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Marathon Training Team Coach Q&A: Greg Barch

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing a Q&A series that features each Sports Backers Marathon Training Team coach in an effort to share more about the Marathon Training Team and the work the coaches put into helping participants reach their goals for the VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 16. As we get closer to race day, you’ll have the chance to learn about the great things going on within the Marathon Training Team.

Featured Coach: Greg Barch


What is your favorite thing about MTT?

“I love the organization, the motivation, and getting to know new people with the same interest as you.”

How many years have you been with MTT, either as a participant and/or coach? Which team do you coach?

“This is my 10th season with MTT. 2014 and 2015 were the last times I had the opportunity to give back to this organization that helped me become a more knowledgeable and overall better runner. My position is reserve coach which means that I will help out teams that need extra coaches or are down coaches. I love it because I get to meet all sorts of new people.”

Do you have a favorite memory from your time with MTT?

“My favorite memory of MTT was 2016 when I met my goal after a few years. I had a specific coach that pushed me from mile 24 to the finish so I wouldn’t stop and walk. The motivation was very rewarding in the end.”

Greg Barch

What would you say is the biggest benefit that the program provides?

“I would say the camaraderie between team members. The motivation and encouragement the coaches have toward the participants.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone looking to start training for a marathon?

“I would tell them to find a group or training team like this one. Also to listen to your body if it is telling you the rest. Also do not overthink it. Just finish the race and have fun.”

Describe a typical weekend group run.

“My typical weekend group run consists of people I’ve known for a while running through the streets of RVA. Then after that we hit up a local place to grab a post run meal or coffee.”

What inspired or encouraged you to become a MTT coach?

“The coaches I know and had in the past have given me a ton of information, confidence, and encouragement to train and run races. I wanted to give back to the running community as it’s done a lot for me over the last 11 years.”

Do you have a favorite place to run in Richmond?

“I love trail running actually. I wish I could do more of it. The Buttermilk, North Bank, and Forest Hill Park Trails are my favorite. I would love to explore more of the trails around the state at the state parks.”

How many marathons have you done, and do you have a favorite memory or experience? What was your reason to run your first marathon?

“I have run 12 marathons, seven of them have been the Richmond Marathon. After my third half marathon, Shamrock Half, a bunch of us figured, after a few beers at the post-race party, ‘why don’t we try MTT this year?’ The rest was history.”

What do you like the most about the VCU Health Richmond Marathon?

“I love the course as it is the perfect tour of RVA. The crowd support is amazing. You really never know who you will see on the course as well. Over the years, I have seen lots of people I’ve not seen in a while who have pointed me out and cheered me on during the race. I also love the after party on Brown’s Island. Great place to meet up with friends and family post-race.”

The VCU Health Richmond Marathon takes place on November 16, 2019, and registration is available at