HomeRunningCanadian Pan American Video games medallist Rob Heppenstall joins Atlanta Observe Membership...

Canadian Pan American Video games medallist Rob Heppenstall joins Atlanta Observe Membership Elite

It’s been a whirlwind of a month for Rob Heppenstall of Hamilton, Ont.

Final month, Heppenstall was chosen to signify Workforce Canada on the 2023 Pan-Am Video games in Santiago, Chile, the place he gained a silver medal within the males’s 1,500m behind Quebec’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot in a photograph end. This was Heppenstall’s first senior nationwide workforce choice and medal.

On Friday, Heppenstall introduced on social media that he signed with Adidas and joined the Atlanta Observe Membership Elite, a well known American coaching group with a give attention to middle-distance occasions (800m and 1,500m).

“The previous month has felt like a endless film,” says Heppenstall. “That’s one of the best ways to explain it.”

Rob Heppenstall Charles Philibert-Thiboutot Pan Ams
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot and Rob Heppenstall after successful gold and silver within the males’s 1,500m on the 2023 Pan-Am Video games. Photograph: Thomas Skrlj/COC

Heppenstall advised Canadian Operating that his choice to affix coach Tom Nohilly and the Atlanta Observe Membership Elite felt simple. “I felt coach Tom and I’ve a really comparable perspective in direction of monitor,” says Heppenstall. “I imagine his philosophies and coaching will solely assist me and my teammates get higher.”

The 26-year-old from Hamilton was a extremely touted 800m runner popping out of the NCAA, setting convention and Canadian junior information throughout his 4 years competing for Wake Forest College in North Carolina, signing an expert contract with Below Armour after graduating in 2019.

Heppenstall’s transition from college to professional got here with rising pains, however he says his potential to remain affected person and centered gave him path. “There’s no telling of when it’s going to work out or not,” says Heppenstall. “I discovered that no matter my efficiency, my job stays the identical each day.”

Robert Heppenstall en path to successful the lads’s 800m, forward of Anthony Romaniw on the 2017 Velocity River Inferno in Guelph, Ont. Photograph: Kevin Mackinnon

When Heppenstall misplaced help from Below Armour, he was left with no sponsor and got here again to Hamilton to coach earlier than heading to Colorado together with his shut pal and fellow middle-distance runner Thomas Staines. In Colorado, he had the chance to satisfy and practice with European file holder and British distance runner Eilish McColgan, and her accomplice, three-time British 800m Olympian, Michael Rimmer.

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“It was inspiring to see how she [McColgan] trains from everyday and her professionalism and dedication in direction of desirous to be the perfect athlete she may be,” says Heppenstall. “Eilish and Michael have shared tales about their experiences on and off the monitor, and I’ve tried to soak up as a lot info as I can.” Heppenstall describes his relationship with McColgan as one-of-a-kind. “She at all times makes a degree to achieve out by means of the great and unhealthy. She’s at all times the primary to congratulate me.”

He says he typically forgets how well-known McColgan is. “I’ve at all times seen her as my good pal, then I’ll randomly come throughout {a magazine} on the grocery retailer that she’s on the duvet of, and I shortly get reminded: Proper, she’s Eilish McColgan,” he laughs.

Heppenstall says the 2023 monitor season has been his most chaotic 12 months up to now, however he’s glad he capped it off with a silver medal for Workforce Canada and an expert contract with Adidas and the Atlanta Observe Membership Elite. “It makes all the pieces value it,” he says.

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