In Chicago – nice to see Mr.Newton again !

I am now in Chicago, where I went to high schol at York from 1995-1996 (and ran cross country and track there) Today I surprised my old coach, the legendary Mr.Newton. He did not know anything, and I just walked up to him as he was having practice…

(he has 100 high school guys out for their volentary summer cross country program at the age of 73). It was great to see him again and he seemed very happy :)))) He had tried to call me for some time, after he realized that I was in the US. But I was not suppose to go to Chicago….I decided that just a few days ago. The problem was that Salt Lake at 1240 meters altitude might have been just a little bit too high for “sea level” preparations. So we needed somewhere else at sea level. And what better place then Chicago. Where I know the people ( I stay with the same family as I lived with in 1995), have lots of friends, got my old coach, and all familar places to run. Plus really close to O Hare airport to fly out to Edmunton.

Mr. Newton was doing really well. He was himself like always. Really excited, and enjoying what he was doing. I have so much respect for that man. He has coached since 1963 ( I think) at York, and have had an average of 100 guys out to run each fall….and he makes each and every one of them feel like “a million dollars” (quote πŸ˜‰ ) And runners always come back to see him and talk about him. That goes for the really good runners like Donald Sage 5th at the NCAA 1500 m. for Stanford this year with a 3.39 as a freshman (he was there today actually, and seemed to be doing well – we had a nice talk), and the nr. 99 on the team. When you talk to Mr.Newton he makes you feel like the most important person in the world. It is good to have those people around you – especially now that I am about to get ready for the World Champs !

In 1984 Sebastian Coe went to Chicago in the summer to prepare and taper for the L.A. Olympics. He lived with Mr. Newton and Mr. Newton followed up all his workouts. It is the only time Mr. Peter Coe (dad and coach) has ever let his son prepare for something without him. But like Mr. Coe told me himself : “The only person that could give Seb the mental strength needed at that time was Joe (Newton). Seb needed to get away from England, all the uncertainties and doubt. Joe was the right man.” I can see why. Just the little talk I had with the man this morning, made my training today super light this evening πŸ™‚

So all well from Chicago (Elmhurst). I will stay here for at least another week to train well and prepare myself.