Marathon Makeover Magazine
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Embassy Suites Jackson - North/Ridgeland200 Township Place, Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157
Tel: 1-601-607-7112 Fax: 1-601-607-7116
The Official Hotel of the2009 Renaissance at
Colony Park Half Marathon
MAKEOVER MAGAZINE - 1
7 Eat RightMarathon Makeover inspires new dish at The Auditorium Restaurantin Ridgeland
8 Kossmans CrossingBattling obstacles, runner meets new challenges, faces life anewBy Jack Criss
12 Local car dealership takes partWhen Robert Mack showed up for work at Patty Peck Honda of Ridgeland one day last spring, he had no idea that hed be training for a marathon less than a year later.By Natalie Criss
14 Todd StarnesFox News anchor survives heart surgery, loses 300 pounds and runs a marathon Interview by Paula K. Parker
16 Mark & Robin SimpsonMississippi entrpreneurs tranform lives, turning couch potatoes into marathon finishers By Jack Criss
22 Team VicksburgA look at the Vicksburg Marathon Makeover program
26 Marathon SeenPhotos of Marathon Makeover events and participants
On the CoverMark and Robin Simpson founders of Marathon Makeover. To find out more, visit www.marathonmakeover.com.
Volume 1, Issue 1
Marathon Makeover, LLC
Mark and Robin Simpson
Pevey Publishing, LLC
Jack Criss, Natalie Criss, Paula K. Parker,
Jeff Sanders, Clark Ethridge, Thomas Beck,
Robin Simpson, Matt Broome
Cover Photo by Tim Little
For advertising information contact
Mark and Robin Simpson at
This is our story and were sticking to it
I n January, 2004 we began the journey of a lifetime. However, we had no idea what steps we had really taken until we were well along our way. Marathon Makeover began as a challenge, one given to Mark by a friend
to run a marathon. This friend offered to train Mark personally if he
could gather five more people who would also train. Being the natural
recruiter Mark is, he set out to work to do just that. By January, he had
recruited two dozen or more people, including Robin.
We began our training with a room full of eager peo-
ple, ready to get their training underway, completely
ignorant of what the next few months would bring. We
muddled through that first year, faithfully following
the schedule and instructions our coach set before us.
It was a tough schedule which, at times, had us doing
10-mile runs during the week along with our long runs
on Saturday. It was a grueling training season.
All of us learned a lot that year. Most importantly,
we learned how much desire, commitment and perse-
verance it takes to stick to marathon training and how
little actual running has to do with it; its much more a
case of training yourself mentally.
When we crossed the finish line we were different
people than the ones who had begun at the start line
just a few hours earlier. We had found out what it meant to be a mara-
After returning from that initial race, family members and friends of
our marathoners wanted in on the fun and asked if we were going to do
it again. It did not take long for us to see this as an incredible opportu-
nity to motivate others to get up off of the couch and get moving. We
got to work, revised the schedule and in 2005 began our second training
season. Each year, Marathon Makeover has experienced growth and im-
provements; since 2003, we have helped over 1000 people train for and
complete a marathon.
Standing at the finish line, cheering our participants on, has afforded
us some of our favorite moments. Seeing all of their months of hard work
pay off and carry them through the race to the finish line is amazing! Our
Marathon Makeover team has brought an overwhelming amount of joy
into our life.
Now, in our sixth year of Marathon Makeover, we cannot imagine doing
anything else. We are constantly inspired by our participants who get up
each day, lace up their shoes and head out the door to put in their miles.
A few months ago, they were couch potatoesbut not now. They are our
heroes and they are marathoners. This magazine is for them and those
who want to be like them.
Mark and Robin Simpson
Couch potatoes turned marathoners
from the publishers
2 - MAKEOVER MAGAZINE
Marathon Makeover Magazine is a bi-monthly supplement to the Marathon Makeover wellness program designed to promote health and wellness in an informative and positive manner. We welcome contributions of articles and photos; however, they will be subject to editing and availability of space and subject matter. Photographs, comments, questions, subscription requests and ad placement inquiries are invited! Return envelopes and postage must accompany all labeled materials submitted if a return is requested. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Marathon Makeover Magazine are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. We reserve the right to refuse any and all advertising. For information, call our office at 601-594-1486. Copyright 2009 Marathon Makeover, LLC.
715 South Jefferson StreetJackson, Mississippi 39201
MAKEOVER MAGAZINE - 3
Watermelon Classic(Baptist Health Systems Watermelon Classic)Saturday, July 4, 2009Jackson, MS5K Run/Walk start: 7:30 amplus Blue Cross &Blue Shield of Mississippi One-Mile Wellness Run and Tot TrotRating: NNNNN
The Watermelon Classic has certainly lived up to its name. The biggest 5K road race in the state seems to grow in attendance every year. With the Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year expect even more participants. Yes, its very crowded but runners and walkers can feed off the energy level and the patriotic themes that are all around them. The course is moderately challenging but the adrenaline level will carry you through the tough spots. If youre planning on doing this race get your entry in early to insure you get a tank top.
Positives: Exciting, challenging and patriotic. A real runners race and a fun taste of the bigger events for the newer runner and walker. One of Mississippis best.Negatives: Some problems have occurred with timing over the years, but this is a minor issue that has probably been corrected. Make sure your place in the starting line is secured early and dont get up front if youre not a speedster! Oh, and it is hot.
mississippi race reviews
To run or not to run?A closer look at statewide races
The following is a guide to road races in the state of Mississippi over the next few months. With the many area-wide track clubs in our state and the ever-growing number of road races to choose from, we will try in every issue to pick the must compete races and offer our reviews of the events themselves. Never have there been so many choices, on any given weekend, to partake in a 5 or 10K or other race. Marathon Makeover magazine sorts it out for you so the only thing youll have to sweat is the race itself!
Highway 61 Blues 5K Run & WalkSaturday, June 6, 2009Leland, MS5K Run/Walk Start: 8 amFun Run Start: 9 amRating: NNNN 1/2
Overview: In its second year, the 2009 Highway 61 Blues 5K Run & Walk has the potential to be a major destination for those runners who also happen to be blues fans. The extremely flat course, which goes along Deer Creek in Leland a few miles east of Greenville, gives 5K runners a good opportunity to score a PR. Held in conjunction with the citys Highway 61 Blues Festival, this race offers a small town feel and friendliness that are sometimes missing from the bigger races. This year, pizza, door prizes, live blues music, kids games and a nice selection of post-race recovery bars (a great plus) will again be offered. Be prepared, however: temperatures are extremely warm at this race and sunscreen might be necessary for the slower runners. Stay in Leland after the race for the great downtown music fest which has become a major draw over the last ten years and visit the new Highway 61 Blues Museum just a short walk from the race.
Positives: Great feel, flat course, not overly crowded, good post-race snacks and blues.Negatives: Scenery is so-so, hot, watch the uneven asphalt as you run.
For more information on this race, including costs, call Wynn Loudon at 662-822-9700 or go to www.mstrackclub.com
The Courthouse Celebration 5KSaturday, June 20, 2009Jackson, MS.5K Run/Walk Start: 8 amRating: NNNN
Another race, which has grown in popularity, is The Courthouse Celebration 5K. The field has become rather crowded over the past few years and, in keeping with what seems to be a trend in 2009, will prob-ably be even bigger this year. This run goes through a Northeast Jackson neighborhood and provides little shade so, again, be prepared for heat and sun if the clouds dont appear. Thankfully, fluids are in good supply at the Courthouse 5K. Nevertheless, even seasoned runners can feel the heat at this time of year and during