Federico Mari tells his Chicago Marathon story

F&U.: Hello Federico, before we delve into the details of your preparation and the marathon, could you please briefly introduce yourself and share your experience in the world of running and sports with us?

F.: Allow me to introduce myself, I am Federico Mari, and I am 32 years old. Among the many things I love to do in life, marathon running is one of my greatest passions. However, my journey into running didn’t start solely out of a desire for personal challenges; it has a deeper motivation.

My adventure in marathon running was sparked by a special promise I made to my grandfather, an extraordinary man who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. The promise I made to him was to complete the Six Majors, a series of six of the world’s most prestigious marathons. These include the Berlin Marathon, the London Marathon, the New York Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and the Tokyo Marathon. I am proud to say that, to date, I have completed four out of the six.

For me, sports go far beyond mere physical competition. It is a core value that enriches every individual’s life. It has taught me that with sacrifice, determination, and dedication, one can overcome any obstacle. I hope that my story can inspire others to pursue their goals with passion and tenacity, whatever they may be.

F&U.: Congratulations on completing the Chicago Marathon! How do you feel now that you’ve crossed the finish line and achieved this significant milestone?

F.: I still can’t believe what I’ve accomplished. Achieving a personal best is always exciting, but doing it in this beautiful city and the way I did it, I think it’s indescribable. My personal best was 3:31:12, shattered with a 3:14:45.

F&U.: Speaking of your preparation, could you share some details on how you approached the weeks leading up to the marathon? What did you do to be in the best shape on race day?

F.: The week before the marathon, I tried to stay focused on what I needed to do during the race. I completed the final training sessions, and most importantly, I paid attention to my nutrition, aiming to increase my carbohydrate intake four days before the race.

F&U.: During the marathon, what emotions did you experience along the course? Were there any specific moments that motivated or challenged you?

F.: My experience in this race was truly unique. I started with the goal of completing the marathon in 3 hours and 20 minutes, following the pacer balloon. However, after a few initial kilometers, the pacer balloon drifted away, and I found myself running alone. At that moment, I had to confront myself and my determination.

I decided to maintain my pace and see how far I could go. My legs were responding well, and I began to gain confidence. The crowd along the course was incredible; their support and encouragement at every kilometer were crucial in keeping me motivated.

I particularly remember the stretch up to kilometer 35, where I felt at my best. However, at that point, my legs began to show signs of fatigue. It was in those challenging moments that I found the strength to keep going. I started reflecting on all the sacrifices and intense training I had undergone to prepare for this race.

But what pushed me even further was the memory of my grandfather, who sadly passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before his passing, I had promised him that I would complete the Six Majors, a series of six of the world’s most prestigious marathons, including Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Tokyo. This race in Chicago was a significant milestone toward my goal, and I didn’t want to break the promise I made to my grandfather.

When I crossed the finish line and saw my time of 3 hours, 14 minutes, and 45 seconds, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was an achievement I had never imagined reaching when I embarked on my marathon journey. It was a victory not only for me but also for my family, who shared my dream and supported me at every stage of this journey.

F&U.: How did you manage your nutrition and hydration during the marathon? Did you use specific products, such as those from Fast & Up, to maintain energy and hydration?

F.: During the marathon, I paid special attention to hydration. At each aid station, I chose to drink only water to avoid complications. Additionally, I had a water bottle containing Fast And Up BCAA product with me. This supplement was instrumental in my race success.

By taking Fast And Up BCAA throughout the entire marathon, I experienced a significant reduction in fatigue. This allowed me to maintain a consistent energy level and continue running with determination. Moreover, the BCAA supplementation played a significant role in keeping me adequately hydrated during the race.

The use of this product was a key element in my race plan, and I believe it made a difference in achieving my personal best. It’s an example of how choosing the right supplements can have a positive impact on athletes’ performance during a challenging marathon like this one.

F&U.: Now that you’ve completed the marathon, what is your approach to physical and mental recovery? Are there specific products or strategies you are following to recover effectively?

F.: After the marathon, it’s essential to dedicate time to both physical and mental recovery. Long-distance running like a marathon can put a strain on your body and mind. Here’s how I plan to approach my recovery period:

  • Active Rest: While I’ll be taking a few days of rest, I won’t completely stop moving. Light walks or stretching can help keep the body active without overexertion.
  • Recovery Supplements: I’m taking specific supplements for recovery. These may include essential amino acids, protein powder, or other nutrients that aid in repairing damaged muscle tissues and reducing inflammation.
  • Massages and Physical Therapy: I’ll schedule massage and physical therapy sessions with a specialist. This will help alleviate any residual muscle tension and improve blood circulation, speeding up recovery.
  • Proper Nutrition: I’ll continue to pay close attention to my nutrition. A balanced diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants is crucial for recovery. Staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water is equally important.
  • Meditation and Relaxation: Recovery isn’t just about the body but also the mind. I’ll dedicate time to meditation, relaxation, and restoring mental balance.

F&U.: You mentioned the use of Fast & Up products in your preparation. How did they contribute to supporting your performance and well-being during the marathon?

F.: These products have been a fundamental part of my athletic preparation. During the months leading up to the Chicago Marathon, I faced intense training and challenging physical tests. Keeping my body in optimal shape was an absolute priority, and these supplements played an essential role in this process.

Taking these products regularly was like building a solid foundation. Week after week, I noticed improvements in my endurance, recovery capacity, and overall energy. They made me feel ready to tackle any kind of workout, even the most demanding ones.

On the day of the race, these supplements became even more crucial. Maintaining a steady and sustainable pace was essential to achieving my personal goal. Not only did they help me sustain the right energy during the race, but they also aided in optimizing my hydration. The effectiveness of these products was demonstrated when I achieved my personal best, something I never thought possible at the beginning of my preparation.

In short, these supplements were not just a part of my daily routine; they were my constant ally in every phase of my journey to the Chicago Marathon. They significantly contributed to my success, and I am grateful to have had them by my side.

F&U.: We wanted to extend a warm thank you and hearty congratulations on your remarkable achievement at the Chicago Marathon! Running a marathon is an incredible feat, and you did it with determination, passion, and extraordinary resilience.

Your commitment and dedication to training and preparation have paid off, leading you to achieve an outstanding result. We are truly inspired by your story and your incredible ability to overcome challenges and reach ambitious goals.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey and for choosing our products to help maintain your energy and hydration during the race. We are extremely proud of you and everything you have accomplished.

Congratulations again, Federico! We look forward to seeing what incredible challenges the future holds for you, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

The Fast & Up Team 🧡