That time I won this thing…

Mile 20 one

A little background on me: If you had asked me just 5 years ago that I would become a runner, I would have probably laughed in your face! I would have said, “I’m a swimmer, not a runner…I don’t do well on land.” And yet, here I am, someone who over a few short years has run 4 marathons, countless other races, and can finally call herself a runner. It’s been quite a journey, and to say that running has changed me would be a huge understatement. Now that I’ve been in it for a few years, I can’t imagine my life without running.


Nike’s Breaking2 Project  Nike has been working on an audacious goal: enable a sub 2-hour marathon time. To help achieve this, Nike has been working with a diverse team of leaders across several fields of science and sport with a holistic approach to athletes, product, training, nutrition and environment. It is summed up best in an article that Nike published in December: “Breaking2 provides an opportunity to explore whether the impossible is within reach. It is the ultimate embodiment of Nike’s mission: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete on the planet.”

The attempt features star runners Lelisa Desisa, Zersenay Tadese, and Eliud Kipchoge


And will take place at the Formula One track in Monza, Italy. (More info can be found here.)


Nike teamed up with Airbnb and held a contest in April for a chance to win a trip to go and witness the Breaking2 attempt in person. Along with the usual info needed to enter a contest, entrants had to answer the question, “Why do you run?” This is a question I get asked often, especially since I am still relatively new to running. Most people who know me already know the answer, but for those of you who may not know, I started running to fulfill a promise I made to one of my former students – that when he turned 18, we would run our first marathon. My student was Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings, and I knew I had to complete the pact we made. I shared a bit of my story for this contest, knowing that everyone who entered had a story to tell.

I’M GOING TO BREAKING2 IN ITALY! When I enter contests, I never go into them thinking I’m going to win, or that I even deserve to win. So you can imagine the shock I felt when I received an email saying I had won this contest! I had to re-read the email a few times because I couldn’t quite believe that it was real. When it finally settled in that this was really happening, I was blown away. I just kept thinking to myself, “Me? Really?” And then I got the confirmation email, and flight/lodging info and then it hit me that I am going to Milan, Italy. I am thrilled and beyond excited for this incredible opportunity! I hope to post updates here while I’m gone, but if for some reason I have trouble connecting to the internet while I’m gone, I will definitely be sharing my experience when I return. Here’s hoping I get to witness history in a few days!

pace car

2 thoughts on “That time I won this thing…

  1. Lisa Bailey says:

    Congratulations, Rachel! You are so deserving of this prize. I am truly excited for you & can’t wait to read about your adventure. Have a grand trip!

  2. Patty OBrien says:

    That’s so Awesome!!! Can’t wait to tell my girls -Congrats

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