ME & JennTwo Saucony 26 Strong teams were in action this weekend at the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon in New Hampshire on Sunday, Oct. 6. And we’re happy to report that we have two new first-time marathoners. On a rainy, blustery day, both Jennifer Roderick and Christine Sinclair completed their first marathons with the help of their veteran mentors.

The two are part of the Saucony 26 Strong program, a collaboration between Competitor and Saucony that pairs experienced marathon vets with first-timers (“cadets”) as they both train to achieve their marathon goals. Jennifer Roderick, 37, of Middleborough, Mass., was paired with veteran runner Gael Henville, 43, of Boston on Team 15. Christine Sinclair, 26, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., was teamed with veteran Laura Dempsey, 37, of Watertown, Mass., on Team 16.

The weather didn’t make things easy, as vet Gael described it:

“They were facing a 30 mph head-winds and rain,” she said. “The rain really started to pour about 13 miles into the race, and the wind literally rocked my big SUV. “

But both cadets managed to overcome Mother Nature and finished strong. Jennifer crossed the finish line in 4:41:00 while Christine finished in 5:38:27. Laura finished in 3:57:10. Gael offered on-course support—she’ll be running her fall marathon this Sunday in Chicago. We’ll have race reports from both teams that offer a full recap of the race.

Congratulations to Teams 15 and 16—you are now marathoners!