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USA Fit Champions seeks to break the top myths about what an actual long distance runner looks like. The local full and half marathon training group program will open online registration for its 2016 season on June 1 at www.ChampionsFit.net and host three orientation events on July 9 and 16  at the D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA in Cypress Creek. Aspiring and experienced runners can register through August 31 and start training any Saturday through September 3.
 
“Most people don’t believe they can complete a full or half marathon for various reasons,” said USA Fit Champions Organizer and Head Coach Roy McDonald. “Our mission at USA Fit is to show people they absolutely can succeed by providing training plans for every fitness level in a fun, non-intimidating and safe environment.”
 
McDonald himself joined USA Fit’s Houston group 25 years ago when he and four fellow employees at his company discussed running a marathon. It was a goal he had never entertained. At the time, he weighed 240 pounds and at the end of his first marathon training with the group dropped to 185 pounds. In addition to gaining a lifelong love of running, McDonald gained a lifelong friend in member and now co-organizer Mitchell Garcia, who was one of the employees who had initially joined him.
 
McDonald and Garcia both hope as organizers and coaches to bring the same motivation and encouragement that their coaches and fellow members had given him to help runners and walkers around the Champions area reach their own personal goals.
 
According to McDonald, the top myths about marathon running include: 
 
·       Marathoners must be young.
·       Marathoners must be athletes.
·       It is not possible to walk 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
·       Running long distances is dangerous to one’s health.
·       Runners must be a certain weight or size to successfully run a full or half marathon. 
 
He said that members of USA Fit Champions defy all of these myths and have gone on to complete half and full marathons during their very first seasons with the group as well as meet personal health and fitness goals.
 
“The most rewarding part of our job as coaches is to see members achieve so much more than they thought possible, no matter their fitness level or stage in life,” said McDonald. “The only thing we ask our members to show up with is a goal and the passion to meet it. We take care of the rest.”
 
Registration for USA Fit Champions is $140 for new members and $100 for returning members. Runners meet Saturday mornings for ability-based group trainings, enjoy weekly seminars and social events throughout the season and benefit from the encouragement and expertise of certified coaches. To learn more and to register, visit www.ChampionsFit.net or contact Roy McDonald at info@championsfit.net.
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