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Keir Dillon x NYC Marathon

Who’d of guess that Keir Dillon, former bad-ass pro for Burton Snowboards, partner in FRENDS and all around great guy would decide to run the ING New York City Marathon? Well, it’s true and the Active Team has decided to follow Dillon through his training and of course the big day, on November 7th 2010.

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Dillon is not only running for a personal goal, but for the greater good of Team Stoked – an action sports’ group that’s raising money for Stoked Mentoring.

Stoked Mentoring is a non-profit organization that “empowers youth from underserved communities to achieve a more successful future by providing programs based in action sports culture.” One of Stoked Mentoring’s founders, Sal Masakela, is also running in the race. (More to come on that later this week!)

We asked Dillon if he would partake in our marathon coverage by checking in with us once a week leading up to the race. In his own words, here’s what he has to share with the Active Team:

“It was a somewhat mellow morning in our office…I had my amp energy drink in hand, fingers racing at high speed, but I still wasn’t able to keep up with my brains’ thoughts. I had a meeting in 5 minutes while simultaneously trying to catch up on emails from the night before. The thing is….I had just signed up for the NYC marathon about a month ago to help raise money for Stoked Mentoring and that factor was certainly on my mind.

My long time friend, Sal Masekela, said it would be fun and me being naive was like, “Sure, let’s do it!” It wasn’t until the paperwork showed up that the commitment felt so much more real.

I was like, “How long is it again?” The marathon is 26.2 miles and no matter how many times you ask that question it’s always the same answer. After I confirmed the distance, it was time to do what any new runner does, I went out and found the dopiest gear I could, so no matter what, I would at least be looking the part.

I went on to Nike.com and ordered up a few pairs of the Nike LunaGlide+2’s in black and red. I also bought an iD pair, kitted-out of course for race day. My kit also includes Nike Dri-FIT Tempo Track running shorts in black and let me just say…..short…like REALLY short. And a few Nike Dri-FIT Essentials sleeveless men’s running shirts.

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I started training and put in about a month, which went really well. In all my years of training for snowboarding though, I had never run over 5 miles, so it was a cool feeling when I broke mile 12. I had a legit vibe at this point. That feeling is what allowed me to revert back to my old basketball ‘talking trash days’ of high school.

The day was October 12th and I found myself once again digging myself out of a hole. What started out as a trash talking session about the feasibility of running a marathon with minimal training, ended in me sitting at my office at 6am, a month before race day, with my FREND and product guy Mike Nelson. He was claiming that since I hadn’t been training hard enough that I wouldn’t be able to run one – cold turkey – the following week. What started out as a simple money bet of whether I could run it or not, turned into him thinking he could run it as well!

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And so it began, ‘The Bet’ – we both run a full marathon side-by-side (before the actual NYC marathon) and the first person to stop before the end, loses. I was laughing at the challenge…I mean, let’s face it, I had been training a bit and used to being sort of a real athlete a few years ago, but how hard could this be?

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It wasn’t until I walked in the office and saw him fully kitted out stretching with a water filtration system that I was like, ‘Oh boy this could be longer than I thought!’ Mile 14 was brutal to say the least, I even tried to pick up the pace hoping that he’d expend too much energy and fold, but Mike had alligator blood and just kept hanging around.

Everyone talks about the last 6 miles being hard, but I think since we ran the first 20 so slowly it was easy to power them out. We both finished the race crossing a TP finish line with cheers from hundreds or thousands of….ok I lied, only 3 fans, but they screamed really loud! Final time was 5 hours. (Hardly the time I want to be finishing in for the NYC Marathon!)

I know I have just a few more weeks to get my stuff together and try and to post a respectable time. It could be good or it could be ugly…or I could just totally suck and not finish, either way I am going to tell it like it is. Buckle up its going to be a bumpy ride…”

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Check out the ING NYC Marathon report from 2009, we are so excited for next week!

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