Runners Ready to Inspire at 2017 Boston Marathon

09 April 2017

On Monday, April 17, Team Novo Nordisk runners Benny Madrigal, Casey Schwenk and Stephen England will race to inspire everyone affected by diabetes at the world-famous Boston Marathon. Below, the athletes preview the race in their own words.

Benny Madrigal

TNN_2017_RUN_Benny Madrigal_USA_TYPE1_AS_-4692How have you been training?

My training has been going pretty smooth, with a few of the normal hurdles (work, kids, life).

I’ve been working out well, with my focus workouts on Tuesdays (thresholds, repeats or hill workouts) and Saturdays (long runs and marathon pace runs). Most other days have been easy runs with strides.

My body has been responding well, and I have more confidence after winning the Modesto Half Marathon and the Second Wind 5k in Madera. On April 2 I raced the California Classic J half marathon as a final tune up for Boston.

What are your goals for the race?

Going into the Boston Marathon, one always wants to do their best. It’s a big stage and lots of things can distract us.

I like to keep my goals simple, and that is to have the best race I can possibly have. Sounds simple, but I want to set a personal best time which is currently 2:34 and change, I would like to break 2:34, which my workouts say I can. To do that, I need to go out the first half at 1:15-1:16, and I hope to finish with a similar second half. That will roughly be miles at 5:40-5:50 pace.

I would be happier with completing the course under 2:34. If I can run under 2:34, I believe that I can make it to one of the top 100 finishers, which will be great in a race where several countries are represented and people need to qualify to race.

How do you hope to inspire people affected by diabetes?

Showing up to the Line will show that people with diabetes aren’t limited by their condition and that with good management, many things can be possible.

I hope to inspire people affected by diabetes by showing up to race and proudly wearing Changing Diabetes® on my shirt.

This is important because not long ago people didn’t believe individuals with diabetes could go out and race a 5k, so showing up to Boston as qualified runners, is a big statement. And this is what Team Novo Nordisk stands for.

Running the Boston Marathon, I will be representing myself, but I will not be alone. I believe that I will be representing millions that are affected by diabetes.

When I cross the line, I hope that the young kids and adults with diabetes can see that goals can be achieved.

Learn more Benny.

Casey Schwenk

Team Novo Norkisk 2017 Alicante Training CampHow have you been training?

I recently moved to Montana, and this year has been the first in my life where I’ve lived through a real winter. Dealing with Montana’s weather conditions has put up training hurdles like I’ve never experienced before. So training for this years Boston Marathon has been about not making excuses and still getting in all the best training I can.

Often that’s meant other forms of training, such as downhill skiing, nordic skiing, running indoors and other types of cross training in the gym. Many times that’s not ideal, but I have been doing all I can with what I have and trying to make the best of it.

What are your goals for the race?

I am in a different kind of shape than I have ever been in this year, and I hope I can use that to my advantage in Boston. My strength and speed are well beyond where they normally are at this point of the year, so I will rely on that to help get me through the hill later in the race.

Despite training very differently and being in a different kind of shape, I hope to still race well and finish with an impressive performance.

How do you hope to inspire people affected by diabetes?

Hopefully my story of training this season will show people that diabetes is only one of many obstacles faced when training for a race like the Boston Marathon. And I hope this will inspire others to face the obstacles they encounter and stay determined to chase their dreams.

Learn more about Casey.

Stephen England

Team Novo Norkisk 2017 Alicante Training CampHow have you been training?

Well, I’ll start by saying this will not be a repeat double Boston (an unofficial run from finish to start and back again!). As much fun, and slightly painful, an experience as that was last year, this year marks my sixth Boston Marathon. And I decided at the start of the year to focus on this race.

My training has had a good mix of speed work, marathon pace efforts and long runs – every run has had a purpose. It’s been a nice change of training from my more usual ultra-marathons.

Most of my miles have been around Central Park, early in the morning or late at night, to fit around work as well as other fun parts of New York City.

Luckily, the winter has been fairly mild, so I haven’t had to deal with much snow. I’ve changed a few parts of training since last year as well, notably my diet, where I now have much more energy as well as a commitment to run every day. The latter change is linked to my main race of the year, the Western States 100.

Theoretically, Boston is my slingshot towards bigger things to come on the trails. The best part about my training has been remaining healthy and having really dialed in blood glucose management to allow myself to run at my optimal ability nearly every day.

What are your goals for the race?

Running the Boston Marathon is a privilege that not every runner gets to experience, so my first and foremost goal is to be in the moment, simply enjoy the occasion.

In terms of my personal goal, I’ve definitely set myself up to have a great shot at a new PR. That means I need to run under 2:45.

It’s absolutely possible, but it’s going to be tough. Luckily, I never shy away from a good challenge.

How do you hope to inspire people affected by diabetes?

As always, I’ll be proudly running for everyone affected by diabetes. If just one person sees us race in our Changing Diabetes® kit or hears about it, and that then triggers them to take on a big life challenge, then we have done our job.

It’s definitely a daunting experience for me to return to Boston again and again. This race has not gone perfectly in previous years, but I take pride in the fact I continually give it my all each time and continue to come back for more.

Isn’t that what living with diabetes is all about? Never giving up and knowing your best day can always be ahead of you.

Learn more about Stephen.

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