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April 17, 2014

Robin Kutner Heads to Boston - Q&A

by. Robin Kutner
San Francisco, CA

A San Francisco runner, Robin has been an ambassador with Oiselle since 2011. She has completed the NYC Marathon twice and is now gearing up for her debut at the Boston Marathon. Learn more about Robin on her athlete page and continue reading her Q&A below...she gives insight into her master fueling tricks during the race! 


1. Have you raced Boston before? What gets you most excited about stepping to the starting line on April 21st?
Zero!  I ran my second marathon three weeks after last year's Boston Marathon. My goal throughout training had been to qualify, just as a benchmark of a time that I would like to achieve. In the aftermath of last year's event, however, qualifying and being able to be present at the 2014 start line felt like it would have an even greater meaning beyond my own personal athletic accomplishments. Runners are a family, and together, we are unstoppable in the face of adversity.

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2. How has this training cycle been similar or different to races in the past?
Training has actually been quite rocky. I visited my parents in Colorado in mid January and had a great time skiing until the last day, when I ate dirt (or snow/ice, I guess?) on some moguls and sprained my LCL hard in the process. As a result, I wasn't running at all again until the end of February. Therefore, my training will have been compressed into about six weeks! I've never trained this little for such a long race. I am confident in my "muscle memory" from past marathon experience, but start lines tend to fuel my competitive fire even if I have plans to take it easier. This will be a good exercise in telling myself that I want to  "run for fun" and actually carrying out that plan!

3. Do you have a favorite place in Boston you want to visit while you're there?
I've only been to Boston once, so I suppose I would like to explore a little bit more! I remember having a lot of fun shopping on Newbury St and seeing the historical sites along the Freedom Trail.

4. What are your goals for the race?
Before the skiing mishap, I had some pretty audacious time goals. Now, I'm just trying to focus on enjoying the trip back east, hanging out with runner friends who I miss, and loving all 26.2 miles. This is such an iconic and historic race - I want to take it all in! I am young and have lots of time to bust out more competitive goals at other races when my preparation has been adequate.

5. If you could run with any celebrity in Boston who would it be and why?
It's definitely too hard to choose a celebrity runner on your average day, but I think for Boston, my first choice would be Kathrine Switzer. She revolutionized female participation in the sport during that controversial 1967 race. It's unbelievable that it wasn't even until the 1970s that women could compete in something longer than 800m in the Olympics (and guess what, nobody's uterus fell out!). She definitely catalyzed this progression and is probably the reason that women like us today are racing on a more "recreational" front. 

6. Are you a master of the water stops or will you need practice?
At this point, I'm pretty good at water stops, especially when they are on the right hand side (I'm extremely right-handed!). Go to one of the last few tables, swipe a cup at the top - because at this point, you're so dirty that the germs on your hands that get into your cup are insignificant! - and bend it, pour into mouth, and voilá!

7. How do you fuel morning of, during, and after?
Morning of: oatmeal with a banana and some peanut butter stirred in.
During: 1-2 packets of honeystingers. I eat 2-3 chews at a time, starting around mile 7 and every 45 or so minutes thereafter. Also, I only drink water during races - I find sports drinks to be a bit too sticky and sweet!
After: Anything and everything.

8. What would you like to hear from fans to get you fired up?
I'm definitely not picky here. As long as they don't say "almost there!!!" at mile 20, I'll be happy! Both times that I ran the New York City Marathon, I sharpie-d my name on clear packing tape and stuck it on the front of my singlet. Hearing someone cheer for you in particular can really lift you up, no matter how good or bad you might feel.

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9. Since we know you’ll be celebrating, what’s your ideal treat to celebrate post race?
I'll take anything, as long as it's enjoyed with runner friends :) There's definitely strength in numbers when it comes to taking over a bar/restaurant in smelly, sweaty clothes and with salt still crusted to your forehead.

Rapid-fire Round:
Nuun or water? Water
Winter or summer? Summer
GU or Shot Blocks? Shot bloks
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Long run or track workout? Track workout
Buns or Randies? Randies