At today’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, local product Chris Heuisler will make his debut as the official RunWestin Running Concierge for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon. The position was offered through the event’s partnership with Westin Hotels and Resorts.
Heuisler, who was chosen from a field of over 1,000 applicants, currently lives in Boston but was born and raised in Bala Cynwyd. Heuisler was selected due to his exemplary running qualifications, which include completing 25 full marathons in 20 different states. But just as important were his charisma tireless passion for running.
“It’s like a dream come true, the idea of doing this for a job,” Heuisler said. “In a nutshell, my job is to be the on-site running expert for the guests here on race weekends.”
Westin’s partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll series assures that Heuisler will be present for not only local races, but events throughout the United States and Canada. He says his 2014 schedule includes an average of about two races per month.
“Next week, I’ll be in Montreal,” he shared, “then I have two races each in October and November.”
A typical race weekend will see Heuisler arrive in the city on Thursday, head out for a ‘course preview run’ on Friday morning before spending the weekend greeting guests, answering questions and serving in other capacities as the aforementioned running expert.
Friday morning, Heuisler headed out on his first unofficial preview run with some local Philly runners. “The whole time, I was on cloud nine because I just can’t believe this is my job!” he exclaimed. “I love running, I’ve been coaching running for several years—and this seemed perfect for my next step.”
“As a coach, I take a lot of pride in engaging with my clients. It’s not about how good of a program you can write; it’s about motivating each runner to run the best race of their life. That’s what I get to do, but now I’m meeting each runner 1-2 days before the race.”
Speaking of motivation, Heuisler added that making his debut in the new position in Philadelphia gave him an extra push when applying for the job. “Actually, the job application said they would be announcing the new concierge in Philly—which I took as an omen,” he recalled. “I might be a little biased, but there is no better place to start in a new job, or get involved with running than in Philadelphia.”
This morning, Heuisler will take the stage to offer some last-minute advice to runners. He says he plans to encourage competitors not to emulate another athletic event taking place in the city today.
“Don’t pull a Chip Kelly out there—if you go out too fast, you’re done,” he advised. “Leave that to the Eagles. In our sport, we want to look good at the finish line.”
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