Race Day Reading: The Thoughts of a Champion


I was a never empty pitcher pouring out happiness.” – Neal Holtschulte, 2005 NCAA Div III Cross Country Champion

Today, we compete for our league championship, and a week from Saturday we will compete for a New England Championship. It’s always a challenge to think of suitable words, images, or mental cues to prepare the team for these meets.

Fortunately, others have found and shared words that have proven to be helpful to me and to the runners I coach over the years. One of my favorite sources of such words is the piece that Neal Holtschulte (Williams, ’06) wrote after winning the 2005 NCAA Div III Cross Country Championships. The essay is an account of the race from the inside out, as well as a chronicle of the thoughts, decisions, and hopes that flowed through Holtschulte’s mind as his legs traversed the muddy course that day.

It makes for great reading leading up to the biggest races of the year:

Thoughts of a Champion




About Jon Waldron

Running and Racing have been important parts of my life for as long as I can remember. I ran Track and Cross Country at Amherst HS, back in the day, and am proud to have been training and competing with the Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) for more than thirty years. If my bones hold out, I hope to continue for another thirty. Sixteen years ago, I began coaching, first as an Asst. Coach at Newton North HS in Newton, MA, and for the past ten years, as Head Track and Cross Country Coach at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts. I've been writing about running for almost as long as I've been running, dating back to high school, when I would write meet summaries for the Amherst Record for about $0.33 per column inch. I've been blogging about running since 2005, and began blogging at "the runner eclectic" in 2014. Until recently I also had a day job, working full-time as a Technical Product Manager for Nuance Communications, based in Burlington, MA. But I am now on what might turn out to be a permanent sabbatical. Thank you for reading my blog, and please consider leaving a comment.
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