Training Team Information

Head Coaches

Veteran marathon training team coach, Don Garber, will again lead the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. He has helped thousands of first-time marathoners successfully complete the 26.2-mile distance in races around the country and overseas, including the past 15 Richmond Marathons. Most of the coaches who have assisted Don in prior years will also be returning.

Sean Cusack will help lead the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Sean has been a coach with the Team for the past 11 years and was a participant in 2003 and 2004. Sean has worked with runners of all experience levels in their quest to run a marathon and has a great knack for mixing humor with his running messages. Sean was also the head coach for the Sports Backers Duathlon Training Team.

Carrie Parker helps lead the Team, bringing with her seven years of experience with the MTT and two years coaching the YMCA 10k Training Team. She actively supports and trains with many athletes within our local community. She’s deeply grounded with the desire to see everyone get active and happy, regardless of the speed or the distances…so let’s get moving!

Fitness Requirements to be on the Training Team

There is a 7-hour time limit to complete the Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 11, so that requires maintaining an average pace of about 16 minutes per mile for the entire 26.2 miles. Based on the industry standard pace calculators, comparable times would be about 3 hours, 20 minutes for a half marathon or 1 hour, 30 minutes for a 10k. Each participant should be able to comfortably finish four miles several times per week while primarily running prior to starting the Training Team on June 3/4. We will monitor the progress of all of our runners during the early part of our training to make sure you have the fitness to complete the marathon in the required time. You must be 18 years or older to join the Training Team.

Other Races

Throughout the 23-week program, some local races may be used as training runs. These races may require additional entry fees and will be optional.