Where Your Dreams Become Reality
David Krummenacker Interview
For David Krummenacker, the year just ended ďwas pretty much beyond anything I had dreamed of.Ē From Boston to Stockholm, the 27-year-old set records and personal bests, including a 3:31.93 for 1500 meters in Stockholm that made him the fifth-fastest American ever. By seasonís end, Krummenacker had defeated some of the biggest names in the sport; was ranked #3 in the world at 800 meters, and was crowned the fastest 800-1500 doubler in US history. Plus, he is the first man in more than 25 years to hold the #1 US ranking for 800 and 1500 in the same year. Which leads us to ask, whatís up with the surfing?
GA&M: Talk about the changes you made leading up to last season, when you moved from Atlanta to Tucson.
DK: It was a different training regimen than I had before, a new coach (Luiz de Oliveira), with less emphasis on mileage and more emphasis on quality. We did a lot of drills, and some days we were in the pool and didnít run at all. It makes for a more exciting method of training. Things are always changing, and that makes it fun. My previous coach prepared me for this, laid the foundation, and now this fits me better. Plus now I have a training partner, Patrick Nduwimana (from Burundi), Running is one of those sports where you need someone to push you.
GA&M: Is it true that part of the training involved running backwards?
DK: One drill is to do 3x50 running backwards. Itís not like I would go out and do five miles!
GA&M: Some athletes think the European track circuit is a grind. You were over there for a long time last summer. What did you think?
DK: Europe has always been a lot of fun for me. Obviously if youíre running well itís that much more exciting because every place you stop, thereís something to celebrate. But Iím someone whoís always enjoyed traveling. I grew up in El Paso, Texas, and my mom and I always traveled to New York at Christmas and in the summertime to see my grandmother. Maybe it goes back to that. Some people complain about it -- they want their McDonaldís -- but you can have American food and your American life for the rest of your life. Why not just enjoy it? To me, I just love it.
GA&M: How did last year start off for you?
DK: With the American record indoors at 1000 meters at this meet last year, in my first race of the season. Mark Wetmore (the meet director and Krummenackerís manager) didnít tell me about the bonus until he called the Tuesday or Wednesday before the race: oh, by the way, thereís a $25,000 bonus for an American record.
GA&M: At least you didnít have much time to get nervous about it.
DK: I think that was part of his master plan! My coach had a long-term approach to the season, whatever I did indoors was fine but we werenít going to sharpen at all. So I wasnít really thinking about the record, though luckily it just happened.
GA&M: So, based on your performance in Boston, you began to think the season might go well for you.
DK: Yeah. To beat Laban Rotich, I know heís a really tough runner. (Rotich, from Kenya, is the third-fastest indoor miler in history.) The rest of the season, I didnít expect the times I ran, especially the 3:31 in Stockholm. I had never dreamed that. I was in the best shape of my life and thought I would PR, but I didnít expect that.
GA&M: Did the season really validate you as a runner, in your eyes?
DK: Yeah, tremendously. In 1998, when I graduated from college, I won the NCAA indoors 800 meters and was second in outdoors, but then I ran miserably at the US championships. (8th in the 1500, 3:40.28.) In í99, same thing. (9th at 1500, 3:42.05) In 2000, I didnít make the Olympic team. (12th at 1500 meters, didnít make 800 meter final). That was the heartbreak of all heartbreaks. In 2001 I won the US championships (800 meters, 1:47.40), but I look at the global perspective. My goal was to be one of the greatest runners ever, not one of the greatest American runners.
GA&M: So you still felt you werenít quite measuring up.
DK: But last year, African runners Iíve admired for so long were coming up to me saying, ďItís great to see an American runner doing so well.Ē Now, not only can I run with them, I can beat them.
GA&M: Did the season have a lowlight?
DK: Iíd won two Golden League races and was second in another, and then there was a three-week break. A few minor flare-ups messed up my training a little, and when I ran 1:44.74 (for sixth place at 800 meters) in Zurich I was down in the dumps. But my manager reminded me that now when I run, 1:44, I consider it a bad day, and that was never the case before.
GA&M: What are your goals for this year?
DK: The main thing, of course, will be to get a medal at the World Championships. Iíd like to see the US get a little more respect at the middle distances. First, though, thereís the chance to go for the 1500 meter American record in Boston.
GA&M: All this is well and good, but I hear you like to surf in the offseason. How did a guy from El Paso get hooked on that?
DK: When weíd visit my grandmother on Long Island, Iíd spend countless hours in the water. Back then, it was boogie boards.
GA&M: Arenít you afraid youíre going to get hurt?
DK: I donít go into the 20-foot waves or anything. I know my territory. I watch other guys and Iím thinking, how do you ever get the guts to do stuff like that? For me, itís so relaxing to be out there on the water. Iíve never had any injuries related to water, knock on wood. In Hawaii this time I saw something in the water and I was kind of scared for a minute, but then a turtle came up and laid its head on my surfboard and I realized, it doesnít get any better than this.
David Krummenacker Profile
Born: May, 1975
Graduate: Georgia Tech
Residence: Tucson, Ariz.
800 meters: 1:43.92 (2002)
1000 meters: 2:15.97 (2002)
1500 meters: 3:31.93 (2002)
Mile: 3:54.23 (1998)
1st, Gaz de France Golden League Meet, Paris, 800m: 1:44.83 (2002)
1st, Golden Gala, Rome, 800m: 1:45.24 (2002)
2nd, DN Galan Grand Prix I, Stockholm, 1500m: 3:31.93 (2002)
1st, adidas Boston Indoor Games, 1000m: 2:17.86 (AR) (2002)
1st, USA Track & Field Championships, 800m, 2001 and 2002
2-time NCAA 800m indoor champion
Click here for more results: