by Shelley Borschawa
On our Run Club and training group outings earlier this year, I noticed that Jason Oltrop was always willing to run any pace or distance with anyone who needed it. When I asked Jason if he would be interested in becoming a Running Room instructor, he said yes. He gladly agreed to teach new runners about running in a combined Learn to Run, 5K and 10K training program. Thanks to Jason, the participants received great information about nutrition, interval training and how to use their electronics.
Jason is now instructing our half marathon training program. When we had smoke from the forest fires, Jason e-mailed his group some helpful guidelines about when it was safe to run with the air quality. The group is currently working on interval training, and the post-interval photo (above) says it all.
Jason began running in his mid-30s as a supplement to his martial arts training. It was shortly after pursuing group runs that he really found his passion for the sport. “I’m the type of runner who has never met a challenge I didn’t like,” he says. He has completed 5K races, many half and full marathons, as well as multiple 50K trail events.
With his background in karate, Jason provided an informative session about safety awareness and self-defense for runners. We learned how to be aware of our surroundings for potentially dangerous situations and what to do in various scenarios.
“In a karate dojo, there are students of all experience levels, and senior students are expected to happily teach others,” Jason explains. “I carried this expectation into my running and decided to make myself available to pass along what I’ve learned. The clinics have been the perfect opportunity for me to give back.”