Our apples hit the road last week. Galas, Lady Alice® and Honeycrisp have been carefully packed and labeled for important destinations. They are ready for their days ahead with one job: to fuel the athletes and volunteers that line up for the Boston Marathon.

Speaking of lining up for the Boston Marathon – our Team Rainier Runners have also been logging miles for months. They’ve fought off winter ice, treadmill boredom, self-doubt, injury and illness. They each have probably logged 600-1000 miles in preparation for this one 26.2 mile run through the storied streets of Boston. Each has a different story, each has a different goal, but all share the singular passion to finish this storied race.

Ryan: This local native knows firsthand the powerful pull of the Boston Marathon. He has spent the last 20 years chasing this unicorn and taking on one pressing challenge after another and pushing his body to perform. What he learned 20 years ago was that Boston was no easy feat and he needed to prepare, and prepare he’s done. From cyclocross to ultra marathons Ryan is ready to live his dream on his hometown streets. Read more about Ryan here.

Crystal: This California girl has marathon on her mind, but she’s ready to take in the whole Boston experience. With a successful training program Crystal has prepared not only for Boston, but tied it to training for her first Ironman triathlon as well. This mom knows that the journey is just as important as the finish and she’s ready to live the whole Boston experience, from visiting Boston and the east coast for the first time to taking in all that Boston offers on Marathon weekend. Hear from her in her own words.

Joe: Being a fairly new runner isn’t holding Joe back from running his first Boston marathon. Just one year ago Joe spent the Boston Marathon weekend taking in the sights and sounds of Boston and cheering on a co-worker. He knew then and there if the opportunity ever presented itself to run Boston he would be ready to meet the challenge. He told us, “I’ve never had a more moving and motivational experience as I watched every athlete compete on this stage – the elites, the wheelchair athletes, the sight-impaired, the cancer survivors; I wanted to be part of that.” One year later Joe is ready to line up in Hopkinton with 30,000 other runners and soak up the energy that has become proudly known as Boston Strong. Read more about Joe here.

Mike: It’s been a little bit of an uphill battle for Mike as he prepared for Boston. A busy work schedule, injury and illness have creeped into training time but Mike isn’t letting that hold him back as he prepped for final training runs and hill climbing in preparation for Heartbreak Hill. We love Mike’s can do attitude and his devotion to his wife Crystal as he noted being most excited about sharing the experience with her. Take a listen and hear about Mike’s final Boston prep.

Nick: Nick isn’t just a marathoner – he’s an ironman. Yep, he doesn’t usually run his marathons until he’s done swimming and running which is going to make Boston seem like a breeze. Despite an injury that had him sidelined from running, Nick took full advantage of his triathlon disciplines and spent his recovery cross training on the bike and in the pool to guarantee he’s ready for Boston. Check it out.

Scott: This Rainier Fruit employee and marathon veteran isn’t nervous for Boston. Despite a late start to training and the cold northwest winters that kept him inside and off the icy trails Scott tells us he’s ready! The pre-race jitters have long been resolved dozens of races ago. At 57 Scott has gotten to participate in some pretty big races like Big Sur and the Hood to Coast relay and now he’s just looking to Boston as one of those bucket list runs that he hopes will be the pinnacle of his running career. Read more about his journey here or listen to him tell us about his final training prep.

Here’s to all the Boston runners, but also to runners everywhere – to athletes of every discipline and skill. We cheer for you, we celebrate you. We don’t care about your time; we don’t care about your distance. We care that you have a goal to challenge yourself, to live fully, to be healthy, and to be your best you. That is how we celebrate Wholesome to the Core.