This morning, after we read the announcement of Rich Kenah’s move to the Atlanta Track Club, we emailed Rich and asked him five questions. Mr. Kenah, as always, graciously replied, showing the enthusiasm and understanding of the big picture of our sport, that will make him an excellent new Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club.
RunBlogRun, # 1. You are taking over one of the most prestigious clubs in our sport, the Atlanta Track Club, any first thoughts?
Rich Kenah: The history and strength of Atlanta Track Club’s brand is what attracted me, to be honest. I’m excited to join an organization that has the tools and infrastructure to make a significant impact on running and fitness in Atlanta, the region and hopefully even the rest of the country.
RunBlogRun, # 2. The Atlanta Peachtree Road race is one of, if not the largest 10k road races in the world. That will be part of your responsibilities?
Rich Kenah: Yes, the AJC Peachtree Road Race is and will continue to be a major focus for me and the rest of the staff. Atlanta Track Club has a broader mission though. And that is to inspire and excite the community toward fitness through running. To that end, the Atlanta Track Club has many other events and programs for its membership and the larger running community that are poised for growth.
RBR, # 3. Will we see ATC develop an elite development program?
Rich Kenah: The Club had a great showing at the most recent USATF Club Cross Country Championships in multiple categories so there are already talented, national caliber athletes among the Club’s 19,000 members. It would be premature to talk about any new initiatives at the Atlanta Track Club. Though it is clear that the organization already recognizes that Olympic personalities inspire and excite us all.
Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net
Two examples come to mind. Meb Keflezighi spent the day running with, talking to and socializing with Atlanta Track Club members last month. And after GA&M athlete, Aries Merritt, won gold in the 110H in London, he told me he wanted to return to Atlanta to share his experience with the people who supported him as a high school student athlete. I called the Atlanta Track Club and we worked together to have Aries visit one of the Club’s Kilometer Kids groups where he showed off his medal and talked to kids about his journey from Marietta to Olympic gold.
Aries Merritt, April 9, 2013, A Day in the Life,
photo by Doug Pensigner/IAAF/Getty images
RBR, # 4. In your experience, what are the most needed requirements for athletes coming from college to develop to the next level?
Rich Kenah: Infrastructure. By that I mean, coaching, facilities and quality competitive opportunities.
Rich Kenah, Karl Paranya, David Krummenacker, Joe Woody, January 2000, WR 4 x 800m relay, photo by PhotoRun.net
RBR, # 5. The Atlanta Track Club has runners of all levels, how do you re enthuse such a growing and diverse community?
Rich Kenah: In recent years, our work at GA&M has allowed me to be more involved in the participatory side of the sport. I’ve found the work to be just as or even more fulfilling than our work with Olympic athletes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate about the marketing and promotion of our sport’s top stars. But the interaction I’ve had with real people who run for pleasure, fitness or for the simple satisfaction of knowing they just ran a personal best has helped remind me what makes our sport so great.
I am fired up to join a team of folks whose mission it is everyday to make running fun.
Rich Kenah, Penn Relays, 2001, photo by PhotoRun.net
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