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Winter 2013, Vol. 8 No. 7

IAAF

Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick 8 Dr. Norbert Sander 12

Ray Treacy with the members of the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships winning team, November 23, 2013

Tim O'Dowd

Featuring


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By Roy Stevenson

Sponsored by Skechers Performance Division skechersperformance.com • Facebook: @SkechersPerformance • Twitter: @skechersGO Instagram: @SkechersPerformance

Whenever the world’s elite marathoners toe the start line alongside popular U.S. runner Meb Keflezighi, they know they’re in for an honest race. In fact, the Skechers Performance sponsored Keflizighi brings new meaning to the word ‘consistent’, with a remarkably homogenous series of marathon times. Consider Meb’s seasons best times since he took up the 26-miler in 2002: 2:12:35 (2002); 2:10:03 (2003); 2:09:53 (2004); 2:09:56 (2005); 2:09:56 (2006); 2:15:09 (2007); 2:09:29 (2009); 2:09:15 (2010); 2:09:13 (2011); 2:09:08 (2012). There are Kenyans who’d give up their racing flats for this staggering string of times! Some distance runners are known for their fast times and their inability to win or place in the “big show”, but Meb proves you can do both and do them well. His performances—starting with Athens Olympic Silver and NYC runner-up in 2004—and followed by none-too-shabby 3rd (NYC, 2005); 3rd (Boston, 2006); 1st (NYC & US Champs, 2009); 5th (Boston, 2010) and 6th (NYC, 2010); 6th (NYC, (2011); 1st (Olympic Trials, 2012) and 4th (London Olympic Games, 2012) indicate that Meb is always a force to be reckoned with. Not bad performances for one of a family of eleven children, who emigrated to the USA from Eritrea to escape war and pursue an education. Now living in San Diego, California, Meb has returned to his hometown but still plans on going back to Mammoth, California for altitude training. Meb continues to cruise through workouts that would cripple most young runners and looks to continue to "Run To Win" to his last race....whenever that may be. Skechers Performance Division signed another endorsement contract in 2012 with Meb. Relatively new to the running shoe mar-

ket, Skechers Performance is primarily known for their innovative and unusual curved sole that encourages mid-foot strike, versus the standard heel strike. Meb’s NYC victory in 2009 made him the first American to win in 27 years (he was sworn in as a US Citizen in 1998) and now that he has a taste for winning the NYC marathon, he’s eager to repeat his victory. With 2012 Olympic Champion and 2013 World Champion, Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich, committed to running this year’s NYC Marathon, plus super-stars like Boston and NYC record holder Geoffrey Mutai, Chicago runner-up Wesley Korir, and American Ryan Hall, Meb’s going to have to work hard to outpace these guys. One consistent rule about marathons is that anything can go wrong at any time, even to the favorites. This year, Meb, who had fallen very hard in early August training run, and missed five weeks of training, had a tough race. “This year, the race was not about me, it was about the sport,” noted a tearful Meb Keflezighi just after his race on November 3, 2013. Meb has fallen very hard in early August, missing five weeks of training. Meb showed what he was made of this year, staying with the leaders through the halfway. “When they took off, I just could not keep up the pace, but I was not going to quit. I had to finish this year.” And finish he did, in twenty-third position, after experiencing some of what most marathoners feel in marathons, both good and bad. “I know that there is another personal best in my legs," Meb noted right after the race. Anyone who watches Meb, knows that he will line up once again, and run his best, in his SKECHERS GoRun 2s.

et run.n Photo


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quarterly

COACHING AT H L E T I C S Ray Treacy won his second NCAA cross country title as the head coach at Providence (RI) College this past November. Treacy is a bastion of knowledge on running and he’s a oun of solace and confidence to his athletes. He has coached some of the best runners in the world. At this time, besides his Providence team, Treacy coaches Kim Smith and Molly Huddle. Huddle is the 5000 meter AR and, when we sent her an email recently asking for her thoughts on how he has influenced her running, she had this to say: “I feel lucky to have been guided to Ray as a post collegiate coach. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge in athletics so we call him ‘the guru.’ I can’t tell you how many times I have wondered what he was talking about regarding an explanation or prediction for a workout or performance only to find out a few days later that he was right on. You can tell he coaches for the enjoyment of seeing the athletes run well and not for acclaim or awards and that has motivated him to years of success.” Ray Treacy is a shining example of what coaches do: ey encourage, cajole, listen, educate. Does he provide magic? No. Treacy would tell you that he’s pretty old style, and that’s how his athletes describe him: chatting about runs and workouts and enjoying his athletes’ successes. We are honored to have Ray Treacy and his Providence team on our Coaching Athletics cover this month.

Larry Eder

Vol. 8 No. 7 Alex Larsen

Publisher’s Note

Group Publisher Larry Eder larry@runningnetwork.com 920.563.5551, ext. 112 Group Editor Christine Johnson christinej.ssm@gmail.com 608.239.3787 Advertising Larry Eder larry@runningnetwork.com 608.239.3785 Writers/Contributors Mark Winitz Dave Hunter Photographers IAAF Photorun.NET Alex Larsen Layout/Design, Art Production Alex Larsen

Coaching Athletics Quarterly is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 801, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0801. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher.

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Copyright ©2013 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. Coaching Athletics Quarterly is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc.

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Phone 608.239.3785 Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.

Fax 920.563.7298

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U S A T F Prepares for New Heigh  s

t

By Mark Winitz

DYNAMIC OLYMPIAD

Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick, USATF Women’s Long Distance Running

Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick was elected to a four-year term as chair of USA Track & Field’s Women’s Long Distance Running Committee in 2012, succeeding Virginia Brophy Achman. Keenan-Kirkpatrick started working with the WLDR committee in 1996 as a volunteer for USATF’s New Jersey association. After working on the committee for several years she was selected to serve on the WLDR Executive Committee and became the women’s LDR vice chair in 2004. Keenan-Kirkpatrick has worked for USATF at major international competitions. She was an assistant [endurance] coach at the 2008 Olympics and the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, women’s head manager for Team USA at the 2006 NACAC Under-23 Championships and the 2011 Pan American Games, and head coach at the 1999 Yokohama women’s ekiden. She has volunteered on USATF’s Law & Legislation and Women’s Track & Field committees and was named Women’s LDR Contributor of the Year in 2004. Keenan-Kirkpatrick has an extensive background in collegiate sports, including positions in the athletics departments of Lafayette College, Kutztown University and Drew University. She is currently associate athletic director for compliance at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She was the Mid-American Conference ScholarAthlete of the Year in 1988–89 for Kent State, where she was a standout track and field and cross country athlete. She received a law degree from Seton Hall in 1993. 8CA

Mark Winitz: Kim, what are your thoughts about your new position as women’s LDR chair? Keenan-Kirkpatrick: I want to make sure that all constituencies who can give advice, direction and support to long distance running—both women and men—are tapped. Ten or 15 years ago a bunch of us asked ourselves, “How do we make American distance runners better?” We came out of the room with [an emphasis on] training camps, just like the Kenyans do, which is one of the big reasons they’ve reigned supreme for so many years. We started to study and learn from them. Then distance training centers starting popping up in the U.S. Now my task and vision for the next four years are: How do we continue and enhance our support for distance runners—to maintain the medals we’ve been winning and win more? I want to make sure that our [elite and emerging elite] long distance runners are taken care of over a wide expanse of events. We have 5000 and 10,000m runners who are going to become our marathoners down the road. We need to make sure these runners are looked after through USATF Foundation grant support, training camps and our championship road circuit. I also want to make sure our middle distance runners—the 1500 runners and steeplechasers—aren’t forgotten on the LDR side just because they’re track athletes. For example, Leo Manzano wins a silver medal [in the 1500m] at the London Olympic Games, and it helps us across the

board with the U.S. Olympic Committee. [Ed: See Part 1 of this series in which USATF High Performance Division chair Sue Humphrey talks about the USOC’s standards for high performance/developmental funding.] MW: These are ambitious undertakings. Tell me about your additional priorities as women’s LDR chair. KK: I’m big on communications and involving all our constituencies. I’m reaching out to the head coaches and advisors at each U.S. distance running training center and getting input about their needs. The USATF Foundation is committed to supporting these centers, and a few big race organizations support them through the foundation. I’ve talked to a few USATF national road championships, and some that are hoping to bid, and asked them to look at what they can do for their local training groups and clubs. I want to form an LDR advisory committee that can speak for each constituency—one from our training centers and one from medical services—to make sure we’re offering the best medical support and sports science programs for our LDR athletes. I’d like a prominent road racer on this committee who can approach races and ask them to support our athletes and help us boost USATF membership. MW: Regarding boosting USATF membership, I interviewed Bill Roe recently, and he feels the USATF Board of Directors will welcome LDR’s help. KK: Yes, it’s really a marketing job and


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educating the public about membership benefits. This might be down the road a bit. Some people may say that we’ve tried [boosting membership through road race partners] before and it didn’t work. But it might be worth another look. MW: How about our U.S. LDR national championships? Any priorities or goals regarding them? KK: Not yet. First I want to touch base with the authorities in that area. I’m not involved in [organizing road races] for a living. But these [organizers] are the people I want to get back into the fold regarding our athlete development efforts. Some of them are already involved. For example, Brant Koch [Chevron Houston Marathon race director] supports our athletes through USATF Foundation grants. The Twin Cities Marathon and New York Road Runners are also committed. MW: I’m not sure if anyone has gone to our athletes and asked if our LDR championships are serving them sufficiently. KK: Yes, one of my strengths is that I’ve known many of our athletes since the early ’90s. I can call these athletes and get their opinion, and I do. Fortunately, I’ve worked with many athletes as a coach and manager for our U.S. international teams, so they have a trust level with me. They feel they can call me at any time. I’m going to make sure their needs are met. Regarding our LDR championships, we need to approach [more race directors] regarding the possibility and benefits of championship. We have some newcomers on the USA [championship] running circuit and we’ll have to see how they work out. You don’t want to lose that interest [in hosting championships]. It’s also important to promote our championships to the athletes and make sure there’s enough [prize] money so it’s worth it for them. MW: Let’s talk about coaches and their level of involvement in USATF. KK: I sometimes see a huge disconnect between USATF and the college coaching world. I’ve always said that even the NCAA needed to be better on top of things with USATF. There’s this great avenue for educating athletes and coaches about the resources available after college. I’ve worked with USATF and the NCAA on agent information to athletes so they’re aware about what’s available. I’ve dealt with this issue recently for some midlevel U.S. distance runners who don’t have a shoe company contract, but are on the cusp. How do I help them find the right agent? I struggle with some agents who say,

“I only go for the big dogs.” We need to find people who are willing to help our medium dogs to make them big dogs. It’s something I want to work on with USATF because they have an agents’ pool. I want an agent on the LDR Advisory Committee who can tell me the pulses of the agents so I can get this information to the athletes. Regarding coaches, in my job [as associate athletic director at Seton Hall], where I also serve as our conference liaison, I get to know some of our future Olympians and their college coaches. There needs to be a connect between these folks and USATF because often these athletes are planning where they’re headed after college while they’re still in college. MW: One of the USATF Foundation’s missions is to assist Olympic hopefuls realize their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games by offering developmental grants. Any thoughts here in respect to distance runners? KK: Yes, we need to make sure we’re identifying and supporting [future] Olympians. So many times in the Olympic Trials the athletes who finish fourth through eighth come back four years later and make the team. It’s crucial to support these athletes, to take them to the next level as they mature. The foundation is a great avenue for doing this. It’s difficult, however, to raise financial support. We need more people pounding the pavement and saying, “Give back to the sport.” Last year, I went to my running club. None of us are going to make an Olympic team. We’re old and slow. But the New York Athletic Club trains in our backyard. I convinced my club to donate our surplus—a couple thousand dollars—to the NYAC to help Julie Culley go to last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials. Plus, individuals in our club donated. Julie won the 5000m at the Trials and made the team. This is a great example of the support we can generate in this country. MW: Funding for our emerging elites is particularly important. Sue Humphrey [USATF High Performance Division chair] described how the USOC allocates funds to sports federations like USATF only for the development of athletes who already have a good chance at an Olympic medal. KK: But take a look at Leo Manzano. In 2006 he just graduated from college, and I was the head team manager for the NACAC Under-23 Championships in the Dominican Republic. Putting together that team, we went down the collegiate list of

performances. No. 1 would say no, No. 2 would say no, etc. We ended up with a lot of fourth through sixth performers who actually wanted to go. Leo was one of them. He got the silver medal in the 1500m down there. The following year he placed at the USA Track & Field outdoor champs. Then in 2008 he made the U.S. Olympic Team and won silver in Beijing. He stayed in the sport, got the right coach, got a new shoe contract—not a killer contract; he’s not making millions—and progressed. Four years later he’s a medalist in the Olympics. We need to make sure we identify athletes like Leo and give them as much support as possible so they can pursue their dreams. MW: Let’s talk more about our U.S. distance teams in international competition other than the Olympic Games. Do you have any priorities here? KK: Bill Roe and I have talked about it. We send our team over for the World Half Marathon Championship two days before the event, and they’re so jet-lagged they can barely get up on race day and jog. This puts our team at a disadvantage. We need to interest our better athletes in running these events, even if it means putting up some money to attract them. If we want to field our best teams, maybe this is something USATF needs to look at. There is a developmental component in these teams, and I don’t want to lose that. But we want to be able to compete and we want to win. What does it take to motivate our elite athletes for these teams? More money? Getting to their agents? We have to look at the best place to put our money to help our athletes. MW: Anything else regarding your top priorities for USATF women’s LDR as we head into an exciting four-year Olympiad? KK: Ed Torres [USATF men’s LDR chair] and I are looking forward to working together and making sure we have a unified vision. A team effort is crucial. I also want to involve the USATF Cross Country and Mountain/Ultra/Trail councils in women’s LDR affairs. I want to let them know they aren’t going to be left behind. t MARK WINITZ is a longtime writer for American Track & Field. He sits on USATF’s national Men’s Long Distance Running Executive Committee and Law & Legislation Committee. He also sits on Pacific Association/USATF’s Board of Athletics and is a certified USATF masterlevel official/referee.

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Track & Field’s V IS IO N A R Y By Dave Hunter

Dr. Norbert Sander

Dr. Norbert Sander: Armory Savior

12CA

Dr. Norbert Sander typifies the gracefully aging athlete that every older runner wants to be: bursting with energy, fully animated, articulate and armed with an engaging personality. But there is more to Dr. Sander than just a great first impression – much more. Sander – an accomplished physician–has blossomed in the later stages of his professional life as a primary architect of the rebirth of track & field – particularly the indoor variety – in the greater New York area. Sander, who grew up in Yonkers, has lived his entire life in the NYC metropolitan area. When at Fordham Prep and Fordham University, Sander fell in love with running while competing in track & field. After medical school, he entered private practice as a pediatric physician, eventually running two successful New York medical offices. But Sander still made time for his running – even winning the 1974 New York City Marathon in 2:26:30 – an impressive time over the hilly multi-lap track in Central Park. But the late 1980s brought an experience that would forever change the direction of Sander’s life – and would ultimately help a New York neighborhood avert what appeared to be inexorable decay. “Twenty years ago, I was in my office and a patient came in and asked, ‘Do you know anybody who could help us get back into the Armory?’” the doctor reflects. Sander knew the fabled Armory well. Built in 1909, it had been the site of performances by virtually all the great track & field performers, from Paavo Nurmi forward. The Armory’s record-conducive facility also had produced an abundance of pinnacle performances, ranging from high school bests to world records. But Sander also knew that the grand facility had succumbed to an absence of focused leadership, a lack of funds and flat-out neglect. “At the time, the Armory served as a shelter for 2,000 homeless people. It got so chaotic and out of control [that] track & field had to leave. We had no track. And the sport was completely in decline because of this.” Sander – never one to back away from a challenge – started to think about his patient’s inquiry. Sander wrote letters and met with city leaders. “You couldn’t get into the Armory – even just to look at it. It was dangerous,” notes Sander, alluding to the then-present drug trafficking and related crimes that were rampant in Washington Heights, the Armory's neighborhood. “Those affiliated with the Armory were afraid that someone in the press would write an exposé about the place. When we finally got into the Armory, every window was broken, the ceiling was black, and

there were no lights. Most of the seats were missing,” explains Sander. “The state once owned the Armory. But it was in such bad shape that the state handed it to the City for a dollar. Really, the building was a wreck.” Sander immediately saw the need and knew what had to be done. But could he realistically lead the massive rehabilitative effort that would be necessary to rejuvenate the dilapidated facility at Broadway and West 168th Street? “At the time I was maintaining two pediatric offices. I was under a tremendous amount of stress. I ended up running the newly created Armory Foundation out of my office,” explains Sander of the early days of the emerging community effort to save the tarnished jewel of Washington Heights. “Ultimately, we needed an executive director and CEO. And I thought, ‘Geez, I got this far – 10 years into this thing. I kinda know it better than anybody.’ Plus, we weren’t there yet. We had a lot to do. So I put my name forward and I became the CEO.” Just like that, Norbert Sander was all in: He was heading up a growing neighborhood effort calculated to rescue the Armory – and the community of Washington Heights as well. “I closed my Manhattan office,” says Sander on the career changes his new responsibilities required. “But I kept my office on City Island. Now I go there twice a week. But I also have a younger guy who is running the office.” And with a smile, he adds, “No worries. “When I first came here in 1990, this neighborhood was a very dangerous place. We had a lot of crime up here,” Sander reveals, in explaining magnitude of the challenge he then faced. “It took three years of lobbying. But we dedicated the new track in October of 1993. The City handed me the key and said, ‘Go to it.’” And with zest, Sander adds, “This is our 20th season.” To view the gleaming facility that is the Armory today, it’s hard to believe that 30 years ago the oversized building was a decaying eyesore that served as a homeless shelter – a place where ragtag track meets were held in a neglected and ravaged structure and where impoverished individuals sought refuge from the mean streets of Washington Heights. Today the track facility is stunning, featuring a brand new 200-meter banked Mondo track surrounded by intimate, elevated seating for 3,500. “We seat 5,000 for the Millrose Games because we bring in temporary seating on the turns,” notes the executive director. “For the New Balance Games for high school, we get 5,000 kids participating in the event. Sometimes there is no room for the par-


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ents.” Sander takes obvious pride in pointing out a sparkling new trackside café, an adjacent glass-enclosed media communication center, even a retail store selling Armory-labeled track & field merchandise. “It’s a nifty place,” he adds with a smile. Every detail counts for Sander – even the four-story stairwell, replete with plaques displaying the names, dates, events, times, heights and distances of every record-setting Armory performance. “These are all records – every one of these is a record that was set in this building – high school, American and world records,” he notes, gesturing toward these visual kernels of track & field lore and inspiration for those who come here to compete and to spectate. Twenty years after its rebirth, the Armory is still evolving, as ongoing renovation is transforming the massive old military facility. “We’ve got a ways to go here, but we’re getting there,” says Sander as he enters a museum-like display room. “These are going to be display cases, each with a different theme. One will be dedicated to the Penn Relays, another will be for the Pioneer Club, New York Road Runners, etc.,” he explains. “We have all kinds of memorabilia, videos and other items we have collected. So this will be an archive for this museum.” Even beyond its function as a premiere track & field facility, the Armory also is the home of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. The names of all the inductees are prominently displayed and categorized by event. The Armory also serves as an archive of track & field memorabilia: Steve Prefontaine’s track shoes and Oregon singlet, a Tigerbelle’s warm-up top, video clips of Dave Wottle’s stirring stretch drive for the 1972 Olympic gold in the 800 final, black and white photos of a youthful Wilma Rudolph at the Millrose Games – it’s all there. Hockey great Mark Messier, intent on transforming the Bronx’s Kingbridge Armory into a national ice center, recently visited the rejuvenated Armory seeking ideas and inspiration. “You know what is great about this?” Messier marveled. “Every time you turn around, you see a little piece of history. We’ve got to do this for hockey.” The type of breathtaking transformation that has occurred at the Armory requires capital – and plenty of it. Over the years, Sander has had success in marshaling the economic support to fuel the ongoing renovation of the Armory, raising more than $25 million from public and private sources since 1993. “We get money from wherever we can find it. I get it from the City. New Balance helps us a lot. The New York Road Runners provides assistance. We also have a good financial planner,” notes Sander. The primary focus of the Armory’s renais-

sance is track & field. But Sander – a realist – knows that a successful, fiscally sound Armory requires a multi-use vision. “In order to support track, I have to do other things. I don’t want to leave a void here. I want to have something going on all the time here,” explains Sander in outlining how the facility is also used for other events such as Columbia University commencement exercises, trade expos, corporate conferences, even movie shoots. “The City gave us this building for track. But we have to keep the entire community happy,” he notes. “It’s hard to get money for track. If you tell people the funds will go just for track & field, you can’t get the money,” says Sander. But over time, the executive director of the Armory Foundation has discovered a more effective approach to fundraising. “If you merge the request around track and education, that’s a different story. If you show that this sport takes you somewhere – that you’re not just running in circles – and that you can take the discipline, the mentoring from your coach, and you can put that together with an education, that’s what people want to see.” One such funded initiative – Classroom 2 Everywhere – is a marquee Armory-based program that assists more than 300 New York high school students. “To get in this program, you have to be on the track team. You can come from any place in the city – Brooklyn, Staten Island. They come here to the Armory on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they [do] their workout, and then they do SAT prep or financial planning. We go over their college applications. Sometimes we take them on bus trips of colleges. And we get nearly 100% into some college,” beams Sander. Twenty-three years after Norbert Sander’s initial visit to the 168th Street Armory – and after years of unrelenting effort and loving restoration – the Armory now stands as the rejuvenated hub of Washington Heights. Promoting excellence, fitness and community, the Armory hosts more than 100 track events each year, maintains the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, operates the largest after-school activity center in New York and offers a variety of community support programs in what is recognized as a world-class facility. The Armory is now much more than a state-of-the-art facility for indoor track & field, a shrine to the sport. It is living testimony of what a single visionary can accomplish when supported by an inspired neighborhood and, indeed, the entire metropolitan area. The Armory is now an active, bustling community center that pays homage to yesteryear – and fosters hope for tomorrow. “As we stand here behind this wall, we are viewing the past,” explains Sander, looking at the Plexiglas wall displaying the names of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame inductees. “But we can also look through that wall out onto the track to see the youth, the kids running. That’s our future.”

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Winter 2013, Vol. 8 No. 7

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