During lunch with Stephen after the race, I asked him for his reflections. After a half dozen marathons, Stephen noted he was better able to pace himself and not lose a lot of energy before and during the early stages of such a long race. Practice makes perfect, even for 26 mile events. But I do remember how nervous he would be prior to a cross country ski race as a JNT member. Obviously he has learned a few things over the years – one of the primary goals of the program (sport for life).
Not all JNT skiers continue cross country ski racing after high school or college, but many pursue diverse athletic interests. I would like to think the basic training principles learned in the JNT are valid in other endurance sports. I had a chance to watch two former skiers in the New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov 6. Impressive results from both: Stephen Donahue, 59th overall, 2:32:25 and Megan Kelly, 283rd overall, 3:04:58.