Think your body needs some work? You find yourself buried under the stress of daily living. Want to see a change in your life? Then become a marathon runner. But watch out because you can easily become addicted. What has for many been a pleasant short run to keep fit can become a lifestyle of short and long runs. It ends up where a run of thirteen miles is not all that tough and your travel plans center around a marathon. And Lethbridge can boast that it probably has more marathon runners and ultra marathoners per capita than any other city. They're everywhere. When the training season starts in January you'll see them. A small army of runners heading out on runs that start out at 7 miles and eventually end up as a 22 miler as the training season peaks in May.

  Not sure if you have what it takes? Ron Bain, owner of Runner's Soul feels that most runners and in fact most people, have a marathoner lying somewhere inside their body. In some it's just better hidden. For those not as experienced or "seasoned" a half marathon may be the better choice in the first year. The way the human body responds to the increasing training miles is amazing. The old philosophy of training for a marathon is being overtaken by a new breed of marathoner.

  While there are still a lot of runner's who shun the idea of walking in a marathon, the new way of participating in marathons is to take frequent walking breaks of short distances. The body appreciates these breaks from the steady pace of running and surprisingly enough, many runners have recorded their fastest marathons by incorporating the walking breaks into their training and in the marathon itself. And running in a group is the way to go. When you head out on a typical winters day to do a run and have forty to fifty others to run with it makes it a whole lot easier. The miles seem to just melt away, as do the long months of winter.

  Before you know it the warm days of spring are back, the eighteen week training program has passed and the marathon you've trained for is beckoning. And maybe, just maybe, you'll find a different "you" in May than you saw in January. One with less stress, more energy and perhaps less pounds.

  This years training season kicks off with a special registration night on January 5th at 7:00 p.m. in the Atco Gas Company auditorium that features guest speaker John Stanton, founder and president of Running Room, a chain of running stores that spans Canada. John has worked closely with Jeff Galloway, a former Olympian and "guru of running" to encourage runners across the country to take up the challenge. He'll be in Lethbridge to talk about marathons and to sign copies of his book, Running Start to Finish

  All runners, marathoners and "hopefuls" are encouraged to come out for this session. For more information on the marathon and half marathon training program and how you can get involved call Runner's Soul at 327-2241.