Runners Ready to Inspire at 2018 Boston Marathon

09 April 2018

On Monday, April 16, Team Novo Nordisk ambassadors Benny Madrigal and Stephen England will race to inspire everyone affected by diabetes at the world-famous Boston Marathon. 

Below, the athletes preview the race.

Benny Madrigal

Hometown: Madera, California, United States

Age of diagnosis: 22

TNN_2017_RUN_BenjaminMadrigal_USA_TYPE1_AS_-4833How have you been training?

My training has been smooth, and like in previous years it’s had its hurdles, but I am getting better at getting healthy and continuing on. I was able to check off my main workouts, like long runs and tempos, so I feel fit.

A great indicator of my fitness has been winning the Modesto Half Marathon, where I improved my time by 30 seconds over last year, and the Second Wind 5k, where I was able to dip under 16 minutes.

What are your goals for the race?

I am going in with bib number 603 and with a qualifying time of 2:42, so my goal is to run faster than the time that got me in and place higher than 603. Of course, I want to enjoy the run, show up and end the race injury free.

How do you hope to inspire people affected by diabetes and what does it mean to represent Team Novo Nordisk at this world-famous race? 

Representing the diabetes community really means a whole lot to me. I feel there’s a responsibility when we are representing the team on our jerseys. People know that we are racing with diabetes, and that means several things.

One is that we have worked hard to qualify, and we continue to work to perform the best we can. So much can happen in the marathon, but I believe the best thing we can do, representing a team that has the mission to inspire, educate, and empower those affected by diabetes, is to show up ready to compete.

Boston is the second biggest sporting event in the country, which makes a great platform for us to let the world know that we are out there competing regardless of diabetes. With proper management and care we have been able to train and qualify, and we are in Boston to show others what may be possible with diabetes. So I hope those watching us can send us good vibes, prayers and cheers…and I will do my best to reach my goals and to inspire everyone affected by diabetes to chase theirs.

Stephen England

Hometown: New York, NY, United States

Age of diagnosis: 14

Team Novo Norkisk 2017 Alicante Training Camp

How have you been training?

2018 has been going great! I kicked off the New Year with a ‘no days off’ goal, which has helped me stay accountable, log over 1,000 miles so far and get ready for Boston all in one. All of my training has been in New York, which means no escape from the snowstorms! I usually run in Central Park, utilizing the hills and occasionally I’ve taken my long runs out over the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey on a very demanding hilly route along the Hudson River. 

In early March, I ran my 25-km test race. I set my goal to run 6-minute miles, as I had run the same race in 2017 and came up just short of the victory (averaged 6:05 pace). However, this time it ended up being quite an intense race at the start and I wasn’t sure if a top 10 was even on the cards. But I simply focused on my plan and with 10K to go, I took the lead and went on to win, which has given me a massive confidence boost. 

As I reflect on training during taper time, I feel ready and excited to be back in Boston for #7 with my teammates.

What are your goals for the race?

I’ve always found the Boston Marathon to be a particularly challenging course. Some of my Boston races have gone close to perfect, others have been harder for me to accept. This year, with having had such a great few months buildup, it would feel like an injustice, even an insult, to not go all out and try and PR; which would be under 2:45. It’s going to come down to a smart plan, the weather somewhat, but most of all, my mental approach and toughness during those last 10 miles. My one guarantee is that I will leave nothing out on the course. 

How do you hope to inspire people affected by diabetes and what does it mean to represent Team Novo Nordisk at this world-famous race? 

Whenever I get the opportunity to run a race on a global stage such as the Boston Marathon it reminds me to think really big. Sometimes as athletes we get caught up in the personal goals a little too much, so my main goal is that kids newly diagnosed with diabetes or people with diabetes who having a difficult time hear about us, follow us on race day and will then ask themselves, “what’s possible?”

Putting on the kit and proudly representing everyone affected by diabetes around the world is a privilege, and I’m going to enjoy every single step from Hopkinton to Bolyston Street on Patriot’s Day. 

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