Grayson Highlands Trail 1/2 Marathon – Take your training outside the gym!

Cliffs Notes

What: 12-week training program for the Grayson Highlands 1/2 Marathon in Mouth of Wilson, Va.


Training Start Date: Thursday, February 15

Race Date: Sunday, May 6

Where: Thursday group training will take place weekly at CFK West, 5:30 p.m.

What else: Individualized weekly programming and custom scaling for CFK WODs, race day coaching and support

Cost: $175

Grayson Highlands Trail Race Training Program


We’re heading off road for our next endurance race training, and if you love hiking and running on trails, this program may be perfect for you. The 12-week training program is designed around the Grayson Highlands 1/2 marathon and 50k in gorgeous southwest Virginia on May 5th and 6th.  But if racing is not your thing, you can always train with a group, build your endurance and get out on some of the gorgeous trails around East Tennessee!


“Regularly learn and play new sports”

– Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder


Consistent training in the gym is essential for long-term health and wellness, but to be a well-rounded athlete and human we must regularly venture outside the gym and into the world with our fitness, learning new skills and playing new sports.


This training program is a perfect opportunity to get into nature and train under one of the top ultra-runners in the southeast, our very own coach Mary Cates!


Check out the training outline and coach bio below, and email coach Mary with any questions or to sign-up!

Training Program Outline

Cost: $175

Start Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Duration: 12 weeks


Weekly Training Schedule: 5 days of weekly training include 3 CFK WODs & 3 running sessions (athletes will perform one “2-a-day” training day in order to maintain the necessary 2 days of rest each week


Group Sessions: Weekly group training will be on Thursdays at CFK West, 5:30 p.m. with coach Mary for a combination of running and strength work, designed to help prepare and train specifically for trails.


Weekly Programming: In addition to group training, coach Mary will send weekly custom programming including running workouts, programmed to compliment CFK WODs, along with customized scaling for each CFK WOD in order to stay safe and healthy and balanced throughout the training.


Race Day coaching: Athletes will also receive a race day plan and coach Mary will be in Virginia on race day to help runners feel confident, comfortable and to finish strong.

About Coach Mary

“Set a goal and if it’s easy to achieve, then we’ll set a bigger one,” words endurance coach, Mary Cates says often. Her goal is to build faster, stronger and healthier athletes and help them on the road to success.


Mary started running track in middle school and ran competitively through high school and college, but it wasn’t until she graduated that she understood the need for balance as an athlete. “I’d only focused on running. Putting up as many miles as I could, and over time, my body was starting to rebel against me a little.”


A few years later, Mary faced a different challenge, battling cancer and again, trying to find that balance of staying active while keeping her body as healthy as possible in order to fight her disease. It was during that time that Mary tried her very first Crossfit class. “It was so intimidating but there were so many things I struggled with, that I knew I really needed to stick with it.” And she did. She ran her first ultramarathon a few months after starting at CFK and fell in love with making the two sports work together.


Now Mary’s goal is to help other people run efficiently, build endurance and gain strength, but one of the things she’s most proud of is the CFK Endurance community. “We’ve become like a little family within an already amazing family. We go to each other’s races, no matter how far away, and we’re out there giving support and pacing to help people get to the finish. Our motto is that no one runs alone.”


When Mary’s not coaching athletes, you can find her spending time in the mountains or racing anything from the 5k to 100milers. Recently, Mary was nominated for the East Coast Trail & Ultra Podcast East Coast Ultra Runner of the Year award!