Week of August 24th Elite Athlete Update

The Europeans are Back

In our last “Zap Fitness-Reebok Elite Athlete Update,” Joe and George were approaching their last race in their European season. They both left their mark on the race as well. The race went out fast and at the World A Standard. George was right on the heels of UK Olympian Andy Vernon for the first two miles of this briskly-paced race. Going out with a pace that expedient was a crucial step in George’s development to the next level. As well as George, Joe was able to excel in his final European Race, posting a personal best! He crossed the finish line in 13:32 to end the European season.

Upon their return to the States, both Joe and George were both excited and determined to continue excelling on U.S. soil. Joe would be racing on home turf in North Carolina to race in the Sir Walter Miler, while George headed out to Cape Cod to compete in the Falmouth Road Race.

The Sir Walter Miler is a pioneering event that sees to take track and field into a more social sphere, thus enhancing the “fan experience” through local fare, food, drinks, and music. The event seems to be where the future of track and field is leaning towards. On the rainy and windy Friday night, Joe was ready for a fast one in Raleigh, NC. The race was fast early and Joe was right there in the thick of it. Joe ended up crossing the line in a respectable 4:02 full mile to represent Zap Fitness-Reebok.

While Joe was down in North Carolina, George and Andrew were up in Massachusetts preparing for the Falmouth Road Race. The historic race is known for the great atmosphere they put on, as well as the hospitality shown towards the racers. Both George and Andrew had the honor of being hosted by local families from Cape Cod, and were fed and housed by them during their stay on the Cape. With being well-fed and rested by their host families, they were both eager to race on the hot Sunday morning. When the clock struck 9:10, the racers were off. The field included Olympic Medalists and sub-27 minute 10k runners, so it was destined to be a battle. With both George and Andrew out quickly, they spent a good deal of the race with the Africans and top Americans. George ended up with Olympic Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi for the majority of the race finishing one spot behind him at 11th place with Andrew finished 9th place as the 4th American.

Rabbit or Human?

Joe and John Sir Walter

In the track and field world, pace is crucial. More so, having a fast pace early is pertinent in running personal bests or fast marks. Thus, this ever important duty is left to one man/woman… The Rabbit. The Rabbit sets up the pace and gets out hard to establish the pace that essentially defines the rest of the race.  In the world of elite athletics, many athletes have been able to make a name for themselves through rabbiting and a few have also made a living through doing so as well.  Thus, the race directors and organizers have a desire and need for these athlete’s in order to earn esteem and viewership.

At the Sir Walter Miler race in Raleigh, NC only one man could be trusted with pacing a prodigious sub 4:00 minute mile effort: Zap Fitness-Reebok’s own John Simons. He paced the elite mile field at Sir Walter under the historic 4;00 minute barrier. He went out hard and led through the 1000 meter mark in perfect fashion. With the help of his rabbiting, 5 men were able to dip under the 4:00 minute mile mark. To be frank, that Rabbit earned his carrots.


John also raced this past weekend in the Michigan Mile in Flint, Michigan to earn a 5th place finish in the road race.

Watch the Sir Walter Miler here

Joanna Thompson in the House!

Joanna NC State

Former N.C. State Wolfpack member Joanna Thompson has decided to take her running talents to the professional stage with her joining Zap Fitness-Reebok this past week. We are more than elated to have Joanna Thompson join the Zap Fitness-Reebok team, making her the second new member of 2015, accompanying Sinead Haughey.

During Joanna’s time at N.C. State she was a 4 time All-American with countless All-Region and All-Conference performances. She led the 2014 women’s cross country team to a 16th place finish at the D1 National Cross Country Championships. Joanna has personal bests of 16:03 for 5,000m and 33:07 for 10,000m.

Joanna will be finishing her two degrees at N.C. State this fall and join Zap Fitness-Reebok for training this winter. She will be looking to compete at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in February.

Coming Soon to a Race Course Near You…

Coming up in September we have a number of elite athletes to run in the US 20K Championships in New Haven, Connecticut. Zap Fitness/ Reebok’s Tyler Pennel, George Alex, and Griff Graves. The “three musketeers” will be all in the mix and looking for the win on September 7, 2015.

The next race following will be the US 5k Championships on September 20, 2015. Joe Stilin, George Alex, and Tyler Pennel will both be racing for the U.S. title.

Sinead Haughey and Joanna Thompson will be heading abroad to compete in La Parisienne in Paris, France! The all women’s race will include an international field and the two Zap Fitness/Reebok rookies will get their first international experience in the Zap Fitness/Reebok uniform.