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  • May
  • 27
  • 2016

Faces of Pacers: Jerry Alexander

Faces of Pacers: Jerry Alexander

As a coach, my goal is to make the athletes I work with the best they can be. I coach athletes with the Pacers//GRC- New Balance team and the Northern Virginia Running Club. I have learned over years of working with elites and all comers that everyone is the same, there are not two different species of runners out there; the fast people are just faster.

I love to be around the sport of running and feel at home at a track meet. Before I was a coach I would go watch meets; now it is a lot more fun to have athletes in them. Coaching GRC allows me to work with athletes and allows me to practice law to support my family. I get to work with really high level, self-motivated, athletes and help make them even better.

Not everyone on the team is at the superstar level, it is all a continuum and we are all in this together. No matter how good these runners get we still have jobs to go to and lives to lead, we are not above the fray. We are team oriented, I expect my athletes to support each other in their race preparation. One runners’ success is the team’s success. Our top athletes draw better talent to the team and our stars do not have big heads, we all help each other get better.

When I was in high school, I went to a road race expo and Bill Rogers was speaking to a crowd. Bill wanted to know more about the audience and their own running experience and a man in the crowd spoke up about his 5-hour marathon.  He could not believe Bill ran a 2:10 marathon and Bill could not believe he could run for 5 hours.  Bill respected the effort. That exchange made an impression on me as a coach and as an athlete- everyone has a story.

My athletes know I love the sport and I love to coach. My high school running coach had no real idea how to coach running or anything about the sport and we all knew that. What I learned from that experience is, in the coaching business, the athletes don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. My athletes know I care about them as people, about their stories, and their lives.

I am not a cutting edge coach in terms of knowing the latest research on performance, but my athletes know that I really care and at our level that is good enough. I am the right man for the job because the athletes are getting better, and the fact that they know I really want them to succeed goes a long way. I joke that I take credit for everything good that happens and not the blame for anything bad that happens but the athletes know the credit and work is theirs alone. I get them to show up on time for practice and the team does the rest of the work, we all push each other, and the results speak for themselves.

Pacers Running, for me, is the sponsor we have always been looking for. When Pacers reached out, I was flattered but we do things our way and are not willing to give that up and are not willing to compromise our approach for any price. When I shared my vision with Kathy [Dalby] she was extremely supportive of what we do. Pacers Running has a standard of excellence, and my business is getting the athletes to run fast, so we complement Pacers’ mission. Pacers has the community aspect of running and we want to be part of that, so it’s a great match.


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