A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stepping Down From Captaincy Soon

In light of the events of the past couple of days, I've been able to reflect on a lot of things regarding the Staten Island Athletic Club. It's a great bunch of people eager to try new things, including trail running and ultras.


And I'm glad to have a hand in that as a captain.

But, as recent events have pointed out, the captaincy position has some major drawbacks. And it has started to tie my hands down in a time where I really need to expand.

My situation is quite unique; it's tied into what has happened to Staten Island and the rest of the area with Hurricane Sandy. Because Hurricane Sandy affected a lot of my athletes that I coach, I have been in the unenviable position of trying to get my business back on track. These athletes, like so many people in the area, have are trying to pick the pieces of their lives back together again, and the last thing they need right now is my coaching.

I wish them well in their recovery efforts, and in time, I hope to have them back after they are made whole again. But it's put my business in a bit of a stall. Especially when I am shelling out big bucks in doing the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in 2013.

I would figure that getting some classes in order would be a way to go here. Everyone seems to love a group setting, and I can help those achieve a part of their goals in a more affordable way than the usual one-on-one deal.

But when I announced it to the club, it was met with controversy. "It's a conflict of interest with the captaincy position." "It's disrespectful for captains to seek money from their athletes." And on and on.

Well, something has to give. And I'm not in a secure position where I can receive a pay check every week. And coaching is my business.

That means my captaincy has to go.

It's not all bad news though. Obi Wan Kenobi stated to Darth Vader in the first Star Wars movie that if he is struck down, "he will become more powerful than he (Vader) can possible imagine."


If I step down, I will become freer than everyone can possibly imagine.

Stepping down from the captaincy, I can help this club grow even better from the outside than from inside. I'll have a lot less restrictions placed on me than I do now. I can become a lot more flexible with my schedule so that my work doesn't suffer much.

And I can finally get to regrow my business without the controversy.

My one year of being a captain was a good one. I like to think that I set up a viable alternative to road racing. We at siXac have seen more growth in this club this year than in recent years. And we now have a core group of people who know the trails in the Greenbelt and can help out with the regularly scheduled runs for the club.

I will still be a major mover of the club though, probably even more so after I step down than before. I can help schedule trips to trails outside the area, set up camping trips that focus on trail running, and I can go ahead with really improving athletes interested in trails on a one-to-one basis, so that we get some real competitive people onto the podiums of trail races in the expanding trail racing universe in this area.

And I can still lead a lot of the Saturday and Wednesday group runs as well, if I am available.

I will not be stepping down now though, although I will be in the process of grooming a successor to the captaincy position. And I'm sure he or she will fit right in to the position beautifully.

As I said, I think this should be construed as good news all around.

As for now, I'll be enjoying the Holiday Party, and still conduct the siXac meeting on January 10. Let's remember what 2012 has given us and look forward to a very productive 2013.








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