For those joining us for the first time, welcome! To our regulars, it’s really nice to see you again. With a blizzard swirling up the East Coast, it seemed like a perfect time to pour some coffee and catch up with Becca about the 2018 World Marathon Challenge.
Jenny: Let’s start with the obvious question–why in God’s name are you doing this again?
Becca: Uh, because I forgot something in Antarctica…
Jenny: Clearly your wits! What did Taylor say when you told her you were running it again?
Becca: Taylor was SO excited. I asked her what she thought and she jumped up off the couch and said, “Yes, Mom! Do it!” She is my biggest fan.
Jenny: You just decided to do this a few weeks ago. How are you preparing to pull this off with so little time to train?
Becca: I have run nine marathons this year, two in other countries, so I am feeling fit.
Jenny: Nine marathons in 2017. As the kids would say, NBD. [Mom: Google “Urban Dictionary.” It can translate acronyms, but please don’t read beyond the first entry or two. That’s what the kids call a no-go zone. You can Urban Dictionary (yes, Mom, I’m sorry I’m using Urban Dictionary as a verb) “no-go zone,” but same basic rule applies–you STOP after the second entry.]
Jenny: It’s a new course this year. Tell us where you’ll be ticking off each continent.
Becca: I’m beyond excited about it. Novo (Antarctica), Cape Town (Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Lisbon (Europe), Cartagena (South America), Miami (USA!!).
Jenny: You mean, Miami, North America. (Sorry to our friends in Mexico and Canada . . . B’s got a lot of home-country pride).
Jenny: Are you particularly nervous about any of the continents?
Becca: More excited than nervous. Kind of like running my first marathon. I’ve done it, but I’m already thinking about how I can do it better.
Jenny: Feels like yesterday that we said a tearful goodbye while you boarded your flight to Antarctica. I was pretty worried for you then, having no idea how it would all shake out. It’s now surreal how easy you made it all seem.
Jenny: The new plane that Richard has chartered looks like a saaaaah-weeeet ride. What can you tell us about its bells and whistles?
Becca: We are riding in luxury, an Airbus 340, with lie-flat seats, and even a couch!! Not having to carry my stuff across seven continents feels amazing.
Jenny: Mother Nature isn’t making this easy with endless single-digit days across New England. Tell us how you’re managing to train with such frigid weather.
Becca: In these temps I have no excuse not to run well in Antarctica. Just trying not to slip on ice and retesting my cold weather gear over and over!
Jenny: Would you rather train in 9-degree or 90-degree weather?
Becca: I don’t like to be cold. That answer will probably change when the struggle is real in the hotter climates.
Jenny: Sister. For most of us, the struggle is real, even when it’s 58 degrees, we’ve had 8.5 hours of sleep, and there’s been no pulled muscle for months. Do you eat all the time? I would eat all the time if I were training that much. Let’s be honest: I eat all the time and I’m NOT training that much!
Becca: Pasta, chicken…
Jenny: Dude. It’s just us. What do you really eat?
Becca: Ice cream.
Jenny: All day, e’r’ day?
Becca: Moozys! And Swedish Fish and lots of Ultima.
Jenny: What’s your favorite Ultima flavor? Mine is grape, but I’ve learned to be OK with orange and raspberry. Lemon still makes me gag.
Becca: Also grape!
Jenny: You did something bold last week. You not only announced you were running, but you said you’re in it to win. Is it the familiarity with 7 back-to-back marathons that gives you that confidence?
Becca: My dad asked if I was doing this for fun or to compete. The answer is both. I made history by becoming the first American female tor run 777. No one can take that away from me. It’s a fast field this year. Some women have marathon times I could only dream of. I will give 100% and, if that means not coming in first, then I will sleep well at night knowing I left my heart out there on the course(s) and I did my best.
Jenny: What will you be doing differently, having the experience of the 2016 World Marathon Challenge under your belt (or sneakers)?
Becca: I’ll stretch more. I did everything right last time, and my body just gave out. Hopefully more stretching will be the difference. And maybe a few more strips of KT Tape.
Jenny: You’ve got some old pals joining you as runners this time, no?
Becca: Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon race director, will be running this year.
Jenny: Also the heart and soul behind our Fenway Park Marathon in September! Dave is an extraordinary athlete, an institution in the running world, and truly as nice and good a guy as they come. Anyone from the 2016 race?
Becca: James from Australia. He and his business partner, Steve, are pushing a woman named Johanna with cerebral palsy. They want to give her the chance to compete in the event and show the world what someone with a physical disability can achieve. I think that’s amazing. You know how we love our Hoyt family. The same company made Johanna’s push chair. I can’t wait to cheer for them.
Jenny: OK, Becquita Banana, this is a tough one. If you could pick ONE runner from the 2016 World Marathon Challenge to join you again, who would it be?
Becca: Fallon… AMIRIGHT?
Jenny: I will always remember him as the acorn who became an oak. [PF, I’m already gearing up for a second #nowall debate with you on MV come July. Bring it, brother. #america]
Jenny: If you weren’t a semi-professional runner, day-care owner, and ice-cream-shop manager, what would you want to be when you grow up?
Becca: My favorite job and the one job I dreamed of growing up was being a mom. Taylor will run me in for the last 100 yards of the race. Knowing that she is at the finish line is all the inspiration I will need to get there.
Jenny: My neighborhood spin studio has a wonderful stencil on the wall that reminds me almost daily that many of our best days are still to come. How do you view this new challenge with the reality that we’re not spring chickens?
Becca: I return to my motto–Dream Big, Take Chances and Believe in Yourself. When you do, ANYTHING is possible, at any age.
Jenny: Perpetually proud of you, little buddy.
Jenny: Stay warm, dear friends. More dispatches to come in the lead-up to Becca’s second World Marathon Challenge. #FSU