Lee Emanuel’s American adventure, from SPIKES mag, powered by the IAAF

In the 2015 European Indoor Championships, the men’s 3000 meters was one of the more interesting events. The race went out very fast, and Lee Emanuel held his own, staying out of trouble and protecting his silver medal over the last one thousand meters. 

SPIKES magazine, powered by the IAAF, published this piece at the end of March on Lee Emanuel’s move to America and the ups and downs of that decision. 


Lee Emanuel ()


Lee Emanuel, who won 3000m silver at the European Indoor Championships in Prague, is one of athletics’ running missionaries. The Albuquerque-based Brit tells SPIKES how his American adventure nearly pushed him away from the sport, but ultimately led him to success.

Moving to America was something of an impulsive decision for Lee Emanuel. During the first two years of his undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam University, Emanuel wound back his training following teenage years spent running for Hastings Athletics Club.

Yet when he entered his final year, the passionate fan of English football team Aston Villa began to look to life beyond the university campus and devised a plan, and track was to be a big part of it.

“One day I just decided I wanted to try go out to the States,” he says. “I always knew I wanted to train seriously again and was not quite ready to get a full time job. I started training my last year at Hallam with the main aim being to get a scholarship to an American University.”

That aim became reality. Once he was done in Sheffield he upped sticks toAlbuquerque to study for a masters degree in sports administration at theUniversity of New Mexico.

Though he concedes university in America “was not quite as American Pie as I thought it would be”, it was in Albuquerque that Emanuel began to find his groove on the track.

“I found a great coach [Joe Franklin] in one of the best cities in the world to train,” he says. “I was lucky that I came out to a big and friendly track and field team. We hung out a lot and had a lot of fun.

“Classes were later in the afternoon as I was doing a masters so that was nice. We had team practice five mornings a week so I had a good structure for training.

“I had never spent too much time with runners before moving out to Albuquerque so I think that helped me be more diligent and focussed.”

To read the entire story, in its original format, please go to http://spikes.iaaf.org/post/lee-emanuel-and-his-american-adventure


  • Larry Eder

    Larry Eder has had a 51-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself." Also does some updates for BBC Sports at key events, which he truly enjoys. Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."

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