For most of us, April 17th will just be another Monday, but if you live anywhere near Boston or follow the world of running, you will likely either be fighting for a spot near the finish line or glued to the live feed as the Boston Marathon is run for the 121st time.
For our elite athletes, brothers Jacob and Tommy “Rivers” Puzey and Laura Kline, as well as Altra Co-Founder, Brian Beckstead, Monday, April 17th will be the day they toe the line at the Boston Marathon, fulfilling a dream for all of them and running America’s oldest continuously running marathon.
The Puzey brothers have been running side-by-side their entire lives, but this is the first time they will be able to run the Boston Marathon together. For both of them, this race is about more than running on a historic course — it’s about qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games. And if they can finish with a time of under 2:19:00, they’ll have the opportunity to go to the Olympic Trials.
Such a qualifying time takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and training. Each Puzey brother has his own style of training. Tommy runs to school and back 22-24 miles each day. He also joins up with running pros for workouts and long runs when he can. Jacob trains on his ProForm® Treadmill most mornings before the rest of his family wakes up.
“In terms of volume, I probably run half the distance Rivers does. But due to the unique features of the ProForm® Treadmill, I am able to do quite a bit more quality training at this time of year than I otherwise would be getting in the snow.” –Jacob Puzey
Tommy recently won the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for the second year in a row with a time of 2:19:57, a personal best. The last serious road race Jacob completed was the Canadian Road 50K Championships in May of 2016.
Fellow Endurance Team member, Laura Kline, is thankful for the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon and hopes to run it with a smile on her face. Kline is an accomplished duathlete, triathlete and ultrarunner residing in New Paltz, NY., her impressive resume includes winning the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k events both in D.C. and Ontario as well as National Titles in both the triathlon and duathlon.
This is Kline’s first year running the Boston Marathon and she plans to enjoy every moment, her running career is in the process of shifting exclusively to trails and she wanted to check this race off her bucket list. It is her first Boston and while she would like to run a sub 3:00 she is more focused on celebrating the opportunity to run Boston even if she does not make her time goal. Kline has an exciting lineup of trail and ultra races this year and Boston is the perfect way to kick off the season with faster, hard road effort.
“I will be using Boston as a long, hard training effort. Running a fast sustained effort is not something you typically encounter in trail and ultrarunning, but at the same time I think it’s essential for building strength, speed and stamina on the trails. This early season marathon will be a great building block for my months ahead.” –Laura Kline
Marathon training is a huge commitment entailing more than simply running; cross training and diet are just as important. Kline finds crosstraining essential to her running, she mainly focuses on strength training at the gym, where she incorporates core and stability work, but also enjoys cross training on her bike. Diet is a very personal choice, but for Kline a vegan diet works well. She has been vegan for 11 years and could not be happier.
Brian Beckstead is not only the co-founder of Altra Footwear but an accomplished runner himself. His resume includes numerous ultra races such as Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc and Wasatch 100, but every April he gears up to run his signature Boston Marathon Double. As an ultrarunner, running a marathon is simply not far enough, so Beckstead will once again start from the finish line and run the course backwards before turning around and running the full Boston Marathon. Even though he will run twice as far as most, we can be sure that he will cross that finish line with a smile on his face and a kind word for the runners, spectators and volunteers alike. Beckstead embodies Altra’s zero limits, passionate approach to running and we are excited to cheer for him as he completes another 50+ trip around the streets of Boston.
With the Boston Marathon just around the corner Laura, Jake, Rivers, and Brian are primed and ready to run. Although, they each have their own specific goal for this race, all of them will proudly represent the Altra family in Boston. We wish each of them the best of luck on race day and are thankful to be a part of each of these talented athletes’ unique, awesome, and inspiring stories.