Jim Spisak

A product of Pittsburgh, Jim stayed local at Duquesne University where he earned Atlantic-10 championships, All-Region honors and berths to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field and Cross Country Championship meets. After graduating from Duquesne in 2014, Jim quickly became a dominant force on the roads, gaining plenty of attention on the USATF Road Racing circuit. In 2015, Jim ran significant performances in the USATF 20-Kilometer Championships, finishing in 7th place, while just missing out on podium finishes in 4th at the USATF 10 Mile Championship and 12-Kilometer Championship.

He joined NE Distance in fall of 2015 just a year after beating some big names at the Providence CVS Downtown 5k. While representing NE Distance, Jim posted a runner-up finish in the 2015 Mayor’s Cup 8-kilometer cross country race in Boston’s Franklin Park. His 23:20 time was only three seconds off Nike’s Trevor Dunbar; however, Jim’s second place finish led the NE Distance team to the Mayor’s Cup Men’s Open Team win.

In 2016, Jim’s time’s earned him national recognition. He ran the Houston Half-Marathon and earned a sixth place finish in 1:02.26. That time earned Jim a spot to represent Team USA at the IAAF Half-Marathon World Championships in Wales, Great Britain. Injury forced Jim to miss the race but a 10,000 meter qualifying time on the track earned him a spot at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Lining up against the fastest 27 runners in the country, Jim finished in 19th place on a hot, blistering night at Hayward Field.

Despite all his success, Jim takes the experience of coaching middle school youth runners close to heart, recognizing the potential that every athlete has: “The kids showed huge improvements throughout the season and impressed themselves with how far they had come and what their bodies could do. I noticed them gaining confidence not only in their bodies and athletic ability, but also in themselves in general as they interacted with myself and others.”