Pacers and SHEroes

So just to recap what happened in the first 48 hours of Breaking2, we ran a 300-person relay in Piazza Duomo, got inspired by Coach Bennett every time he had the mic, watched the Breaking2 attempt trackside, and ran a 5K on the exact same course – all while getting to mingle with some of the greatest runners across the globe. Pretty epic.

Well, Sunday morning comes around and we were all grateful for a morning when we didn’t have anything scheduled until 10:00am. Kate and I are still trying to stay warm in our sleeping bags when all of a sudden this beautiful violin music starts to play. Talk about the best alarm clock ever – and even though it was earlier than I think anyone was planning on waking up, the sheer beauty of the music made up for it. Then Kate said, “I think that music is live!” Admittedly, I doubted her in the beginning, but then the more we listened, the more feasible it seemed. We finally looked out the tent door, and sure enough, there was a LIVE violinist playing or the whole camp.


Running with Breaking2 Pacers – Coach Bennett then told us that the Breaking2 Pacers were going on a shakeout run with us. He gave a pretty inspiring speech about the critical role the pacers played in the attempt the day before (my thoughts on that will be in my next blog post) and then they joined us at camp. After running their hearts out the previous day and spending most of the day after the attempt celebrating, they woke up early to run with us. They showed up with so much joy and energy, it was contagious. You’ll note in the photos their joy and excitement. The shakeout run ended up being about 6km, but the highlight is that every 400 meters, they would stop and dance. It was more like a shakeout party with some running thrown in. Have a look at these photos captured by @marekogien:

pacer entrance marek


pacer closeup marek

pacer profile marek

front of the pack marek

pacer crew marekpacer group run marek

dancing duo marek

kid in play pacers marek

pacer crew run marek

dance circle marek

smiley pacer marek

big desk pacer marekmoo with pacers marek

shirtless pacer marek

excited pacer marekgroup shot with pacers marek

Long Run with Shalane Flanagan – A few hours after the Pacer Party, we went on a long run with Shalane Flanagan! We had a choice of a 30, 60 or 90-minute run. It was the run with the best weather and some sweet views en route to Milan.


PC: @maxmenning


PC: @maxmenning


PC: @maxmenning


PC: @maxmenning

shalane long run

PC: @marekogien

caleb and ilario jumping marek

PC: @marekogien

long run group shot

PC: @marekogien


PC: @maxmenning

Meeting Allyson Felix! I have always admired Allyson Felix, so you can imagine my surprise when they asked if I would be willing to show her around camp and film an Instagram story for Airbnb! We filmed the story (it took a few takes to get it right) and then I got to hang out one-on-one with Allyson – we talked about everything from running, to elementary education, to being an athlete in college. I was completely starstruck while simultaneously impressed with how down to earth she is. We actually had a TON of fun filming the story even though I was nervous about messing up in front of my shero! Here are some screen shots from the final Insta story that Airbnb posted:

Thanks to @fredgoris for capturing these candids during the shoot:



And thanks to Allyson Felix for her time – it is a day I will never forget!


Campfire with SHEroes! As if the day hadn’t been EPIC enough, we had dinner and a Campfire talk with Joan Benoit Samuelson, Shalane Flanagan, and Allyson Felix. So much power, speed and awesomeness all on one stage, hosted by Coach Becs. The stories and advice they shared inspired everyone at camp.


PC: @maxmenning


PC: @pimrinkes

MaxMenning-CampfireTalk-9 (1)

PC: @maxmenning




PC: @pimrinkes

Monday morning yoga: Of course any good running event always has some sort of yoga element. So our last morning together, there was a yoga session led by Isabelle Fuhrman. Great way to stretch out and reflect on the whole experience! (PC: @pimrinkes)








And that wraps up the “epic events” recap of the trip. Still so many thoughts running through my head that I want to share – but that’s for the next post. Thanks for reading!

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