Two Winners of 26Strong


Is it the Love and Logic parenting style that advocates giving your child two choices—and only two? "We can leave in five minutes or we can leave in two minutes: your choice." "You can have an apple or a banana: your choice." "You can go to sleep quietly now or in 60 seconds: your choice."

Wishing we had such an easy choice to pick the two women to run their first marathons with the Saucony 26Strong Program. Sarah and I have combed through the entries again and again...cancer survivors; mothers who have lost children; funny women; women in need of some mojo; women who have come to running later in life and are discovering how beautiful their strong is.

So many great stories, and so few entries to giveaway. We made three separate lists, and then we slimmed those choices down to...about 25 entries. Which is not as easy to answer as Do you want a cheese stick or a yogurt?  

So I'll shut up now and just announce our choices, which we arrived at through a combination of love and logic.

Dimity's choice = Kelly Pollock

Wow! What a great opportunity! I hate talking about myself in writing—reminds me of resumes and college admission essays—but here goes. I live in Chapel Hill, NC (talked with y’all for the second time at Capital Run Walk last night) and I am mom to an 11-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. I work full-time. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life but after getting pregnant (by surprise) with my son at age 39, surviving a very difficult pregnancy, holding down a full-time job and part-time graduate school, his premature birth, time on the NICU and a baby who did not sleep through the night, I put on more weight than ever before. I gave myself a free pass until my son was 20 months and then I committed to lose weight. I started Weight Watchers and with walking.

Then I wanted to run.

I went to my local bookstore and saw Run Like a Mother so I bought it. Life changing! Your books made me feel like I could do this thing called running even though I was not built like a traditional runner, that I could take time for me, that I could love something athletic and that there was a tribe! Fast forward to now. I’ve lost 70 pounds, joined a local running group ,and will toe up to the start of my second half marathon in Raleigh on Sunday!

On a recent long run, one where I felt like I could fly and run forever, the idea of running a full marathon crept in. Now, it has become a goal but I need a little help—OK, a lot of help—to get me there. I love running down the miles on a long run with a friend (the short runs are all me time). Y’all make me laugh in your books and podcasts, your books inspire me, your t-shirts clothe me! I can’t think of two people I’d rather train and run with!


Sarah's choice: Alison Pellicci

This is my year to run a marathon! I ran the NYC half and as I ran through Times Square I said to myself, I am in it this year. I waited (not so) patiently for the lottery results when I saw a NYRR charge on my credit card. I was sure I had gotten in, but my husband had also applied. Guess who got in? Yup, the hubby and not me.

I am still determined to run a marathon this year after having run 3 halfs and numerous smaller races it is time to step up! I would love to run with you ladies and Philly isn’t too far from home in Connecticut. I am a mom to a 5 and 6 year old and running is my sanity! When I ran NY and came home my 5-year-old daughter was so excited because I had a PR, I was more excited because she knew what a PR was. Plus I teach Kindergarten…what a wonderful life lesson for my class! I normally run alone so it would be motivating to have my own personal cheerleaders to help me get across and share some great laughs—and maybe tears!

Congrats, Alison and Kelly: We hope you're up for finding your 26Strong in Philadelphia! Email us at runmother at gmail and confirm that you are, please. 

And if you're totally bummed, we still have the contest for the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley open. We'd love to have your creative entry! (And it may be more fun than running 26.2...just saying.)

In the meantime, while we can't run with everybody in Philly, we can commit to helping you find your strong, find your mojo, find your running spirit, find your PR every day. xo

15 responses to “Two Winners of 26Strong

  1. Once in a lifetime, on so many levels. Congratulations, have fun and dont forget to smile…a lot! It’ll be great, and over before you know it.

  2. Congratulations Alison and Kelly! So exciting, can’t wait to cheer you on and hear all about it, what a wonderful opportunity, enjoy every minute of it, good luck!

  3. Congratulations Alison and Kelly! Awesome that you are running your first full marathon this year! Enjoy the journey!

  4. Thanks everyone! I am beyond excited to get to represent the tribe in my first full! This is an amazing opportunity…thanks SBS for picking me. You like me…you really like me 🙂

    SBS and I shared a few tweets a while back about how the books and all the support helped me to realize that I can run a half marathon… now I am about to realize that I can run a full! I AM A MOTHER RUNNER!

  5. Congratulations to Alison and Kelly! I had the pleasure of meeting Alison, SBS and some other wonderful mother runners a few summers ago in CT to chat about running and motherhood. It was a terrific evening. Alison and Kelly, you can do this! I am so looking forward to reading about your adventures in training. Both of you are an inspiration! Hooray!

  6. OMG! I can’t believe I was chosen. Now, I am freaking out! I know I will have lots of support and the AMR Tribe will be there with us. I am channeling my inner Eleanor Roosevelt this morning (and not getting anything done at work, BTW): “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot.” I am staring fear in the face this morning and it looks an awful lot like 26.2 miles through Philadelphia!

  7. Congrats to the two lucky ladies! I am behind you 100% with and excitement to watch your journey unfold before us and inspire us to be 26strong!

  8. Congratulations to both mother runners! I had the pleasure of meeting/talking with Kelly at the AMR party at Capital RunWalk. You are going to rock this marathon, Kelly! Run on ladies! 🙂

  9. A huge congratulations to Alison and Kelly! Can’t wait to read of their adventures in training and will be cheering them on.
    I had so wanted to throw my hat in the ring but had a 1/2 on the calendar the week before and I had promised myself to train for a strong effort in that race. Someday!

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