

Traci is a pediatric physical therapist. She belongs to all 3 of the 50 states clubs and is a Marathon Maniac. She lives in Charlestown, IN, with her husband Mike and two teenage children.

Ten years ago Traci decided to lose weight and train for her first marathon. She lost 80 pounds and completed her first marathon and has since run a marathon in every state and many 100 milers.

See the before and after picture: Continue Reading →

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14-Time Marathon Finisher Won’t Let Cancer Win

the_alexLos Angeles runner serves as inspiration to others as he undergoes chemo, trains and completes marathons.

By Henry Howard

Alex Magdaleno learned he had cancer on Dec. 22, 2008. As the diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia continued to sink in on New Year’s Day 2009, Magdaleno set a goal for himself.

His goal? Run and finish the Los Angeles Marathon that May “to prove to myself that I could finish a marathon despite undergoing chemotherapy.”

Not only did he finish the Los Angeles Marathon six months after the initial diagnosis, Magdaleno has completed 14 overall marathons including the Ventura County Marathon on Sept. 7, the day before this interview. For him, it’s the marathon or bust. No 5Ks, half-marathons or theme races. Continue Reading →

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Mental Toughness – Lisa Smith-Batchen on Completing a Badwater Quad

lisa_smith-batchen2*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

She did it! In July of this year Lisa Smith-Batchen became the first woman to complete a Badwater Quad.

That’s four back to back Badwater Ultra Marathons, 584 miles through Death Valley where temperatures reached as high as 127 degrees.

Lisa is an accomplished ultra-marathoner and coach and lives with her family in Driggs, Idaho. The first time we spoke with her was on podcast episode #78.

In this interview we talk with Lisa about her record setting run, her training, mental toughness, hallucinations, her money raising efforts to provide clean water to villages and much more. Continue Reading →

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Q and A with Dean Karnazes

Death Valley sunset*Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now

Dean Karnazes is author of the NY Times best selling book Ultra-Marathon Man –Confessions of an all Night Runner.

He is known for pushing the limits of human endurance, like when he ran 350 continuous miles without sleep, or the time he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

Dean is also an accomplished entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He has succeeded in convincing millions of people that they can go far beyond their perceived limitations.

List of questions Continue Reading →

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