Sunday, December 23, 2012

Interview with Derek Rubis

My first face in the hole by Derek.
I recently sat down (over the internet) for an interview with fellow Wisconsinite Derek Rubis, who in the past couple years has singlehandedly changed the landscape of running superfandom.  You may know him as @djsjeffer on Twitter or from his blog entitled The Hub Of Distance Running, or from meeting him at the many track meets he makes it to.  I wanted to find out what drives his love for running and what he thinks needs to be done to improve involvement in and attention to running from Americans.

Derek, in the past few years you've become a top fan of collegiate and professional US distance running. It's clear you have a true love for the sport. Who or what got you so interested in running, and when did you begin running yourself?

I got started running for the 6th grade run but I was never a fan of distance running until I was a Freshman in High School. Nobody got me interested in Distance Running but myself and I thought it was sport that I could do that not a lot people could do.

Getting face in the holed has become a prestigious honor in the collegiate circuit. Last year, amongst the running goals I had listed on a sheet of paper above my bed, getting face in the holed was one of the top entries. What are your criteria for bestowing that honor upon a runner?

The only criteria is that if the photo was good enough for my pic to fit in the Face In The Hole

You tweet often. Actually, by my calculations, your current rate of tweeting will bring you to two million tweets by the year 2050 with room to spare. Do you think social media (Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) is a good thing for the sport of running in terms of following the action, or is there need for a more organized, larger form of coverage?

I think so but as of right now we are still low on the ladder of sports and that is what I am trying to change to make our sport climb that ladder faster and be cared about like Football & Basketball in College & Pro

I think I speak for a lot of runners out there when I say that your support for us really is appreciated. You have found a way to connect with your favorite sport's athletes in a personal way, something that can't be done in many other sports. Do you have any words about what can be done to bring running's fan base closer to it's athletes? Or perhaps an idea for how to make the sport more interesting for a larger American audience?

More media attention, college ADs doing more for our sport & getting more money to our sport so that College & Pro Athlete can promote the sport more to get more people to our sport. An idea I have is that if Title IX wants to put sport in cause of they need a women's sport to compliant the men's sports & cut a sport to do it then why cut Men's XC/Track when they don't have Women's Football. Just cut Men's Football and put that money into the other sport that need that money and I don't mean Basketball, I mean sports like XC/Track, Soccer, Volleyball Swimming & others

Where is your favorite place (or favorite city) to run in?

I loved running in Eugene, Oregon when I was out there for The Olympic Trials

What do you hope to see out of both collegiate and professional US running in 2013? Any NCAA , US or World championship predictions?

In 2013, I would like to see that the CEO of Track & Field get Distance Events in the media and sho the whole events, ie Steeplechase 3K 5K & 10K without ads, going to another event in the middle of a distance event

What are some of your favorite running related moments, both on and off the track?

Moments off the track: Nick Symmonds wanting a pic with me at Olympic Track Trials, being made a third Heath & Jefferson brother, Meeting my running idols A.J. Acosta, Jordan McNamara, Nick Symmonds & John Jefferson & running with my steeplechase coach Billy Nelson aka Coach Yelawolf

Moments On The Track: Getting to run an All Comers Meet on Hayward Field Track, getting my prs in the 3K, 5K & 10K this year & getting to run a shakeout 3K with Nick Symmonds in Milwaukee, WI

What are your personal running goals for 2013?

My running goals in the 3K-11:00 or under, 5K-19:00 or under, 10K-under 40 mins on the track, Steeplechase-12:30 or under. Also, another running goal off the track is to grow a sweet beard like A.J. Acosta & John Jefferson

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