By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)— Kelly O’Neill is part of a group that’s participating in the Philadelphia Marathon this Sunday.
“The first mile is always the toughest,” O’Neill says.
No one in the group has experience as runners, so they came up with a motivating name called, “You should be running.”
The group is led by personal trainer Kasey Manwaring of Goals Fit.
“It’s much more fun to have a group to train with.”
Manwaring says she wants to prove a point, “Anyone can do a marathon.”
She took the first step, posting a message on Facebook to get a group together back in May. In the message she wrote, “Looking for overweight, unmotivated, people who would like to train for the Philly marathon.”
Four women and two men joined and the first meeting was at a track.
O’Neill said, “I couldn’t even run once around the track and when they said our next week’s goal was to run a mile, I thought, ‘there is no way I am going to be able to do this.’”
None of the six runners quit, instead they met weekly, running on tracks or on paths from Manayank to East Falls.
The key Manwaring explained, “Slow and steady, we were doing two-minutes running, one-minute walking.”
“I always had that drive but haven’t been active in a long time.” Bill Braverman is married to avid runner, but hadn’t been motivated to exercise, until now.
“Being inactive for so long and then having to take that first step out the door,” Braverman explained. The first mile was the roughest.”
The group has lost a total of 113 pounds, but their real goal is to finish the marathon, no matter how long it takes.
“I can picture myself crossing the finish line in tears,” O’Neill said. “Even if it is running one minute, just do it because you can, I did.”
“Start slow and steady and also sign up for small races along the way, so you can use them as motivation and a sense of accomplishment to go on to the next race,” Manwaring advised. “If you stick with it, follow the training program, have people to do it with, anyone can definitely do it.”
Manwaring plans to offer this training again next year for newcomers who want to try the 2014 Philadelphia marathon.