In Running & Exercise on February 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

I’m not sure that I can think of any good reason to run a half marathon, 13.1 miles, but we recently caught up with a couple guys, Mike Furman and Alex Duhaime (Duey for short), who did just that. We sat down and had a Question & Answer session to try to understand what would make you want to do such a thing.

You may find some interesting motivation in their answers.


What was the name of the race and where was it run?

MF:  SweetH20 Sweetheart ½ Marathon at Sweetwater State Park in Lithia Springs Georgia.

How old are you?

MF:  25

AD: 25

 Were you an athlete in the past?

MF/AD: We both  played college baseball at the University of West Georgia

 What made you want to run a half marathon?

MF:  Started getting bored and realized that after work all I did was watch TV. I started getting out of shape and really just wanted a challenge.  

AD: I have always enjoyed running and I wanted to get back into shape.

Had you ever run in any similar type of race?

MF:  I did a sprint triathlon in the spring of 2010 (swim 500 meters, bike 12 miles, run 3.1 miles) and a couple 5ks (3.1 miles) but I’ve never done any races consistently.

AD: No, this was my first competitive race.

How did you train and for how long?

MF:  Well, we didn’t give ourselves a whole lot of time to prepare for this thing… 35 days to be exact.  First thing we did was sign up and pay our race fee (once that’s done, there is no backing out) We would do 1 long run every weekend and increase the mileage by 2 or 3 miles every week.  We Started with what we were expecting to be a 5 mile trail run (being that the ½ marathon was on a trail, we did all of our long runs, on trails) the 5 miler turned in to a 4 miler and a lot of huffing, puffing, and complaining.  Knowing that I have gotten shin splints in the past from running on treadmills and really running too much too soon I decided to ride the bike (stationary) and swim to help my cardio and not put as much stress on my legs.  I figured, if I can train my body to perform at a high intensity for a long period of time (regardless of the activity) my breathing would not be a factor in the race.  I typically did a spin class twice a week, swam once and got a leg workout in, throughout the week.  Also rode the bike before and after a regular workout for nearly 30 minutes at a time.  Also found later in my training that the stair master was a big help.  Really helped strengthen my legs and prepared me for, what turned out to, some mountainous-like inclines during the race. After our 4 mile disastrous run, we decided not to focus nearly as much on speed but more so on, just getting the distance and letting the speed take care of itself.  So the next weekend (1/21) we jumped up to a 7 mile run.  Made a few wrong turns on some windy trails and ended up running 8 miles… what a pleasant surprise.  The next weekend we tackled 10 miles and the weekend following, 12.  With the race in 2 weeks we backed off to try and refresh the legs we had practically destroyed over a 1 month span and just ran 8 miles the weekend before the race.  The week of the race came down to, do or die… give it up or give it hell… I chose to ride the bike with almost no resistance on Tuesday and Wednesday (week of) for about 30 minutes.  I felt like it would be good to at least get some blood flowing and not completely neglect my legs for the week.  By Saturday (race day) morning I was feeling as good as I had felt all month, anxious, excited, and actually a little nervous.

I trained for a little over a month.

How was the course and was it what you expected?

MF: The course was unlike any trail I could have imagined.  We trained on trails that got beat up on the play ground.  There was one hill/mountain that had me on all 4’s trying to get to the top… Yes, it was that steep!  This course was mean!

AD: We went and ran the course during our training and found it to be difficult, but the half marathon course was much more difficult than any of our training sessions.

How was the weather?

MF:  Cold, wet, windy, and cold! 36 degrees at our 8 am start time and got colder throughout the race.

AD: It was about 30 degrees and 10-15 mph winds.

What place did you finish and what was your time?

MF:  I finished 50th overall with a time of 2:27:58… (out of 144 runners)

AD:  I placed 52nd out of 144 runners with a time of 2:28:05

Do you plan on doing another half marathon?

MF:  Absolutely going to do another one.  I think I’ll stick to the regular road races though… No more trail runs for a while.

AD: Yes I just signed up for the Atlanta Publix Marathon on March 18th

What else is on your list to accomplish?

MF:  I want to run a full (26.2 mile) marathon before the end of 2012.  Then from there maybe I’ll shoot for an Olympic size triathlon (aka Half  Iron Man)… You never know.

AD: I would like to run a full marathon and maybe an Olympic size Triathlon. (Half Ironman)

It looks like boredom can be a great motivator. It seems to me that a Half Marathon is quite an accomplishment for a couple guys just trying to get some exercise and get in shape. By the photo below it looks like you’re still alive and actually enjoyed the challenge. We look forward to following you through the Iron Man competition. I think at that point it would be safe to say that you aren’t just trying to get in shape.


Congratulations guys on a great accomplishment!!!! 

  1. Congrats Mike and Duey!! Job well done!! Good luck in future’ll only get better!!

    • Thanks El. I appreciate the support and I’m sure they will to. Of course they have to wake up at some point to read it!!!

      • If they’d like any info on marathons..I’ve run 16 of them. I could give them my opinion if they’d like. This year I’m heading to Kaua’i in September with a friend for the marathon and we’re both going to San Francisco in July for the half! I can’t wait to run across the Golden Gate Bridge!!

      • Kauai is my favorite place on the planet. I volunteer to carry the bags!!! I’ll pass the info on. Thanks.

      • If they’d like any info on any of the marathons around..I’ve run 16 so far and would be glad to give them some insight on the ones I’ve run. I plan on running Kauai in September and will do the half in San Francisco with a friend in July. I’m really looking forward to running across the Golden Gate Bridge!

      • I’ve never seen the Golden Gate Bridge but that sounds incredible. Obviously you take this very seriously.

  2. the only marathon I seen them run was a hooters marathon in florida!!!

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