There are no guarantees in life and probably even fewer than that in running, but a new personal coaching/training business launched this week is confidently offering a money-back, PR-guarantee option among its services.
The enterprise is called Eastern Shore Training and its principals are two of Maine’s top runners, Rob Gomez and Jeff Sprague, both 30-year-olds who live in Portland.
Gomez most recently won the Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K in 15 minutes 19 seconds, and was the 2013 Maine Marathon champ. Sprague holds the record at the Pineland Farms 25K trail race. Both native Waldoboro-ians have coaching experience – Sprague at Rockland and Camden Hills high schools, and St. Joseph’s College, and Gomez in boys’ and girls’ cross country at Biddeford High.
“We’ve been friends since we were 5 and running together since we were 15, and we’ve wanted to do something along these lines for a long time,” Gomez said. “We feel a passion for running, and we enjoy coaching and helping people, and finally thought, this was the time to go out on our own and give people an option for training.”
The coaching process will begin with a consultation and be individualized “based on a person’s history and goals, and what their time constraints are” and proceed month-to-month, with sessions mapped on Google Sheet spreadsheets.
Gomez credits Sprague – “he’s the creative mind behind everything” – for the business name and for the logo, a swift blue “S” between an “E” and “T” of stylized goalposts. He also notes Sprague’s expertise on the whole-body approach (not just legs and lungs) and on injury prevention.
As for EST’s “PR Guarantee,” the deal is, sign up for a three-month hitch ($29.99 per month for the basic training plan, $49.99 for the enhanced) and you are guaranteed an age-group PR at a race of your choosing. Or your money back.
“It’s risky, probably, for a business, but I think Jeff and I have confidence in our ability to tailor programs so that folks will see steady progress,” Gomez said. “The three-month window is evidence of that commitment to incremental progress rather than a plan to get fast in four weeks or learn to fly in a day.”
For full information, see easternshoretraining.com, and check out its page on Facebook.
FOR ITS third running, the Ed Shepard Memorial 5K in Gorham has moved from late to early June to avoid the traffic jam of events on the final weekend. The 2014 date is Sunday, June 8, with a 9 a.m. start at the high school on Morrill Avenue, and a kids 1K at 8 a.m.
The course covers roads that Maine Running Hall of Famer Shepard trained on going back to the 1940s, and is designed for speed.
Last year’s winners were Claton Conrad of Portland in 16:02 and Jennifer Sawyer of Buxton in 19:47, which was sixth overall of 106 finishers. Those are the course records.
There’s cash – $100, $75, $50 – to the top three men and women, and a T-shirt to the first 100 to sign up ($20).
You can find the race website and full info at runinarace.com, or call 232-8394.
LAST WEEKEND’S 32nd annual Sugarloaf Marathon and 15K had very healthy fields, with 505 finishers in the marathon and 723 in the shorter race.
Nick Wheeler, 28, of Portland won the 15K in 47:44 by a wide margin over Craig Robinson, 23, of Boston (52:23) and Christine Irish, 39, of North Yarmouth ran 55:40 for fifth place overall. Jenna Krajewski, 34, of Hallowell was just behind in 56:38.
Twenty-seven-year-old Steve McCarthy of Greene claimed the marathon title in 2:47:10, with Seth Holland, 34, of Albuquerque, N.M., pursuing in 2:48:36.
The women’s champion was Jennifer Vandongen, 36, of Bar Harbor in 2:58:54, beating 32-year-old Sarah Walker of Natick, Mass., by 1 minute.
THE FLEET Feet Sports Weekly Back Cove Series of 14 races begins Wednesday, May 28. Races begin at 6 p.m. on Baxter Boulevard just west of the parking lot, and each is capped at 250 entrants.
This is the 12th year for the series, which last year raised more than $10,000 for Portland Trails. See www.backcove.runtowin.com for details, and to register.
NEXT UP in the 13-event Trade Winds/Sub 5 Road Race Series is a Downeast classic, the 23rd Cobscook 10K and 5K, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, with a finish “at Pembroke’s majestic Reversing Falls Park on the western shore of Cobscook Bay, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.” There’s a 9:15 a.m. kids race, too.
The courses are as tough as the race description is poetic. Last year’s 10K winners were Peter Lodge, 49, of Bangor in 41:58, and Sarah Mulcahy, 27, of Baring Plantation in 41:59. The 10K records belong to Bar Harbor’s Judson Cake (33:04 in 2008) and Elizabeth Brunton of Birch Harbor (39:17 in 2010).
John Rolfe writes about road racing for the Maine Sunday Telegram. He can be contacted at 791-6429 or at: [email protected]