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Sports Backers Blog

Marathon Training Team Coach Q&A: Maggie Rice

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: Maggie Rice


What is your favorite thing about MTT?

“The training team does not discriminate. You do not have to be the fastest to be a part of this great program. The program is supportive of young, old, fast and slow. Of course you need to be physically able and able to maintain the required pace.”

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

“Seventeen years. I was a coach on Pink Nation for about 10-plus years and now I coach with Team Sizzle.”

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

“So many great memories. As a participant in my first marathon, Don Garber (former MTT head coach) met me as I turned onto Cary Street (when the finish line was on Cary) and he looked at me and said, “look down there – that’s the finish – wild horses couldn’t keep you away.” Pure excitement!  I did it, I finished. I was hooked after that day.”

Maggie Rice

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

“So much…support, knowledge, encouragement, accountability and life-long friendships.”

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

“Never doubt your abilities and don’t give in to impatience and give up too early. It takes time, but it will come.”

Describe a typical weekend group run.

“After the head coach has made announcements, one of the coaches will do a short talk on a different topic for the week. We get the go-ahead and everyone heads out and gets settled in their pace and you see friends or running partners make conversation. You hear some funny stories and you learn a lot about each other. I usually start out mid-group and run with different participants and make conversation, but I usually end up at the back of the pack picking up those who are behind. I never want to leave anyone behind without some support or encouragement. The morning ends with stories about the run, questions from runners and after a bit of social talk, we disburse.”

What inspired or encouraged you to become a MTT coach?

“Greg Roth. He has always inspired me and was my coach for a couple of years. After seeing my accomplishments and where I started out, I wanted to give back. I love to see people reach their goals.”

Do you have a favorite place to run in Richmond?

“Downtown and by the river.”

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

“30+ marathons, several ultras. A favorite memory is the first time I qualified for Boston, my good friend and running buddy’s husband, a Battalion Chief in uniform, met me near Pope Arch and ran with me a good distance. He has always been so supportive and encouraging. For him to take his time, in uniform, to run with me was priceless. I ran my first marathon because a couple of girls I ran with on the weekends and I had just finished the 8k and were watching the marathon finishers and one of them said let’s do the marathon when we turn 40, we can do this. We were so inspired and caught up in the moment that we signed up for the training team in the next week and I turned 41 a week before the marathon and they had just turned or about to turn 40.  Two of us still run marathons and the other did one and done, but still runs shorter distances.”

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

“The support of the crowd, the excitement, energy and nerves of the runners.  It all gets your adrenaline going and it’s a really pretty course.”

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