Road Runner

Michael Benvenuto

Road Running Since
New Jersey, US

About Me

I came to running late in life, I had previously been a high comp level basketball player, but was forced to hang up the hoop shoes back in 2015 because of injuries. I had always had an interest in running and a natural ability. Back in 2012 I was peer pressured into running a local half marathon "off the couch" with no training, and put in a respectable time of 1:52:53. From then on I would do a race or two a year for fun, no serious training, just the thrill of competition.
In 2014 I was asked by a friend to raise money for a local charity and run the NYC Marathon. I took a basic 16 week marathon training schedule off of Runners World and I was on my way. I posted a respectable time of 3:40:56 and instantly caught the marathon bug, I had already started thinking about how much faster I could do it as the medal was put around my neck. I suffered a serious ankle injury that following spring in 2015, tearing two ligaments in my right ankle. I spent that entire year working hard in physical therapy so I could get back to running in 2016. That year of running on my own was incredible. I ran the New York and Philadelphia Marathons 2 weeks apart that fall, posting a PR of 3:19:51 in Philly. At that point I was fully invested in being a "runner," and set my sights on a Boston Qualifying time in 2017.
I put together a full schedule in 2017, setting PRs at every distance, an 18:51 - 5K, 39:52 - 10K, 1:26:52 - Half Marathon. So going into the 2017 NYC Marathon all signs pointed to a 3 hour finish a Boston Qualifier. But at mile 11 my left hamstring tore, and by mile 13 I was barely holding onto pace as I crossed the halfway point in 1:30. The pain was excruciating and I had to hobble jog the second half of the race, posting a 3:43:53 on one leg. After that disappointment I knew I needed a coach, because to that point I had done all the training on my own, and I was trying to fly in rare air. I linked up with Mark Bottenhorn at the end of 2017, and he has been coaching me since.
I had a great year of racing in 2018, setting PR's in all distances. In the 5K distance I ran 3 races, finishing 4th, 2nd, & 2nd respectively with a PR of 18:23. In the Newport/Jersey City 10K I ran a PR of 38:21. In the Half Marathon I ran two great races; at the Rutgers Half I finished 21st with a time of 1:25:41 and then later in the year at the Newport/Jersey City Half I finished 49th with a PR of 1:25:39. All of the races and training lead up to running in two Marathons; in May I finished 36th overall with a BQ time of 3:05:59, and then in October I put in another BQ finishing time and new PR of 3:03:35 at the Chicago Marathon. I'm still hunting the sub 3 hour Marathon in 2019! Follow my Instagram for updates!

Top Achievements

  • 6X Marathon Finisher, PR in Chicago Marathon 2018 of 3:03:35
  • Completed Southbound Thru-Hike of the entire 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail in 2005
  • Created awareness & raised money running for Team Imerman Angels, a one-on-one cancer support charity