JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Runners are making their final preparations for the 26.2 with Donna including twin sisters who will take-on the ultramarathon starting Saturday.

“Well running a marathon can be intimidating, but running over four marathons consecutively is very daunting to say the very least,” Smirnoff said.

Smirnoff will tackle 110 miles with her twin sister, fighting-off injury, which something she’s faced before. Now she’s gearing up for Saturday’s ultramarathon race, but she says there is an angel on her shoulder: her grandmother who passed 26 years ago from breast cancer.

“When we hit our really difficult times during this run, that’s when she’s with us the most,” Smirnoff said.

Even during training, Smirnoff usually builds up to 70 miles in the week before an ultra marathon. She explains what her body and mind are going through.

“The impact mentally and emotionally on you, your body gets tired, for that longer distance physically you get so exhausted,” Smirnoff said.

Nutritionist Erica Goldstein with Mayo Clinic has worked with dozens of ultra marathon runners just like Smirnoff. Getting them prepared takes a lot of work and a lot of fluids.

“Hydration is really important because it helps reduce the stress on your heart and also helps cool your body during exercise,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein said runners should also weigh themselves right before and after a race – measuring how much fluid they lost and what they need to replenish. She added always sip – never binge on water or sports drinks. What about that post-race meal?

“Things that are going to be on your plate: chicken, fish, eggs, as well as a simple starch like pasta or potatoes and continue to have some salty snacks,” Goldstein said. said.

As for Smirnoff and her twin sister, they’ll be running with thousands of others but with only one on their minds.

“Those memories never go away but this gives us 24 or 25 hours to just remember her,” Smirnoff said.

Pushing them through. One mile at a time.