Linehan trains by chasing spot on wall

The roads in Crested Butte were still a little snowy last week, even before this week’s latest front moved in.

As always, it’s been a little hard for the Crested Butte Community School track team to train outside.

Jack Linehan is one of those rare high school distance runners who doesn’t mind training indoors.

Linehan wore out the belts on his treadmill this winter, putting in mile after mile.

Treadmill runners as a whole tend to get bored after spending much time looking at the same indoor scenery. Not so with Linehan.

“I did a lot of hour-and-20-minute runs,” Linehan said. “I focused on one spot on the wall.”

He sometimes had to trick himself to overcome the monotony.

“I do mind games,” he said. “I got a towel and put it over the timer.”

Then he played a game with himself, seeing if he could determine how long 10 minutes had expired before he’d peek at the timer.

If he’d gone longer than 10 minutes, he’d succeeded. If not, he knew he was in for a long workout.

To break up the routine, he also competed in two indoor meets during the winter, running at the Air Force Academy in January and at the annual Simplot Games in Idaho in February.

His dedication during the winter has paid big dividends.

Linehan literally ran away from the field in the 3,200-meter run last Saturday at the Mickey Dunn Invitational at Stocker Stadium, finishing in a brisk 10 minutes, 17.83 seconds. He crossed the line nearly 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Robert Jerome of Central.

That came one week after winning the 800 and 1,600 at the Delta Invitational.

Linehan’s big focus this season is the 1,600, with a goal of winning the state title. He runs the 800 for speed training and the 3,200 for his base workouts.

“I’ve been working since August on (my) base,” he said.

This week Linehan is competing at a high school meet at Florida State University. Then he’ll head back home to continue his high-altitude training.

Linehan continues a long line of strong distance runners at Crested Butte. Former teammate Joe Bosshard is a freshman distance runner at the University of Colorado. Emma Coburn, a state champion distance runner at Crested Butte, is running the steeplechase for the CU women this spring as a freshman.

Linehan has set his sights a little further east. He plans to attend Boston College this fall.
In the meantime, he’s hoping to break the 4:20 mark in the 1,600. Anything else is just gravy.

And, for a change, he’s get to look at some outdoor scenery during his runs this spring.


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