On articulate runner, farmers at the Super Bowl and local cooling
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 4:14 AM
Before dinner at the Rochester Track Club annual banquet two weeks ago, Brad Erichsen told me I was probably the second more nervous person in the room after his son, Chris, who was the guest speaker that night.
I looked at him with a puzzled look on my face and then he explained that if his son's presentation bombed, I would be the one on the hook since I had come up with the idea and invited him to be the speaker.
I just laughed, not nervously, though, as I was confident he would be fine. His father jokes a lot and I'm sure he was confident as well.
It turns out Chris nailed it as his presentation was excellent, keeping the attention of the crowd at the Ramada Inn as he reviewed his life, focusing on running, from his time at Kingsland, where he graduated in 2004, to his success in road racing, including qualifying for the 2012 Olympic trials in the marathon.
I had planned to write a story about the speech, but I feel it won't translate well into the written word as he used a combination of humor, visual presentations and timing to create an engaging talk. Besides, we have had many stories about his accomplishments in running through the years.
However, one thing that struck me about the night was that three Kingsland teachers, none of them runners, decided to join a crowd in which they knew few people, to hear the former student talk. The way I understand it, the appearance was the idea of English teacher Stephanie Derby, who may just have something to do with Erichsen's accomplishments - in the communications field that is.
After all, there are many great athletes, but not many are capable, or worthy, of being a keynote speaker at a banquet filled with many well-educated adults that love an activity that is outside the showbiz atmosphere of most professional sports.
That these educators would show up to an event featuring someone they hadn't taught for nearly nine years speaks volumes about the personal, caring education Kingsland graduate Erichsen received.
Erichsen was invited because of his running ability. He was warmly accepted because he was able to articulate his achievements in an interesting and engaging presentation.
Although often not recognized like coaches are, his teachers helped him develop into the all-around successful Kingsland alumnus that can feel as accomplished explaining his running as he does actually running.