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Marathon Training Team Coach Q&A: Carrie Parker

For the past few months, we’ve been 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: Carrie Parker


What is your favorite thing about MTT?

“The interesting people you meet from all backgrounds that come together for a common goal.”

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

“This is my eleventh year, I believe five in some head coach capacity (two as head coach, three as an assistant head coach to Don) and two years as an assistant to Sean (and  the Orange team). Then, as a Head Coach of the Yellow, Cranberry, Chartreuse teams.”

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

“So many great memories. To name just one, however, I can’t say much beats a first-time marathoner crossing the finish line!”

Carrie Parker

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


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

“Anyone that wants to run a marathon can run a marathon, you just have to want to put in the time and dedication…no one can want this for you!”

Describe a typical weekend group run.

“Saturday is like a circus, with runners and coaches going all directions, in an organized fashion. Runners start arriving up to an hour before the run times to get “extra” miles, and then the masses show and the groups gather for their team talks including safety, route instructions, and running tips…then off they go to run the streets of Richmond! Sunday is similar, but less of a circus. It is calm and laid back! Everyone should try both days at some point!”

What inspired or encouraged you to become a MTT coach?

“My inspiration is more of a who than a what. Don Garber took me under his running wing over 20 years ago when I first started training, and has guided me to a passion of running and a desire to inspire other to find the same passion.”

Do you have a favorite place to run in Richmond?

“Anywhere that there are other runners, especially Riverside Drive where you can see the whole, amazing city, we call home!”

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

“40-plus marathons. My favorite experiences have been traveling with running friends, meeting others on the course and hearing the amazing stories that have brought them to the starting line.”

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

“The amazing support our community provides all runners and the support that MTT gives all runners along their journey!”

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