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UjENA FIT Club Running Interviews and articles with 100 Interesting People

Best Road Races and the UjENA FIT Club is speaking with 100 people who we feel have a lot to say about running, racing and fitness  We will give you background information as will as their insights into the future.  Be sure to post your feedback and comments.

Read All UjENA FIT Club Running Interviews

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The sport of Double Racing is about ready to Take Off!
Posted Thursday, February 19th, 2015
by Bob Anderson, publisher of Double Runner magazine (Photo Bob Anderson with world record holder Julius Koskei wearing the yellow... Read Interview
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2013 Ujena Fit Club Male Runner of the Year
Posted Monday, March 17th, 2014
The Chris Jones story is a running saga of epic proportions.  Don't try this at home! (Photo - Leadville 100... Read Interview
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Sharon Vos: Three in a Row
Posted Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
Aging ever so gracefully at age 59 and forging a career record that becomes ever more impressive, Sharon Vos is... Read Interview
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Julius Koskei: All In the Family
Posted Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
 By David Prokop Editor Best Road RacesJulius Koskei (pronounced Kos-kay), who set the current world record in the Double Road... Read Interview

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Barry Anderson Interview 27
Thursday, May 17th, 2012
"we need to help each other to hit the roads"
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Barry Anderson is our Ujena Fit Club first official coach.  We thought it would be good for Barry to share with us some of his background information.  Besides being a coach, Barry has ran a 4:20 mile and put in many 100 plus mile weeks.  He has been around running all of his life.  He lives with his wife Vicki in Manhattan, Kansas.    Photo: Barry and Bob in Manhattan recently visiting the printer that printed the first issues of Runner's World (Distance Running News).

1. Is it exciting being our first Ujena Fit Club Coach?
I am honored, Bob asked me to help out with coaching tips that I hope our members will find useful—and some interesting or even motivational articles and stories.  Yes, I am very excited to be able to share ideas to help others start a running program or to reach goals they have set for themselves.

Photo: Getting ready for a group training run in Manhattan.  Barry is on the far left.

2. Tell us about the early days.
From his first days of running back in the early 1960’s, Bob has always tried to get others—including me—involved in running that has been at the center of his life for a decade. First through getting his brothers and neighbors to run races around our block in Overland Park, Kansas, then through starting a publication (Distance Running News/Runner’s World) that would help spur a distance running and fitness revolution in the United States, and now through his Ujena Fitness Club/Best Road Races, Bob has constantly pursued his goal to help others discover running.

3. What are your first thoughts?
As I read through the profiles of our club members, it is encouraging to see the varied levels of running experience, to see the diverse reasons that running has become a part of your lives, and to see the quotes that motivate and spur you on in your efforts. I also see that there are several members that have been or are coaches at one level or another. I am hopeful that between members like Hal, Dave, Rich, Roger, Nancy, Steven, JoAnn and Bill—among others that have already been sharing their ideas—and, along with some of my thoughts, that we all will have a great source of information and inspiration to help each of us reach our individual goals. This looks to be an excellent coaching team with various experiences and areas of expertise.

As a side note, I have read most of Hal Higdon’s running books and vividly remember his article in Sports Illustrated article that came out in my first year of running. It is humbling to have my ideas on the same pages as this pioneer in distance running, coaching, and writing about running.

Comments and Feedback
run I really enjoy having you on our team. Your solid advice is helping me reach my 50 race goal...thanks!
Bob Anderson 5/17/12 7:31 pm
run Thanks Bob. I have already been inspired by the enthusiasm that so many of our Ujena Fit Club members show in their posts. Hope to see even more start to post their workouts and thoughts on running. Am looking forward to helping in any way possible.
Barry Anderson 5/18/12 7:42 am

4. Tell us about how your approach coaching?
The 10 years I spent coaching cross country and track at Kansas State University as the head women’s coach, and for a time as the men’s sprints and hurdles coach, brought me full circle in running and was one of the most rewarding periods of time in my life professionally. First, and most importantly, I met my wife of nearly 40 years, at the start of my coaching career, who helped create a family atmosphere on the team and played a more important role in the success of those I worked with than she will ever know. Secondly, I found that watching and helping individuals set realistic goals and challenge themselves each day to reach those goals provided me with a sense of pride unlike any I had ever experienced in my own running and racing career.

Photo:  "It is good to have Barry on the team.  We have not worked together for years," says Bob.

5. What was it like in the beginning?
 My responsibilities today with our Ujena Fit Club are the same as they were when I first placed an ad in the student newspaper in late 1972. The ad asked anyone interested in running for theKansasStatewomen’s track team to report to our indoor track for a meeting and workout on a Monday evening at 7:30. The group of 30, or so, that assembled were much like our Fit Club members. A few were highly experienced. One, who had been training with our men’s program, won the collegiate national women’s championship in the mile (4:45.8) earlier that year. Another, totally inexperienced, actually wore a pair of work boots to the workout and literally did not know what direction to run around on our indoor track when I asked them to take a few warm-up laps. By the way, that second young lady with the boots became a 2-time All American and a national champion on our 4 x 880 relay.

I will always believe that the success our teams enjoyed were largely due to those student-athletes that may have never won a race. Every day, without exception and without the need for attention or urging, they came to workouts ready to put in another day of work to reach their own goals. These ladies probably didn’t realize that they were setting the example for what it takes to achieve one’s goals and build a team spirit—and also, they exemplified a love of running that became contagious.

Photo: Manhattan is a cool town.  Great place to eat is Harry's.  Barry, Vicki, Bob, Catherine and Michael ate there in April.  Bob ran the Kansas City Half Marathon the day before.

6. How do you see the Ujena Fit Club helping?
Though we will not all be able to gather together every day in person like these teams of my past, I hope that this same team camaraderie and love of running is, or will become, a major part of our Ujena Fit Club members lives. There are days when running is not easy and we need to help each other to hit the roads and not give up on our individual goals…whether they be to run a sub 18:00 5k or to live one day longer due to improved fitness and health. There will also be days where you will feel like you could run forever. Both are, in reality, what running is all about.

At this point in my life, I am looking forward for the opportunity to revisit the pride that I have enjoyed in the past by trying to help each of you reach your individual goals. You are encouraged to ask questions in your posts and I am sure that someone on our coaching team can help get you an answer. You are also encouraged to get others in your life to run and join our club. It is certainly easier to get out the door some days if you have a running partner. And, if you are finding something that is working well for your running, share it on our web site for the others in our club.

Take pride in being a member of the Ujena Fit Club. If you are racing, be sure to get a Fit Club shirt and wear it at your races. Post your results on our web site so we can all follow your progress and enjoy your successes. If you are running only for fitness, also wear your Fit Club shirt when ever possible. It just may open the door to another runner joining our club and expanding Bob’s ultimate goal—Inspiring a Fitness Revolution…One Step at a Time.

Enjoy your run.

Double Road Race