In the second part of our follow-up with marathoner David Goodman, he talks about training for a marathon, his fundraising campaign for the Colon Cancer Coalition, and his next steps on the road to raise awareness for this disease. We also want to thank him for taking the time to give us an update.
Get Your Rear in Gear: What made you want to start running marathons?
David Goodman: In 1997, I was living South Africa, where I was writing a book. While I was there, I ran in the Cape Town half-marathon, which was my first long distance race. Because it was so hot in the daytime there, all their races took place at 6 a.m., which was unusual, but a very pleasant time to be outside. I really enjoyed that race, and when I returned home to Vermont a few months later, I decided to run my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon. I had a great time (well, except for miles 18-20, which was the first time I experienced “hitting the wall”). In 2001, I “won the lottery” and got accepted into the New York City Marathon. That was a fateful year — the race took place six weeks after 9/11. During the race, we had many views of the still smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center. Many many runners wore shirts saying they were running in memory of certain friends and family who had been killed. It was very moving, and I saw how running a marathon for a cause could both motivate you and inspire others.
GYRIG: In 2010, you ran the New York City Marathon, and your NYC Marathon fundraiser helped raise awareness of colon cancer by raising nearly $2000 for the Colon Cancer Coalition. Was colon cancer something you were aware of before your mom’s diagnosis?
GOODMAN: No. I didn’t know anyone who had colon cancer, so it wasn’t on my radar at all. When I reached out to friends and family to raise money for the Colon Cancer Coalition by running the marathon, many of them unexpectedly told me of their experience with colon cancer. I was amazed. Doing the fundraiser not only raised money, it raised awareness about colon cancer among my friends, and it made me aware of how many people’s lives had been touched by cancer.
Doing the fundraiser not only raised money… it made me aware of how many people’s lives had been touched by cancer.
GYRIG: As someone who has run in the NYC marathon, is there a difference, mentally and physically, in preparing for a marathon over a 5k?
GOODMAN: A marathon takes a very different mentality than a 5k. Many runners can go out and grind out 26.2 miles. But feeling good and not getting injured while running a marathon is the real challenge. The key is preparing your body: a typical marathon training program is 4 months, and it includes a number of weekly long distance (13-20 mile) training runs. Anyone can do it, you just have to put in the time. Rest and recovery is also a big part of the training, so you have to be patient. For me, having the goal of preparing for a big marathon gives me a reason to keep running and not become a couch potato.
GYRIG: What was the most memorable part of running the NYC Marathon?
GOODMAN: The NYC Marathon felt like a celebration of life. I was part of sea of humanity, one of 45,000 runners from all over the world snaking my way through the five boroughs. The most moving part came around mile 22, when I ran right past Mt. Sinai Hospital. It was just a year earlier that my mom had passed away there. I had tears in my eyes as I ran past the front doors. I looked skyward and thought of my mom, and knew she was cheering me on, just as she had always done throughout my life.
The NYC Marathon felt like a celebration of life.
GYRIG: What is your next race?
GOODMAN: I entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon again, but unfortunately my name didn’t get picked this year. I will do another fall marathon, but I haven’t decided which one yet. Wherever I end up running, I will look forward to using my run to raise money and awareness again for the Colon Cancer Coalition. Knowing that people have pledged money to the cause will keep me from slacking off!
Interview by Amy Wenzel, Get Your Rear in Gear Communications Intern