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It’s fall marathon season, and if you’re looking for motivation to run a smart race this year, Strava and New Balance will make it worth your while: Run the second half of your next marathon faster than the first half, and our partners at New Balance will send you a free pair of shoes (while supplies last).* All you have to do is keep enough gas in the tank for a negative split, finish strong and you get the NB running shoes of your choice.

It’s so easy and so damn hard.

But if you look at the stats, most marathon wins and course records are run that way. Year after year, a negative split is the best strategy for a successful race. And that’s what we want for you – a fun, fast day and hopefully a new PR.


Want to own the back half of your fall marathon?

Negative splitting isn’t something you can just hope to do on race day. Elite athletes have been trying for years, with differing amounts of success. To help you defy the odds, we’ve called in Coach Mario Fraioli to help you hone your ability to finish stronger than you started. He’s also provided a few workouts to help you build up to your marathon and negative split like a pro.

Earn your free pair of New Balance running shoes.

So follow the rules*, run a blistering #StravaBackHalf, and enjoy those fresh New Balances.

*Rules in plain English (or read the official terms and conditions):

You have to run a USATF-certified marathon between October 9 — December 4, 2016. We love our runners outside of the US, and we love unofficial marathons too, but this challenge is just for sanctioned races on our home turf.

The race has to be uploaded to Strava (duh!) using GPS, and your Strava account must have been created before your race. You must submit a link to that negative split Strava activity by December 12, 2016, along with this form.

Upon review of all submissions, someone from Strava will be in touch by December 15, 2016 with a code for a pair of running shoes from newbalance.com.

Congratulations on your marathon! The deadline to submit entries for the Strava Back Half Challenge has passed. If you’ve already submitted your results, stay tuned for an email with the status of your submission.