Training for any intense sporting event can be a daunting task. There is your diet, work out schedule and regiment; not to mention the never-ending bark of your trainer or partner.

Nonetheless MINI is hoping to make one of your training sessions enjoyable. The new MINI Takes the States (MTTS) campaign gives entrants the opportunity to actually have a day to train side by side with Michael Johnston, a paratriathlete and U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful, during the rally from New York to Los Angeles. Don’t worry Mini is requiring you to run like Forrest Gump across the Nation. They are offering a unique training session in each of their pre-organized event locations.

    • Tuesday, July 3rd at 4:00 PM: Bike with Johnston in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey Location: MINI Headquarters (10 mile ride)
    • Saturday, July 7th at 7:30 AM: Bike with Johnston in Nashville, Tennessee Location: LP Field (10 mile ride)
    • Wednesday, July 10th at 4:00 PM: Bike with Johnston in Lincoln, Nebraska Location: Antelope Park (10 mile ride)
    • Sunday, July 15th at 7:30 AM: Run with Johnston in Los Angeles, California Location: Gladstone’s in Malibu (5K run)

Training spaces are limited, and interested participants should visit www.minitakesthestates.com for full details and to register (click on “Sign Up Now For The Michael Johnston Challenge” at the bottom of the homepage).

A portion of every MTTS general registration fee ($30) will be donated to the U.S. Paralympic team to support the Paralympic athletes who will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, as well as Paralympic hopefuls as they train. In addition, the money raised by the Michael Johnston Challenges during MTTS will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF), a non-profit organization that supports athletes with physical challenges in their athletic endeavors.

To add a cherry on top of entering to attend a training session MINI is giving entrants the opportunity to win a trip for two to the 2012 London Olympic Games for a three night trip accompanied by two Olympic Games Passes for three events of your choosing (also includes airfare, hotel and meals). Full sweepstakes details and alternative method of entry can be found at www.minitakesthestates.com.

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