The Professor of the Marathon: Sean Hartnett,
photo courtesy of Spikes Magazine
Originally run April 29, 2013
Reposted February 15, 2018
I was just in Ras Al Khaimah for the RAK Half Marathon. It is the fastest Half marathon in the world. One of the ways RAK stands out is that they bring in Sean Hartnett and Helmut Winter to help the elite marathoners understand the course and how to run it faster. Sean is an amazing person, I have known him for nearly 20 years, spending nice afternoons at indoor meets in Wisconsin and alway chatting with him about the pacing and character of marathon courses. Haile Gebrselassie gave him the moniker, ‘The Professor of the Marathon.’
The day I arrive at a major marathon and Sean Hartnett is not there, I will be surprised. Sean, a professor of geography and well respected track and cross country coach in the Badger state, is also known around the world as professor Marathon. Having worked with the likes of Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie as well as the World Marathon Majors, Sean Hartnett maybe the biggest marathon geek in the world, and I say that with respect.
Sean knows every hill and decline on a major marathon course. We seldom see the guy in Wisconsin, but more in places like London, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York and perhaps, now, Tokyo.