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January 13, 2012

 

Runner sets his sights on Olympics

SUNY Cortland student to compete Saturday at Olympic marathon trial

Runner

Photo provided by SUNY Cortland
SUNY Cortland student C. Frederick Joslyn is running Saturday in the men’s Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston. The top three finishers in the field of approximately 120 men will earn a spot on the U.S. marathon team.

In the past five years, C. Frederick Joslyn has run the distance of the equator — 24,901.5 miles — and then some.
On Saturday, the marathon runner and former SUNY Cortland physical education major will tackle the most important 26.2 miles of his life.
Joslyn, 27, will run in the men’s Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, hoping to earn a trip to the 2012 Olympics in London. The marathon, which begins at 8 a.m., will be broadcast nationally on NBC-TV at 3 p.m. on tape delay.
“Getting to the trials is something that has been a dream since my sophomore year (at SUNY Cortland),” said Joslyn, who lives in East Syracuse, and is pursuing a master’s degree in health education at SUNY Cortland after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the college in 2006. “The window for making the (Olympic) team is extremely small and for a lot of guys, this is their Super Bowl.”
Runners qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon by completing a marathon within 2 hours, 19 minutes. In February, Joslyn won the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, La., with a time of 2:18:49. His pace was 5 minutes, 17 seconds per mile for the duration of the race.
The top three finishers in the field of approximately 120 men will earn a spot on the U.S. marathon team. Two of the top runners from the 2008 U.S. marathon team are competing again and Joslyn will need to run the best race of his career to finish near the front of the pack.
The Chenango Forks native doesn’t plan to bow down to his competition.
“When I got to Cortland, I came in with very average times by Division III collegiate standards,” said Joslyn, who transferred to SUNY Cortland after spending one year at Broome Community College in Binghamton. “By the time I finished my undergraduate degree, I was an All-American and I had won a national championship.”
Joslyn keeps a detailed running log of his training. He hasn’t missed a day of running since March 29, 2004, which adds up to a streak of more than 2,800 days. Every year since 2006, he has averaged more than 100 miles per week.
He began his running career under the tutelage of Jack Daniels, the legendary former head coach of the SUNY Cortland men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs. Joslyn said Daniels, a C-Club Hall of Fame member and a two-time Olympic medalist himself, taught him the basics and the science behind running.
“Jack took the time to study my body and my running habits, which was crucial in my development,” Joslyn said. “He left Cortland after my junior year and Matt Moran stepped in to coach. Matt took Jack’s work, then molded me and motivated me some more. So it’s safe to say that both of my coaches at Cortland sent me on my way.”
Moran recalled a track meet when former Penn State University head coach Harry Groves took notice of Joslyn’s competitive spirit in the midst of Division I talent.
“Coach Groves looked at me and said: ‘That kid has a fire in his eyes,’” said Moran, who is now an assistant professor at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. “That’s been true of Fred throughout his career: he’s run with a chip on his shoulder. He was a Division III guy and he’s pinned himself as the underdog in a lot of races. That’s really spurred him on to becoming one of the best marathon runners in the country.”
If Joslyn finishes in the top three at the trials, he will join swimmer George Breen ’56 and biathlon competitor Joan Smith-Miller ’00 as the only Olympians in SUNY Cortland’s history.
Today, Joslyn trains competitively with Stotan Racing, a team of post-collegiate distance runners based in Central New York. He’s sponsored by Nike, which means his running gear, race fees and travel costs are paid for. His earnings, however, come from his occasional race winnings.
“I run because of a passion for the sport, not for the paycheck,” said Joslyn, who earned about $4,000 in race winnings in 2011. He makes a living by coaching novice runners and managing training programs for Fleet Feet Sports, a running store franchise in East Syracuse.
When he returns to Cortland for his graduate classes, Joslyn sometimes logs miles on city streets and Lime Hollow trails. He grabs post-run candy bars and Gatorades at the same Tompkins Street gas station he frequented as an undergraduate. Cortland is among his favorite places to run, he said, because it is where his Olympic trials dream came to fruition.
“Cortland wasn’t just a pit stop for me,” he said. “It’s where I became more serious about school, about running and about my life.
“Some guys, once they’re done running competitively, they leave the sport. That’s not me. Regardless of how this race or any other race turns out, I’ll continue running at some level for the rest of my life.”
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This article was submitted by SUNY Cortland
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