Up until August, Craig Leon had been living, training, and working in Athens, Ohio. Leon worked as the Director of Compliance and Assistant Cross Country/Track and Field coach for Ohio University. During this time, Leon would cram in 100-mile weeks between 40-50 hour work weeks and weekend collegiate meets. With the Trials being in January, Leon chose to resign from his job and move to Eugene, Oregon, with the intent on focusing more of his attention on his training. Leon now works at the Eugene Running Company and has the benefit of being around some great running talents in Eugene. Although it was tough for Leon to put his life and career on hold, he wanted to focus these next few years on his running to see where it leads him.
Runners Feed: Take us through a typical day of your life…
Craig Leon: Even though I don’t have to get up as early as I did when I lived and worked in Ohio, I’m a morning person, so I still wake up when it’s dark out every day and do a 5-6 mile morning run. I’ll also go to the gym 2-3 times a week either before or after my run to get in my core and strengthening work. The Eugene Running Company opens at 10 a.m., so I have time to squeeze in my run, workout, and breakfast without having to rush too much. After spending some time at the store, I’ll gather my stuff for an afternoon workout. My roommate, Annie Beecham, (finished 11th at NCAA D1 Track and Field 10k last year) is a great cook, so we generally eat some pretty healthy, good dinners. I’m not much of a night owl these days, especially with the 120-mile weeks I have on my legs, so I am usually in my bed before 10:30 p.m. Sleep and repeat.
RF: Do you work full or part-time while training? If so, what do you do? If not, what has kept you afloat while you pursue your dream?
CL: I have been working part-time at the Eugene Running Company since mid-August. It’s been a welcomed change of pace from my previous job and as an added bonus, I have really enjoyed helping and working with other runners/walkers in the Eugene community. I am also very lucky to have the support of both Mizuno and Team Run Eugene (my club team, which just formed this past year). Without their sponsorship and support, I would not have the opportunity to work a little less and devote more of my time to training. I’m also motivated and inspired by the support I get from family and friends. I am incredibly fortunate and thankful to have the opportunities that I do.
RF: When the going gets tough on the 14th what will keep you gunning for the finish line?
CL: I’m motivated to race and beat some people that I may not be able to beat on the track or in shorter events, and I want to finish as high as possible in the standings. I’ll think back to some of the long, hard workouts that I did during my lead-up to the race. And when things get real tough, I’ll think about the people who helped make this possible, and most of those people will be there watching and cheering, so it’s an added bonus!
RF: What will you eat the night before?
CL: I like to eat a big meal the night before, so I will probably go with a combo of a small steak and some pasta. A salad and some fresh bread would be nice additions as well.
RF: Race day shoes?
CL: Mizuno Wave Ronin