Following this past Saturday’s meet in at Rex Putnam High School in Oregon, I received a text from Amy, the mother of Eva, who captured on video a moment of her daughters 1500m race, where I can be seen encouraging the girls to sustain pace through the emotional rigor of the moment. Running is hard, but when trained well, a good race should feel right. Difficult, but right. Difficult, but slightly easier when supported by those who are equally invested in the athletes potential. This is what I learned from Coach Larry Beatty, the head coach at Spokane CC, who I coached under for six years before taking on the head coaching responsibilities at Mt. Hood CC in Gresham, Oregon in 2022.
Larry had a perfect blend of coaching. His heartfelt passion touched the lives of so many, and still does to this day. He was a wizard at creating the perfect workouts, balancing the physical with the mental, leading to the perfect racing crescendo as the season would come to a close. The way he could speak to everyone in the room, his motivational tactics were unparalleled, or as one of his former athletes said on a November 4, 2022 Instagram reply post, “When you talk about influencers, he is on the top.” I’ll add, it’s not even close.
Larry, now retired from coaching, had a way of encourging his athetles throughout their race. You’d see it occassionally in practice, but at races, especially big races, his passion for extracting the best from a runner was apparent. He knew splits, he knew his athletes potential, more impressive he even knew the competitions potential, and he knew how to press the right buttons at just the right time.
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