Athlinks Ignited is a group of influential athletes who represent the Athlinks brand on the web and at the starting line. Follow our Ambassadors as they share their journey and encourage athletes from everywhere to join, compete and connect on the Athlinks network.

What was your best moment in 2017?

Qualifying for the 2018 Boston Marathon. Over the course of 20 weeks of training, I was able to drop 57 minutes from my previous marathon PR to run a 3:31 at the Revel Rockies Marathon in June and I’ll be at the start line of Boston in April! – Marissa DeMercurio

My best moment of 2017 was finally breaking my 5-year-old marathon in November.  This isn’t the first time I worked really hard for it, but, as we all know, race day doesn’t always go as planned. Fortunately, I ended up having a great day, both mentally and physically, and knocked more than two minutes off of my previous PR. Crossing that finish line and knowing I had finally done it was an incredible experience. Even better, it was my home marathon, so I knew plenty of people running and cheering, which really made it the best day ever. – Kelly Leighton

My biggest moment in 2017 was finishing the half marathon and full marathon in Philadelphia on the same weekend. They called it the Rocky Challenge and it was a tough weekend but the most rewarding thing I did the whole year! – Joe Pepe

My race was the 50k and looking at my schedule, I had no time to train. I was pretty depressed that I missed my 50k but I ended up downgrading to the marathon. The trail marathon was difficult but I managed to finish. I’d be a millionaire right now if I had a dollar for every time I said F…… I’m eating the post-race tacos and the organizer says “Is Jason Tolentino here!?” I’m like uh-oh I’m in trouble what did I do? He says “Here’s your 2nd place AG medal.” I was shocked and I couldn’t believe it. – Jason Tolentino

What is your biggest goal in 2018?

2018 will be the year of me getting on Ninja Warrior and also competing in my first OCR World Championships! – Joe Pepe

My biggest goal for 2018 is to race 5 indoor triathlons and minimally 7 outdoor races (with at least 2-3 Olympic distance triathlons). I’m aiming to run 7 min mile pace or below and to acquire 1st place age-group and improve my overall placement in certain races. – Fredericka Holloway

My biggest goal for 2018 is Running the desert RATS Kokopelli 150 mile Ultra from Fruita CO to Moab, UT.- Phil Pinti

My biggest goal for 2018 is to podium at every Spartan Race I run in the age group category, 30-39! I would also love to podium in my age group at the Championships! – Perri Goldstein

As you look back on the year, what are your best habits that you picked up? What really worked for you?

I think there were a few things that really helped me this year. First, I started running weekly with a group that is faster than me. While it was intimidating to step outside of my comfort zone, it really helped me push myself to accomplish paces I hadn’t thought possible. Adding in consistent, heavy lifting has also helped my legs get stronger. Additionally, doing the ‘extras’, like the mrytl routine, foam rolling and stretching all contributed to a happy, healthy year. – Kelly Leighton

The best habits I’ve picked up in 2017 are consuming food and hydrating effectively on distances greater than a marathon. Proper fueling during a grueling run is a real balancing act of getting what you need, without over doing it or not taking in enough calories or H2O. I am by no means a expert of marathoning or Ultra Running but every race I do, I’m personally fine tuning what works best for me. 2017 was an great year running and I hope to build on the running foundation I’ve set and really “kick it up a notch” in 2018. Becoming an Athlinks Ignited Athlete has really stoked my inner fire. – Phil Pinti

Consistency is more important than volume. Running 20-30 minutes 5 days per week is better than running 2.5 hours once per week. Also, never sacrifice sleep. Lastly, I learned that I thrive with some external accountability, so I hired a coach who checks in with me daily. – Marissa DeMercurio

I picked up the desire to focus on strength, fitness and health as opposed to focusing on how I look physically. The body is a vessel for the will of the mind. Staying consistent and making every day just as important as the next, regardless of how far away my next race or challenge is, kept me consistent on my training. – Perri Goldstein


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