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The Atlanta Hawks will be one team member short during their practice session in Boston on Monday. Zac Walsh has other engagements. Walsh, the Hawks’ dedicated equipment manager, will join the 30,000 runners at the Boston Marathon.
For Walsh, an accomplished marathon runner, participating in the Boston Marathon marks the realization of a three-year dream. In 2020, he had registered to run but the race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, Walsh completed two 13-mile loops in Brookhaven, Georgia, with the support of players, coaches, and staff members cheering him on. Former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce even greeted him at the finish line.
For those looking to train for a marathon like Walsh, consider investing in the following essential products:
- A high-quality pair of running shoes, such as the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 or Brooks Ghost 14.
- A reliable fitness tracker, like the Garmin Forerunner 245 or the Apple Watch Series 8, to monitor your progress.
- Moisture-wicking and breathable running apparel, like those offered by Nike or Under Armour.
- A hydration pack or handheld water bottle, such as the CamelBak Ultra Pro Vest or the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask, to stay hydrated during long runs.
- A foam roller or massage gun, like the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller or Theragun PRO, for effective recovery and muscle relief.
Training for a marathon requires discipline, dedication, and a well-structured plan. Some essential tips to prepare for a marathon include building a strong aerobic base, incorporating speed and hill workouts, focusing on proper nutrition and hydration, and allowing for adequate recovery time.
Walsh always hoped for another opportunity to run in Boston. With family ties to the area, the chance to participate held special meaning for him. However, as an NBA staff member, the mid-April race date coincided with the beginning of the NBA playoffs, making it challenging to commit to the event.
When the Hawks secured a spot in the playoffs for the last two seasons, Walsh had no intentions to run in Boston this year. But fate stepped in when the Hawks defeated Miami in the play-in opener, leading Atlanta to Boston during Marathon weekend. With the assistance of the Celtics Shamrock Foundation and the Boston Athletic Association, Walsh secured a spot in the race.
The 127th Boston Marathon will host runners from over 100 countries.
To participate, Walsh required a day off. Hawks GM Landry Fields granted his approval, and Head coach Quin Snyder even offered to treat Walsh to dinner the night before the race. When the players found out, several inquired about adjusting Monday’s practice time so they could greet Walsh at the finish line.
Although not in his best marathon shape due to a foot injury last November, Walsh remains enthusiastic about joining the world’s oldest annual marathon.
Despite the challenges, Walsh eagerly anticipates running in the prestigious event.