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Trex123
Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 5:57AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I mean even for the top runners what can you hope to make annually after you retire??

Most distance runners peak-out before 35, so what could you hope to make for the next 35 years of your life?

I mean for runners like Jorge Torres or Adam Goucher what could these guys be except shoe sales men? Maybe move up to assistant manager of a shoe store?? Work at the Boy's and Girl's club? I know these guys went to college, but when you've spent the better part of your life running and not building up a skill that's useful in the real world, what could you hope to do?
European
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 6:04AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Off the top of my head I can think of several options for a former professional athelete. Working for a big shoe company, working in a shoe store, television work ,sports marketing & event management, a sports agent ,coaching.. I dont think their futures are that bleak..
yyy
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 6:20AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
no it is not worth it.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 6:24AM - in reply to European Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well if you can actually name more than 30 American distance running athletes with a career like you state who actually make enough to live decently, then i'll be convinced.

You might wonder why I pick a number like 30. Well there are probably more than 30 distance running athletes who've had a contract with a company in the last decade.
European
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:28AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I dont think you can make a full career within ten years of having a contract but here are some examples of guys who have had successful careers post distance running. If you added sprinters the list would be much longer

1) Sebastian Coe - Politics
2) Steve Cram - TV Presenter
3) Brendan Foster - TV Presenter
4) Haile Gebreselassie - Enterpreneur
5) Sydney Maree - Politics
6) Jos Hermans - Agent
7) John McDonnel - Coach
8) Steve Scott - Coaching
9) Jim Ryun - Politics
10) Eamon Coglan - Televisions and Charity Work
11) Rudy Chapa - global director of sports marketing at Nike now an enterpreneur
12) David Moorcraft - Chief Executive of UK Athletics until 2007 / Broadcasting
13) Filbert Bayi - Social upliftment
14) Suzy Favor Hamilton - Motivational Speaking and running camps
15) Craig Masback - CEO US Track and Field and director of business affairs for Nike
16) Joe Falcon - Police Officer
17) Jim Spivey - Motivational speaking and coaching
18) Marti Liquori - Running shoe stores - at the peak there were 250 stores has also written books and done other commerical work
19) Marla Runyan - Motivational Speaking
20) Herb Elliot - CEO of Puma from 2001 to 2006
21) Alberto Salazar - Coaching (Nike program)
22) Kip Keino - Chairman of kenyan Olympic Committe and Does charity work
23) Peter Elliot - Works for UK sports institute
24) Said Aquita - Technical consultant for various sporting bodies and now works for Aljezeera TV station

I am sure some other can add some more information but thats a good start..
Hiya folks
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:30AM - in reply to European Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

European wrote:


I am sure some other can add some more information but thats a good start..




Not really, since maybe half of them are US runners.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:34AM - in reply to European Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So all 24 of those guys are American?
run the GP circuit
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:39AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
you can run the GP circuit for a few years then get a coaching job if your family is rich. otherwise you better have a a good major.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:43AM - in reply to run the GP circuit Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yea, your major isn't an automatic shoe-in to any job. Waste your time running and not building skills and credible job related references and what you've got is outdated skills.
toro
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:45AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Trex123 wrote:

when you've spent the better part of your life running and not building up a skill that's useful in the real world, what could you hope to do?


Well, you could start builing up a skill that is usefull in the real world.
You need to be in your twenties to try and be world class at running but you don't have to be in your twenties to build other professional skills.
Teacher, lawyer, engineer, software developer...
Yes, you will be behind your peers in your age group with salary. But you have that extra life experience so you package it as a whole.
Being a professional American distance runner may not be a financially rewarding life so if that is what you value most then you should avoid it.

For the Letsrun crowd...life is a marathon not a sprint.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:49AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I picked American distance running because typically the biggest prize money goes to sprinters because its typically more popular to watch. Typically most decent livable prize money won in distance running has gone to foreigners.
Dr. 1950s
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:55AM - in reply to toro Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

toro wrote:


Being a professional American distance runner may not be a financially rewarding life so if that is what you value most then you should avoid it.




I think that sums it up pretty nicely.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:56AM - in reply to toro Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

toro wrote:


Trex123 wrote:

when you've spent the better part of your life running and not building up a skill that's useful in the real world, what could you hope to do?


Well, you could start builing up a skill that is usefull in the real world.
You need to be in your twenties to try and be world class at running but you don't have to be in your twenties to build other professional skills.
Teacher, lawyer, engineer, software developer...
Yes, you will be behind your peers in your age group with salary. But you have that extra life experience so you package it as a whole.
Being a professional American distance runner may not be a financially rewarding life so if that is what you value most then you should avoid it.

For the Letsrun crowd...life is a marathon not a sprint.




Well when you're behind your peers you will be the last to be picked. Job experience is key to employment. Yes its a sacrifice, but I don't see it as an honorable one when most people raise a family, need insurance, a home and the hundreds of other bills that come a long with it. If you live with your parents and make $20,000 a year gross I could understand being able to live but on your own its not possible.
coke zer0
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 7:59AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yes, it is worth it! Women tend to swarm around top-level "distance" runners.
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:03AM - in reply to Dr. 1950s Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Dr. 1950s wrote:


toro wrote:


Being a professional American distance runner may not be a financially rewarding life so if that is what you value most then you should avoid it.




I think that sums it up pretty nicely.



That doesn't sum up anything. Put a Disneyland twist to anything and it will sound nice.

I use to think like that in high school until I realized in college that I need to pay bills and buy a place to house myself. I love to run but its a waste of time if I have to eat rice and beans when I'm 65.
Trex decking
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:08AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You don't need to a buy a place...you can rent.
European
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:08AM - in reply to Trex123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Looks like you've made up your mind already...No they are not all American but are examples of athletes which have made successful careers.

Your biggest asset which is always transferrable is your personality and most distance athletes have the qualities it takes to succeed in life - lots of scarifice and a desire to be the best you can in your chosen field..

You can easily make up lost time in a new field as most careers have a steep learning curve of a few years at maximum followed by many years of gentle progression...not a lot different from distance running...
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:12AM - in reply to Trex decking Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Trex decking wrote:

You don't need to a buy a place...you can rent.


Oh that's great I think most people dream to be 65 and renting because they decided to run and make pennies and not actually build a career.
yyy
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:14AM - in reply to European Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
how many are lying in the gutter?
Trex123
RE: Is it really worth being a professional distance runner in the USA?? 8/2/2010 8:19AM - in reply to European Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

European wrote:

Looks like you've made up your mind already...No they are not all American but are examples of athletes which have made successful careers.

Your biggest asset which is always transferrable is your personality and most distance athletes have the qualities it takes to succeed in life - lots of scarifice and a desire to be the best you can in your chosen field..

You can easily make up lost time in a new field as most careers have a steep learning curve of a few years at maximum followed by many years of gentle progression...not a lot different from distance running...


Ok...a handful of athletes in the WORLD who have made successful careers. These are WORLD renowned athletes and not your Adam Gouchers or Jorge Torres who signed minor contracts.
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