Thursday, August 16, 2007

World Championships profile--ULI STEIDL

Note: This is the first of a series of profiles of athletes from the state of Washington that will compete in the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Osaka, Japan starting on August 25th. Kicking off the world championships at 7 am on the 25th is the men's marathon. Seattle resident and Seattle University assistant track & cross country coach Uli Steidl will run representing his native Germany. Steidl has been a remarkable force in local running circles, having won the Seattle Marathon eight times. Here's a profile story written on Uli by Alexander Pochert, courtesy of the German federation site,

I used to translate the story to English. It's a little rough, but I hope you get the main points of the story.

The story in German is posted at


Ulrich Steidl - German one in Seattle

Beside Martin Beckmann (LG flax field EN genuine things) represents Ulrich Steidl (SSC Hanau/Rodenbach) the German colors with the WM Marathon (25 August) in Osaka (Japan). For nearly 15 years the Hessian lives in the USA, since May 2006 is he owner of the "Green Card", the durable residence permit. It starts with marathon races or other large running feels it still than Germans, however "less in the daily life."

In December 1992 he came as a young chemistry student to the University of Portland. Originally it had intended to remain one and a half years in the states. At the end it stood however before the choice to terminate its study in the USA or to begin it again in Germany. Ulrich Steidl decided for the former and locked its study after a university change after Seattle with the master.

2001 he became acquainted with its current wife Trisha. In the summer of the same yearly the two run-inspired married on the summit of "The Mountain", as the inhabitants call that around Seattle nearly 4,400 meters high Mount Rainier. In its "new homeland" erlief it itself among other things by eight victories in consequence with the Seattle Marathon a good name in the scene. In addition, with Ultralaeufen over 50 miles its name emerges again and again in the starting lists. The people from its closer environment describe it than versatile, training-industrious athlete, "running simply love."

From the teacher to the professional

And it can follow to this love for some time absolutely. Since 2004 was Ulrich Steidl chemistry teacher at a Highschool (Edmonds/Woodway HS). In the past year it stood before the choice to concentrate on the training occupation and to only operate a running as hobby to dedicate or those few years, which still remain to it, fully and completely the sport. In its decision for running it became supported by the zoegerlichen behavior of its head master to give it the promised unlimited place at the school.

"I had a temporally limited contract for the years 2004/05 and 2005/06 only, but the head master has me in September 2005 promised that I am taken over automatically for 2006/07, then however ' my ' place publicly wrote out, without saying to me of it which. There I felt pushed already before the head. Finally it offered then an unlimited contract nevertheless to me, but to the time I had already decided not to apply me no more for ' my ' place."

Training camp in Kenya

In addition it came that his wife Trisha got a clearly better paid job as cross country and track coach at Seattle University and the married couple does not have children. Supported it also its wife: "I do not want that he back-looks and says at the age times, what would be if?"

Following the Seattle Marathon, which not only he, but also Trisha as winners terminated, Ulrich Steidl traveled to the runner country Kenya. After some days in a suburb of Eldoret it went for the freshbaked "professional" into a Trainigscamp 30 kilometers east, at the edge of the "Kaptagat Forest" on 2,400 meters height. Since there was no maintenance except a small television and a billardtisch, the concentration did not fall on an expanded training particularly heavily.

Children, those into the school run – an erring faith

The first unit lined up to everyone at six o'clock tomorrow. In the connection there was dte, which with milk instead of water one aufgebrueht then at eight o'clock breakfast, consisting of toastbrot and. After a lunch with white rice and potato -, yellow carrot and pea soup followed at four o'clock a second, loose training unit. With dinner there was nearly each day Ugali (corn court) with vegetable and each second day also little meat.

With one of the many myths, which surrounds the Kenyan runners, Ulrich Steidl can clear up after its stay in East Africa: "the largest erring faith in Germany is that the Kenianer is so good, because they run as a child each day of 15 kilometers to the school. We saw not one child running in four weeks to the school. But us often with training runs several children for some hundred meters afterwards-ran. ' Mzungus ' (white ones) do not see those to stop often."

Strong appearance in Boston

At the latest in the spring the efforts for it disbursed themselves this yearly. With strong head wind and rain he ran on 12 April with the Boston Marathon after 2:19:54 hours in a field gespickt with numerous world class runners as outstanding twelfths in the goal. Only three weeks later, "not yet completely recovered from Boston", terminated Ulrich Steidl the Duesseldorf Marathon (6 May) after 2:19:47 hours.

Together with Martin Beckmann (LG flax field EN genuine things) and Mario Kroeckert (TSV Bavarian 04 Leverkusen) it would have wanted to obtain a "respectable" result now with the WM as a crew. To the injury-conditioned refusal of Mario Kroeckert go the two remaining German runners now as single fighters to the start. But after its intensive preparation (160 to 200 km per week) the "German one" will concern from Seattle also this task with much heart.

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