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Ricardo Cardenas has been an employee at Runners High for just under a year now. He first came to our store as a Track and Field athlete at Cal State Long Beach, looking to connect his passion for running with professional experience. He has since graduated with his degree in Psychology and grown into an expert shoe specialist at our stores. 

In the Fall of 2021, Ricky was looking to register for his first Marathon race and he was recommended the Ventura Marathon by his girlfriend. At that time, Ricky had taken a long break from running competitively since graduating and ending his collegiate career. The challenge of the Marathon distance was something that got him excited to train again and he admits that while the long runs could get lonely at times, he found himself falling in love with running again. 

Ricky being the competitor that he is, set strong goals for his first marathon. He wanted to run somewhere between 2 hours, 40 minutes and 2 hours, 50 minutes which equates to roughly a 6 minute per mile average. With this goal in mind, Ricky began to search for a carbon plated running shoe that he could incorporate into his training. The carbon plate difference means that these shoes offer a high energy return that can make hard paces feel easier and your stride feel more efficient because it's using less effort. The result can be that you feel better and stronger in your run for longer than you would otherwise with a non-carbon plated shoe.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 ended up being Ricky's shoe of choice, which he liked because of the way the shoe fit his foot and because of the Speed Roll technology, a feature that gives you the feeling of propelling forward. 

On race day, Ricky found himself with the front pack of guys and feeling surprisingly good at a pace faster than his goal pace (5:45 per mile). He was able to maintain that through the first half of the race, and said that miles 14-20 remained strong as well. He was anticipating the "wall" at mile 20 that everyone who runs a marathon distance says is the hardest part, but he pushed through it and continued to stack up miles at his goal pace (6 min per mile). Ricky credits the carbon plating and cushioning in his Saucony Endorphin Pro's for helping him race beyond his expectations and getting through the last 2 miles especially, when his legs were so tired but the high rebound of the shoes helped him to keep forging on. 

Ricky crossed the finish line in 3rd place and ran a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes! A result that qualifies him for the Boston Marathon in 2023, which he plans to race and train for next.