When General Manager Moneer Nyazi and Eide Marketing Director Justin Harmon attended an automotive conference together in early 2019, they came home with more than new knowledge for the dealerships — they also came home with a goal to run a marathon.
While Justin is no stranger to endurance races (he just did an Ironman Triathlon in 2018), Moneer’s marathon goal was one he hadn’t set his sights on before.
“Why did I do this? Good question…” Moneer says. “I wanted to get into running more, and Justin provided me with a structured training schedule, inspiration, and support.”
Justin says that it was during their morning runs in Kansas City earlier this year that he noticed Moneer’s natural running talent.
“Then, one of us mentioned running a marathon together and that started this adventure,” Justin says. “Before summer hit, he found a race he wanted to do, so I researched some plans and found one that was good for his schedule, and he put in all the training.”
While Justin’s coaching and support helped Moneer throughout the training, the book Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins was Moneer’s source for combating the mental games that can accompany marathon training.
“[The author] used to do ultra-races. He talks about how when he was challenging his body in this way, he found ways to overcome his insecurities,” Moneer says. “This is part of the reason I wanted to run a marathon.”
The training schedule began in May 2019, and Moneer says he enjoyed the process.
“Of course, there were days when the 18-20 mile runs weren’t appealing, but once I was out there I forgot about that feeling. It was temporary.”
Moneer adds that the toughest part of training for a marathon was something many people might not expect — eating while running.
“I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s so important. During the training and the race, I had two bottles of water and Clif bars with me,” Moneer says. “You have to get used to eating, drinking, and running at once.”
The big day came on October 4, 2019 when Moneer, Justin, Justin’s wife Kilee, and more than 6,500 other runners laced up their shoes to run the Twin Cities Marathon.
The guys started off strong — likely 30-50 seconds faster than the pace they were aiming for.
“Around mile 20, Justin started feeling rough and told me to go on,” Moneer says. “Then I hit a brick wall at mile 22. My thighs cramped and I couldn’t even stand. I didn’t even know I could push past that point… but I did it. I finished the race in the time I had as a goal for myself — 3 hours and 47 minutes.”
Justin adds that he’s quite impressed with Moneer’s performance for his first endurance race.
“He had a very good time for his very first race,” Justin says.
“I think I’ll keep at it,” Moneer says. “I’m eyeballing the half IronMan in July here in Chisago Lakes. I’d have to start training soon.”
If Moneer does decide to do the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13-mile run, endurance race, he’ll need to try something new — competitive road biking.
As for Justin, he’s got his mind set on another IronMan in 2020, but hopes to get even more Eide team members on board with endurance racing.
“When it comes to doing these types of activities within Eide, it brings us closer together as co-workers and as friends,” Justin says. “It also challenges us to do things outside of our comfort zones, which in turn, makes us better people not only in our personal life, but also in our professional life.”
“There are a few people who would do really well, but their heart has to be in it. If it’s not, that’s okay!” Justin says. “I’d love to get others from Eide to join me on more local marathons.”
Nice work, Moneer and Justin! We’re proud to have you on the Eide team.