Today’s guest is a lady who churns out miles like it’s no big deal.
Recently, she knocked out just over 700 miles in 23 days, earning herself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records!
I’m looking forward to going a few easy miles with Megan Cassidy and learning more about the new record and so much more!
Megan Cassidy didn’t hesitate to answer with marathon when asked what her favorite distance to race was.
It makes sense, considering she jumped straight to the marathon when signing up for her first race.
The idea to run a marathon first occurred to her when her sister suggested signing up for one.
Neither Megan nor her sister was a runner at the time, but that didn’t deter them from signing up.
Megan is the type of person who if her sister is doing something, then she would too.
They both signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon and began training.
Megan and her sister’s training looked quite a bit different leading up to race day.
Her sister followed a consistent schedule with Team in Training and Megan only did three training runs over 10 miles in 6 months.
Hooked On The Feeling
Megan didn’t know what she didn’t know about the marathon.
As she crossed the start line of her first marathon, Megan took it all in and had fun along the way.
The feeling of accomplishment after finishing her first marathon was unlike anything she had ever felt.
Megan came out of the distance unscathed other than being extremely sore.
She was hooked on the marathon and even the soreness couldn’t take the smile off her face.
Megan signed up for her next race the same night of the marathon.
Megan has always liked to be different and walk the path less traveled.
While in high school she was on the tennis team and a flag twirler in the marching band.
She typically avoided doing any of the more mainstream sports and activities.
While growing up, Megan disliked running, but she had a competitive spirit nonetheless.
That all began to change when she took a walk/jog/run class in college.
At the end of class, she was required to complete a mile.
Her love affair with running didn’t exactly start then, but it was a baby step in that direction.
A Victim Of Peer Pressure
Megan is aware of the fact that she is easily persuadable, as evidenced by the marathon she did because of her sister.
She also happened to love races so much, that she tended to run them often as part of her training.
Early in her running, Megan found a local run club and began joining them a few times a week.
The consistency of running with others helped to push her running to a new level.
At the Space Coast marathon in 2013, Megan broke 5 hours in the marathon for the first time.
She ran a PR again in 2016 at the Shamrock marathon in Virginia without planning on it.
The idea of possibly breaking 4 hours in the marathon began to take shape in her mind.
What Is Possible
A close friend suggested to Megan that she should try to run a Boston qualifier (BQ).
Megan began to wonder if that was possible and was willing to work hard to try.
With a lot of hard work, Megan began to chip away at the goal and ran a 3:52 in 2017.
She was still around 12 minutes away from a BQ, but it was now within striking distance.
After increasing her mileage and tweaking her training, Megan got her BQ in 2019 with a time of 3:30:06.
Crossing the finish line of that race is quite possibly the proudest moment of her life.
Megan was so strong during that goal race, that a friend jokingly suggested that she run another marathon the next day.
Unintentionally, another seed was planted.
Today’s Episode is Sponsored By: Amino Co
Enjoys a Good Challenge
Similar to so many others during the pandemic, Megan had nothing else to do but run.
She found herself running a marathon every single weekend.
Megan became curious as to what the World Record was for the number of consecutive marathons run by a woman.
At the time of her research, she found the number was 60, which didn’t seem so outlandish to Megan.
She wasted no time applying to the Guinness Book of World Records to attempt the challenge.
By the time she got approval, the record had jumped to 95, but Megan was not deterred.
She started the challenge on December 4th but didn’t ultimately reach her goal, calling it quits on day 41.
Between trying to balance a full-time job along with an unexpected injury Megan made the smart but hard decision.
Megan has run the Boston marathon once so far and it was her fifth fastest marathon to date.
The Boston Marathon came on the heels of her marathon challenge so she knew she was in no position to PR.
The downhills greatly affected her pace as the race went on, but she crossed the finish line in 3:46.
Megan loved her experience there and is signed up to run it again this year.
Leading up to the upcoming Boston, Megan chose to work with a coach this time.
She wants to be more prepared for Boston and also to try to qualify for the NYC marathon at some point.
“Only” 5 More Miles
Megan was listening to a podcast that had Katie Spotz on as a guest.
Katie Spotz was the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Megan was intrigued by her background and did a little more digging into her story.
She found out that Katie also held the record for the most consecutive ultras (11) run by a female.
After running 41 days of marathons, Megan found that 11 days of ultras seemed manageable.
An ultra-marathon according to the rules was 31.69 miles or just about 5 more miles than a full.
Megan submitted her application in June and she was accepted in August.
She was determined to learn from past mistakes and correct any and all issues.
It Takes A Village
Megan planned to start the challenge in late December in order to take advantage of holidays and vacation time.
She was determined to learn from her past mistakes and not juggle both work and running for the entirety of the challenge.
Megan is grateful for understanding bosses but still had to occasionally wake at 2 am to fit the run in.
She was rarely if ever alone for an entire run thanks to supportive friends.
Taking care of her body with sleep, hydration, and nutrition was of extreme importance.
The changes Megan made this time around were all factors in why the 50ks felt much better than the marathons.
She didn’t get as many aches and pains and overall had a much better experience.
Megan has yet to run an official 50k race, but she certainly isn’t ruling it out.
She has a busy racing schedule which includes pacing two marathons and running three others.
The Lighthouse 100 in Traverse City, Michigan came onto Megan’s radar a few years ago.
As someone that doesn’t rule out much so far, the 100 is always a possibility.
Next year will hopefully include Tokyo, which she has been deferring since 2020.
Running has taught Megan a lot of lessons over the years and helped to shape who she is today.
If her mind is set on something, she will at least try.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Most consecutive days to run an ultra marathon distance (female) – Guinness World Records
- Gate River Run
- The Lighthouse 100
- The Drip Bar
- The Stockyard
- Thera Cane Massager
Stay connected to Megan Cassidy by following her on Instagram.
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