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Saucony 26 Strong | Team 19 – Adam Sholes & Sean Walsh

Cadet: Adam Sholes

Age: 30 | City: DeSoto, Mo.

Adam started running on a family vacation to Hawaii in January 2011. “My step father had asked if I wanted to run a 5K while we were there,” Adam says. “He had started running a couple years before that and lost over 100 pounds. Seeing what he had accomplished, I said Yes. My first 5K was a success coming in at 37 minutes and I was hooked.”

Adam was determined to lose weight and motivated by his wife and 3 kids to get in shape. In a year I went from 230 pounds to 180 pounds and developed a love and respect for the sport. He ran his first half marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis, in 2011, finishing in 1:59:49. “Once I started running and ran my first half marathon, I always told myself I would run my first full marathon after two years of training. Now we’re here,” he says. “My goal for my first full marathon is to finish standing and being able to share it with my family.”


Vet: Sean Walsh

Age: 51 | City: St. Louis, Mo.

In December of 2007 at age 45, Sean weighed in at 194 pounds at 5-foot-6.  With three young kids he said to himself, “I need to get in shape so I can see my kids graduate.” He undertook two 12 week sessions of the “Body for Life” program. By July 2008 his weight was down to a much more manageable and healthy 156. Now the question was how to keep the weight off. Sean decided to start running. His first run was 2 miles in just over 24 minutes. He soon decided to make good a long standing “Bucket List” item to run a marathon.

He started a training program in the Fall of 2008, but an unfortunate stress fracture sidelined him in October.  After 10 weeks in a boot he started again in January of 2009 with a target to run Clevelande Marathon in May 2009. Unfortunately an identical stress fracture sidelined him again. After another 10 weeks in a boot and custom orthotics Sean began training again in July 2009 with a target of Philadelphia Marathon in November 2009.  This time Sean contracted Swine Flu 10 days before the Marathon and was convinced the “gods” did not want him to run a marathon. However, Sean’s pretty stubborn and given the past two failed attempts went ahead and ran the Marathon anyway.  He completed it in 4:16:09 using a walk/run strategy post mile 19.

Sean’s weight has moved down from 156 to 140 and he feels he is at a perfect weight to run at this point and a fully 54 pounds off his pre-running days weight.  Sean has since run seven additional marathons—his last being Boston in April 2013 in 3:29:27. It was tough to celebrate with what would happen in Boston after he crossed the line. For his fall race, Sean is looking to run under 3:25:00 for the first time and improve on his Boston qualifying time for 2014.


Running Retail Sponsor: Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis

Goal Race: Des Moines Marathon, Oct. 20

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