Hi I'm Coach Mark!
After graduating from SEAL training in February 1980 and returning from my first deployment I was recruited to try out for the Naval Pentathlon team.
The Naval Pentathlon team was part of the CISM (International Military Sports Council) organization that competed against other militaries around the world. During my career, I was on five different Naval Pentathlon teams. I was a four-time National Champion (1983,1985,1986,1988), I was on three World Championship teams (1985,1988,1996) and I won the Individual World Champion title in 1988.
After winning the Individual title in 1988, I switched my focus to triathlons. I won a few local races and then in 1989 I qualified and competed at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. In my first Ironman, I set a new military record and placed 88th overall with a time of 9:26. I have qualified and raced the Hawaii Ironman three times with my fastest being in 1992 where I placed 49th overall with a time of 9:13:54.
During my time on the Pentathlon team and doing triathlons, I started coaching athletes in various aspects of their training. It was in running where I began to really notice my ability to see what runners were doing incorrectly and then be able to correct them to help them run faster.
I took my knowledge and started coaching children. First as a volunteer and later as the leader at our local elementary school in their after school cross country program.
In 2005 I founded the North Idaho XC club. I coached children from ages 6-18 preparing them to compete in the Junior Olympic XC National Championship every year. My focus wasn’t just to write up running workouts, I wanted to teach children how to run correctly and also give them a mindset to compete. My focus was on teaching so much more than running. In the ten years, I was head coach, we had 26 All American’s and 2 National Champions at JO Nationals.
I was also coaching my oldest son in track, where he set many records that still stand in middle school and high school. In middle school as an eighth-grader, he was invited to an Invitational boys mile at the Portland Track Festival. He won the boys mile in a record-setting 4:34. He also ended up setting the mile record at his high school before he graduated at 4:15.
I have continued to coach adults and high school athletes. Now that I am retiring I want to help runners and give them a platform to succeed. Being taught how to run correctly is one of the keys to longevity and injury prevention. I also want to teach a mindset on how to run correctly. Mindset and flow of motion is a hard combination to beat.
I have a saying; “Desire is the one attribute in every athlete that will take them to Greatness, without it Mediocrity becomes the Standard”. A good coach can give you workouts, but a great coach will help you find your true potential.