Tag: David Goodman

NE Distance Runs Like the Wind

NE Distance was recently featured in RI Monthly magazine, and it was a nice big spread. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Even in Woonsocket, a city that grabs hold of every funky urban trend, David Goodman stands apart. The lanky twenty-four-year-old popped up on city streets in late 2012, literally a stranger to all, and he’s been tearing up the pavement ever since, running eighty, ninety, sometimes more than a hundred miles a week. He’s now a familiar face along his route, yet most who give him a passing wave are still perplexed by his presence.

First, there’s his curly mane. It’s a safe bet he’s steered clear of barber shops since his arrival, and in cold-weather months he also sports whiskers a squirrel could nest in. Catch a flash of his shaggy countenance as he zips by on a winter morn, and you’ll swear you’ve spied one of those wooly men of Rocky Mountain lore. It’s an apt association, as Goodman blew into town straight from those rugged hills. He’s a 2012 graduate of Western State Colorado University, with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. Google his name and you’ll learn he was a stand-out college athlete, once winning the Division II NCAA championship in a track event known as the steeplechase, a nearly two-mile race with hurdles. That explains why his workout togs look ever crisp and new. He gets all his gear — his shorts and socks and Caribbean-blue running shoes — from Karhu, an athletic apparel company, and they give it to him free, with the hope that when he surges toward a finish line some of the glory will rub off on their brand, too. Then there’s his, well, aura — one of serenity, like a yogi. Every day he embarks on another grueling workout, yet as he lopes along his posture is always confident and upright, his expression relaxed and worry-free. It’s as though he’s still bounding through bucolic mountain glens, not dodging traffic on gritty city streets.

 You can see why people are scratching their heads. Running belongs in the enlightened cities of the West, in resort and college towns, not in a chilly corner of urban New England. So why did Goodman say goodbye to a place where eagles dare and the antelope play and relocate to a dog-eared mill town?

Interesting, although I’m not sure I agree with the author’s thinking in that last paragraph. Running belongs in New England, dammit! Check out the rest of the article at the RI Monthly website.

New Athletes and Some Punk Rock

Lara Crofford and Katie Spratford Joining NE Distance

Guest blog by Nich Haber, NE Distance

Please welcome NE Distance’s two new athlete-in-resident fellows!  Lara Crofford and Katie Spratford will be joining us this month.

Lara graduated from University of Nebraska and competed in the 2008 US Olympic Trials 10,000m as a freshman. She comes to us after spending a year as an assistant coach to Steve Spence at Shippensburg in Pennsylvania. Katie is an 8-time All American and was the Shippensburg Female Athlete of the Year last year. Both athletes are looking forward to joining us in Rhode Island and being role models to youth in the Woonsocket community.

A little more on each…

Katrina Spratford joined NE Distance as an 8-time All-American. In 2012 she was the PSAC Women’s Cross-Country Champion, and a year later she was the 2013 Shippensburg Female Athlete of the Year. She has a PR of 9:40for the 3000m Indoors and 34:42 for 10,000m Outdoors. Katie graduated cum laude from Shippensburg in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. She is excited to continue with her passion of running post-graduation as part of the NE Distance team. When not training, Katie is eager to be a role model for the children of Woonsocket, and to give back to the community she now calls her home.

Lara Crofford is a fall 2013 NE Distance recruit. Joining us as a 2008 Olympic trials qualifier in the 10K and a 10,000 meter 33:56 personal best. Lara was the top American in the 10,000m at the Penn Relays in 2013. Lara is excited to be part of our team. As part of NE Distance, Lara is looking to up her mileage and move towards running longer road races. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Nutrition, Health, and Exercise Science. In Nebraska, Lara had a passion for community service, which she hopes to now be able to continue pursuing in the Woonsocket community when she is not training. Lara joins NE Distance after receiving her Masters in Organizational Development and Leadership from Shippensburg University, where she finished up her NCAA collegiate eligibility in the Spring of 2012 as an All-American in the DMR, while working as an assistant coach to Steve Spence for the past year.

Speaking of Steve Spence, he had this to say about his two former runners:

“I’m very excited to have two of my runners moving on to a post collegiate training group. They have contributed much to our programs here at Shippensburg and helped us win many conference championships. In fact, Katie has led us to 9 conference titles (3 x cross country, indoor, outdoor) in a row since transferring from Richmond. Lara competed for us for one track season while in grad school and then served as a coach the next year while finishing her grad degree. Lara and Katie worked well together as training partners and I’m happy that they can continue to help each other develop. They both possess a passion for the sport and a desire to see how fast they can run.”

Both athletes will be coached by NE Distance’s new assistant coach Kurt Benninger (aka Mr. Molly Huddle).  They will be focusing on indoor and outdoor seasons in 2014 and do not currently have fall race plans, but we will update you if that changes.

They are due to arrive on Sept 15th when the new apartment from NeighborWorks is completed.

Lara & Katrina NE Distance

Now that we’ve announced the new athletes, let’s get to the punk rock…


New York City’s original Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke band is coming to the Boston area to support this non-profit running organization with two events.

The Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke Band was the original live karaoke band that started at Arlene’s Grocery in New York’s Lower East Side in 1999.  The band has a set list of over 300 punk rock, heavy metal, arena rock and new wave songs and members of the audience step up to be their lead singer one song at a time.

Concerts will be:

Saturday, September 21st at 6pm at TT the Bear’s, 10 Brookline Street, Cambridge, MA

Sunday, September 22nd at 2pm at Ri Ra Irish Pub, 50 Exchange Street, Providence, RI (Right after the CVS Downtown 5k)

Audience members will be able to sing on stage with the band.  Tickets are available on the NE Distance web site, www.nedistance.org.

Funding for the NE Distance program has come primarily from individuals in the running community.  When not training, NE Distance athletes work 16-20 hours per week tutoring, coaching and mentoring local youth in the working class city of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. NE Distance’s athletes are currently working with four separate after-school programs. Anyone interested in supporting this program can purchase “shares” in the team from their web site at www.nedistance.org.

FYI David Goodman will be competing at the CVS Downtown 5k on Sept 22nd (right before the PRHMK band concert).

Hump Day Round UP

File this under ‘breaking news‘ and also under ‘terrible news‘. David Goodman got hurt. Per the NE Distance Facebook page we found this tidbit:

Goodman suffered a freak injury that is threatening his outdoor season. He dislocated his elbow in a fall. Wrappings came off on Monday and the doc says it’s healing nicely, but we’ve already had to cancel his opener which was going to be this Friday in Princeton. We’re going to see how he responds to training over the next week and make some last minute calls on the races we were planning – April 13th at the Brown Invite in Providence and the April 28th Peyton Jordan in California. We will keep y’all posted.

We have two theories on this injury:

1.) David incurred this injury in a diving attempt to save Molly Huddle’s life. As a sign of gratitude, Molly joined the NE Distance board of directors.

2.) David had to arm wrestle his teammate/roommate Meaghan Hobson to see who’s turn it was to do the dishes. Although Meaghan won she still had to do the dishes because she hurt him so badly.

In all seriousness, we wish David a speedy recovery and hope he doesn’t miss too much time (if any at all).

On to more positive news…

In case you missed it, we featured the SISU Project in our Club Spotlight section of the latest issue of Level Renner (Mar/Apr 2013, pg 25). When they put out a call looking for blog volunteers to help spread SISU shortly after, yours truly answered the call. The product of our collaboration can be found here, along with other creative blog posts by some names that will be quite familiar to you. Read about my SISU, find your own SISU and help spread SISU by checking out their blog.

At the end of February I was sitting in the RaceMenu office talking with Brendan Kearney about how good of an idea it would be for Bill Rodgers to finally join Twitter. He had been suggesting it to Bill, then I tried helping out with this tweet:


We put that up a while back and forgot about it…until Bill recently joined Twitter. I’d like to think that’s the tweet that finally pushed him to do it. I know, I know, that’s wishful thinking (to the max). Either way, please join us in welcoming Bill Rodgers to Twitter (and I guess Level Legion too since he’s following us now)!

Big things coming are coming your way soon. We should have interviews up with Tim Ritchie and Hilary Dionne sometime before the marathon. Tim is looking to make a big splash on the scene as he makes his marathon debut. Hopefully the weather is a tad more cooperative this time. Hilary was 15th at Boston last year and also the third American woman. That’s crazy good. Looking forward to hearing what both of them have to say about the 2013 race.

I will also be making an appearance on the radio to talk about the marathon on the The Boston Sports Stamp (AM 1510) show with Victoria Barnaby and the rest of the gang. That should be really fun and a great opportunity to get the word out about the locals who are ready to make some noise on April 15th.

And finally, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on just how far we have come. Almost a year ago now, Kevin Balance, Joe Navas and myself donned our Level t’s and stormed the marathon expo. The website was still fairly new, we didn’t have much up yet in terms of video footage and our audience was much smaller.

As we made the relentlessly made the rounds (over multiple days) in an effort to network and further the cause, we kept getting asked about Level Legion. Well, not in those terms specifically but more along the lines of ‘how many subscribers?’ and ‘how many Facebook friends?’, etc. At the time we might’ve only had 250 or so friends on Facebook and as proud as we were of that number we soon realized it wasn’t impressing many of our new acquaintances.

We’ll be returning to the expo this year with the same mission and definitely see it as a triumphant return. Our Facebook following has swelled to 1,229 (and counting) and our web traffic is growing at a strong rate. We know there’s still a lot of growth ahead of us, both before the marathon and continuously after, and you can help with that. If you love what we do (even if it’s only a mild ‘appreciation’ to a strong ‘like’), please make it official and help out by:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 4.21.09 PM

As the image to the right shows, we made it easy for you and have links to most of those options right there on our homepage. Any (or all) of these would be a huge help to us and make us look that much more attractive to the people we meet on Marathon Weekend. All it takes a is a quick click; it’s free, easy and totally non-intrusive. Officially joining the Legion will help us get a better product out to you.

Thanks again for your loyal support and we look forward to covering your races, workouts and stories going forward.

Facial Hair Frenzy!

Guest blog by NE Distance Project

NE Distance Athlete-in-residence Fellow David Goodman is contemplating a change in his look.  You can vote on the change while helping him with his mission to represent New England at national meets while tutoring, mentoring and coaching local youth in Woonsocket. Funds received for this campaign will help defray the cost of sending Goodman to the Payton Jordan Meet.

On March 15th, David Goodman will have a different look.  Your donations to the NE Distance program will help make his decision.  See the benchmarks below.


Donations can be made online at http://www.crowdrise.com/nedistance-facialhairfrenzy

Our only question is, if we can come up with the $10,000 necessary for the ‘Mr. Clean’ look, does that mean he’s going to get his ear pierced?

NE Distance Project Viewing Party

Guest blog by Nich Haber (NE Distance Project)

The video lasts less than a minute, but it completely summarizes what we are trying to do with NE Distance.  It’s really a video of a video.  There are a bunch of kids hanging out at the C-3 Community Center in Woonsocket watching a projected live feed of NE Distance athlete David Goodman racing in the Open Mile of the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City.

David works with these kids every day as part of an after-school program, tutoring them on their homework, mentoring them or coaching them through a program at the local Y.  Most of these kids rarely leave Woonsocket and probably have never been to a track meet, let alone to New York City.   But man, were they were into it, rooting for David.

The three C’s in the name of the C-3 Center stand for Community, College and Career, three things that NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, our fantastic community-building partner in Woonsocket, works hard to promote.

Track meets can be confusing spectacles. One of my favorite quotes comes from Tom McTaggart, the official starter at the Penn Relays.  He calls it a “well-oiled chainsaw”. Hundreds of races, one after the other on the oval are complemented by several field events going on simultaneously.   It’s like a seven ring circus. Meaghan Hobson, NE Distance’s other athlete-in-residence was there to help the kids navigate the chaos and understand the races. She also shared with them what the meet was all about. The Armory Collegiate Invitational includes over one hundred colleges from all over the country, all of whom came to New York to compete to be the best. David’s Open Mile was entertaining filler.

While he was warming up for his race, Meaghan sent us pictures of the kids at the party. They were getting excited for his race and enjoying the food that was generously donated by our friends at Whole Foods Market in Bellingham, MA. David couldn’t literally hear them during his race, but he said he definitely knew the kids were there.

He put on a great show for them, leading for 6½ laps and then fighting like hell when he got passed. The kids screamed “no” when he got passed and cheered as he fought back to keep his place. “He’s a beast”!

David ran the first half of the mile in 2:09 and the last half in 2:02, finishing third with a 4:11.26. We are very pleased with his progress so far and are looking forward to his next race on Saturday Feb 9th at the BU Valentine meet. He’s looking for a fast time in the 3000 meters, which is closer to his primary event, the Steeplechase. Look for him from the stands at BU, on the Internet at Flotrack.org or come on down to the C-3 Center in Woonsocket. His race is scheduled for 6pm.

NE Distance Welcomes Meaghan Hobson

This month Meaghan Hobson of La Salle University will become the next athlete-in-residence fellow at NE Distance, the new community-based distance running project in New England.  She will be moving to Woonsocket, RI to join the program by the end of this year.  Meaghan possesses 55 second 400 meter speed and is looking to NE Distance to help her achieve a long sought goal of being nationally competitive in the mile.

Meaghan just completed her Masters degree in Education with an emphasis on Special and Elementary education.  While training with the NE Distance team, she will be working part time in Woonsocket, Rhode Island with one of the Woonsocket After-school Coalition members. Meaghan will be moving into the Constitution Hill section of Woonsocket in an apartment developed by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley.

“We are extremely excited to be adding Meaghan to the NE Distance team”, says Nich Haber, President and Founder of NE Distance.  “We feel she has an incredible amount of drive and is going to be someone that sports fans of New England will be able to see as one of their own.”

Meaghan is thrilled to be a part of NE Distance’s inaugural year and believes that athletics has a significant role in community-building.  “Growing up I never knew of any professional runners. They are very inspirational people and excellent role models for young kids. I have been fortunate enough to have some extremely positive role models in my life, help guide me to where I am now. I hope to work with students and have that same positive effect on them that I had in my life. Running was always a great outlet for me and opened many doors. I have learned over the years that it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you take yourself. And I am taking myself to Woonsocket.”

Bob Rothenberg, Board member of NE Distance, Inc.  (former Head Coach of Track & Field, Brown University) – “The community aspect of this project is just as important as the athletic aspect.  As our first athlete, David Goodman, has demonstrated, in the time when they are not training, our athletes can be community-builders working 16-20 hours a week with local youth.  It truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

People interested in supporting NE Distance can purchase tax-deductable “shares” in the team via their web site, www.nedistance.org.  Shares are not redeemable like shares in a for-profit company.  Shareholders are invited to the annual meetings to meet the athletes and vote on key decisions for the group.


About NE Distance:  NE Distance, Inc. (www.nedistance.org) is a 501(c)(3) charity.  A community-based distance running program funded by individuals in the running community.  NE Distance provides a supportive environment for post-collegiate runners committed to representing their community and reaching a higher level of competition.

About NWBRV:  NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (www.NeighborWorksBRV.org) is a nonprofit community development corporation that works with residents, businesses, and neighborhood institutions to enrich neighborhood life and make affordable housing opportunities available throughout Northern RI.  With over 20 years of experience, the organization offers innovative programming that goes beyond bricks and mortar- including youth after school and summer academic and enrichment activities, financial fitness, credit and homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and much more.

About WASC:  The Woonsocket After-School Coalition (woonsocketafterschool.org) supports individualized learning needs of youth by coordinating efforts among eleven organizations, families and schools to expand opportunities for success within the community and the world beyond.

Contact: Nicholas Haber at (646) 732-6066 and [email protected].

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