Local coach and running enthusiast Kevin Coffey is launching a new running program for adults in the Kingston area. The new chapter of Mile2Marathon will focus on active adults who are looking for a challenge, and some social connection.
A longtime member of Mile2Marathon, a program that aims to provide unparalleled coaching services and training communities to runners and endurance athletes of all abilities, Coffey said he is hopeful the launch of the new running group will allow others to recognize their love of running, and provide some challenge for those who need it.
Always an athletic individual, Coffey suffered a brain injury as a teenager. While bicycling near City Park on the way to his summer job, he collided with a car, was thrown 10 meters and landed on his head. His proximity to KGH allowed a good physical recovery, but the traumatic brain injury damaged his mental acuity.
He struggled through his last years of high school, and moved into university, but found the challenge too much for his new reality. After leaving the halls of higher learning after about two years of struggling, he took some time to consider what he truly wanted to do with his life.
“Sometimes you have to realize your limits,” Coffey told Kingstonist. “I guess I didn’t really want to accept that I wasn’t able to finish University, but I’m really glad that I chose the life that I did.”
Recognizing that he still loved being active and missed the sports he was forced to give up after his injury, he enrolled in the Fitness and Health Promotion course at St. Lawrence College.
During this time, Coffey turned to running as a tool to help him contemplate his future. In 2013, he placed sixth at Around the Bay, the longest-running race in North America, which has a lot of notoriety and nobility associated with it, he said.
“I went from being a pretty average runner, to an average runner who did really well in a short period of time. And with that became a lot of some notoriety, some sponsorships and things like that,” he said. “That helped out with my training for the next few years.”
Coffey, now a trainer by trade, moved into coaching about 10 years ago. “It originally started with me helping other athletes that I had known, as well as some friends and family members. I would send them programs online and just support them that way. During that time I started taking running a little more seriously.”
In 2020, Coffey was invited to participate in the Olympic trials. This was an incredible achievement for a runner who suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier in his life. According to Coffey, running not only saved him, but gave him something to succeed in.
A member of the Vancouver Mile2Marathon team from the very beginning, Coffey said he really enjoyed the camaraderie and all of the connections that people have made with the sport of running.
“I thought that a local chapter would be a really good way for people to meet other people who share similar interests that can do things outside during the pandemic,” he said. “It would also be a perfect opportunity for us to come in and show running to people that may not have thought they wanted to do it.”
Launching Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., the running group will connect active adults and provide a fun, challenging and social experience for those who may have tried out running during the pandemic and recognized a love for it, or for those interested in trying it for the first time.
“Those new to running might start loving the sport, and people that already like running but wanted something more from it could be challenged,” he continued. “That could either be more focused training groups, more attention from a coach, and it could be just communication and connection with other people that they didn’t experience while running on their own.”
The Mile2Marathon chapter plans to meet once a week, and Coffey will vary the meet-up locations and routes weekly to cater to the strength and needs of the group.
This article is sponsored by Kevin Coffey and Mile2Marathon. If you are interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist, contact [email protected]