Derek Thomas

(seen above in blue at 2018 USATF meet)


along the path to extending        AN Athletic career


This past weekend, I want to recognize the remarkable achievements of two elite athletes that I have worked with for years now in the weight room: Derek Thomas and Phil Reid – both of whom recently ran to top-15 finishes in the 800 meters and 5,000 meters (respectively) at the 2018 USATF Championships held in Des Moines Iowa.  These two have much in common:  they both currently run for the same professional running club, both ran in the same college program, and they are both enjoying success well after college.


The similarities don’t end there: Like many members of the HOKA (formerly ASICS) Aggies, both Derek and Phil work full-time jobs in the same town, jobs which don’t afford them the bona fide “professional” luxuries of big sponsors and endorsement contracts, or the perks of elite pro running clubs that pay for housing, meals, training & massage services, etc.  In spite of this, the fact that they continue to run (and run well) several years after college shows their biggest shared trait: PERSEVERANCE

Phil Reid

(seen winning the 2017 L.A. Rock and Roll Half Marathon)


Per . se. ver.ance (n). 1. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success


I have known and worked with these two athletes for years…long enough to witness many obstacles that stood in both of their paths – whether it was finances, injury, or sometimes life just getting in the way.  Difficulty…and delay.  And yet still these two have persevered against long odds to continue to do the most they could with what they had…knowing that they still had more than most.  They have often made sacrifices with family, career, and even their own health to keep their dream alive.  If SUCCESS = HARD WORK + PERSEVERANCE, I can vouch for how many times I have seen Derek and Phil display both of the latter traits…and I look forward to helping them both in any way I can as they continue to enjoy the former.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  – CHRIS BORGARD


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