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Thomas Trains a Giant for a Run

What do Easton's Chris Thomas and Tom Coughlin have in common? They both coached Amani Toomer, the former New York Giants receiver who will run the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7. Thomas, 38, owns Personal Training Professionals in Southport and is one of the nation's top triathletes. For the past six months, Thomas has coached Toomer as he prepares to run his first marathon.

"It's been a pleasure,'' says Chris, who will run with Toomer. "He's a humble person who doesn't take himself too seriously. It has been a nice experience."

Toomer visits Thomas' Southport facility twice a month. Thomas monitors his daily workouts through Timex Global Trainer , a high-performance watch that measures pace, heart rate and distance. When Toomer finishes, he plugs the information from the watch into a computer for Thomas to access it. Thomas believes Toomer, who played for the Giants from 1996 to 2008, can run the race in 3:45 to 4:00. "He really starts to resemble a runner now,'' says Thomas, who reported Toomer dropped 40 pounds since beginning training in May.

Thomas hooked up with Thomas through Timex. Thomas has been a member of the Timex Multi Sport team for eight years. Timex asked Thomas, a Massachusetts native and a Patriots fan, to coach Toomer. The former Giant is running for the New York Road Runners children's charity, and the charity will earn $1 for every runner Toomer beats.

Thomas usually does a marathon as the last leg of a triathlon. He finished the Ironman World Championship earlier this month, taking 19th in his age group and 120th overall. He finished in 9:23:30, including a 3:12 marathon. If Chris wasn't assisting Toomer, he believes he could run the NYC Marathon in about 2:30. Thomas was the 2009 USA Triathlon Amateur Athlete of the Year.

A former Wall Street executive, Thomas coached and trained part time and on weekends before quitting his business career. He opened PTP last year and helps people of all ages achieve their fitness goals.

"Amani's a good student,'' Chris says. "He wants to train and get better. He's a student of it, and he loves to learn."

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