Put seventy-five Type A runners, seated together in one room for seven hours, and what do you get?
One might expect quite a bit of foot tapping, texting, knuckle cracking types of behavior, but such was not the case at The Running Institute’s inaugural Distance Running Clinic event – “The Road To London Goes Through Ann Arbor”, Saturday March 31st, Weber’s Inn.
The crowd, consisting of high school athletes, coaches, elites, ‘weekend warriors’ and more, was transfixed as one expert after another, commanded the podium and shared their knowledge in the sport of track & field and distance running.
Wyandotte native, Nick Stanko, a two-time Olympic Trial Qualifier, Michigan Runner of the Year and ‘revered’ Haslett High School cross country and track & field coach, kicked things off with an in-depth discussion on Summer Training & Road Racing.
While much of Stanko’s information honed in on high school coaches and athletes, every morsel was equally relevant for every age, every ability.
Nick referenced methods to adapt and apply material presented and summed things up with seven simplistic words, one challenging concept –
“Run fast, run medium, run easy, repeat.”
Next up, Olympian and ten-time national champion, Tim Broe, gave an interactive while humorous demonstration of foam roller exercises and active and dynamic stretches, after sharing his bumpy road to success, in his own unique, modest, inspiring approach.
Tim is part of the dedicated team of professionals who make up The Running Institute and is also the head coach of Team Michigan Elite – ‘a new US Club Team of post-collegians based in Ann Arbor,’ soon to achieve nonprofit status.
TRI clinic director, Pete Kitto, serves as the ‘official physiotherapist’ for TME and acknowledges that the creation of The Team was his and is part of the model that makes TRI a “multidimensional institute.”
“We’re a live entity,” Kitto explains. “We provide service to athletes and individuals of all levels based on the most up to date research including, but not limited to physical therapy, clinics, training groups and we’re looking into forming camps this summer for elites and the general public.”
Proceeds of Saturday’s Distance Running Clinic benefited TME whose purpose is to ‘provide talented athletes with the financial resources necessary to train at the highest levels possible, while giving back to the Ann Arbor running community’.
TME athlete, Neil Atzinger, describes, “It’s great to train hard with guys at the same level and to be able to work off each other. I’m having more fun with my running than I’ve ever had!”
Atzinger credits The Running Institute with his ability to run upwards of 80 miles per week, injury free.
“The Running Institute is very generous with their time. They have us doing the right things and different treatments as needed. In college, I could only run around 55 miles each week because of injury.”
With over 23 years of physical therapy experience, Kitto satirically describes himself as, “the guy no one wants to see,” but implores the public to understand that they “don’t have to suffer”.
While Kitto and his crew would like to “be the place to go,” they encourage people to call with questions and are happy to provide referrals when needed.
After an exquisite lunch provided by Weber’s, the afternoon proceeded with training secrets from world class coach, now on staff with TRI and TME, Ron Warhurst, and Olympic Silver Medalist, Nick Willis, who shared his story, ‘On the Olympic Podium: Life Before and After’.
Though the day had to come to an end, ‘no stone was left unturned’. A ‘Q & A with Coaches and Athletes’, followed by a gratuitous raffle and tours of The Running Institute and clinic sponsor, Running Fit, rounded out the fun.
Having traveled from Saginaw, middle school track and cross country coach, Daryl Bernard, described the day’s event in a word -
And elaborated, “Every speaker was very beneficial.”
For more information on The Running Institute, including upcoming camps and clinics, please visit http://tri.mrspt.com/
To learn more about Team Michigan Elite, check out http://teammichiganelite.com/
And athletes interested in joining TME can contact, Coach Broe at