Beth Herlihy

Organizer & full marathon coach

When I began running in 2012, I discovered that I loved it for so many reasons: the reflective time outdoors, the connection to the natural world, and an amazing new sense of freedom and strength. On my own, I began running 5k races, then gradually increased my distance and ran my first half marathon. What a thrill! But that first half marathon (exciting yet so grueling!) showed me that there was so much more to learn.

Joining USA FIT Providence completely transformed my running experience and my outlook as a distance runner! Our Saturday morning long runs overflowed with banter, camaraderie, victory shouts, and so much laughter. This wasn’t at all like the solitary long runs from training on my own! Plus, armed with the training plan and philosophy, I was no longer puzzling over the best way to prepare for race day. The group gave me guidance from coaches, and the clarity and structure of the schedule. The spirit of unity was magical, as was showing up for races as part of an exuberant team.

With our group, I have become a marathoner, even persevering through 26.2 miles of pouring rain and gusts of wind! We go the whole way together, mile after mile of training runs, and then on race days, we feel the euphoria of crossing the finish line among teammates and friends. Together, we commit to these goals that seem insurmountable, we come to believe that we can do it, and we share the joy of accomplishment! I can’t wait for our next season of running adventures to begin!