Earlier this afternoon, I received an email from Jeff Caron and asked him if I could share it with you. It touches not just what it means to be a Mainer but what it means to be a runner no matter where you are from, and I hope that you get as much out of it as I did when I read it.

Jeff Caron at Ras na hEireannHello Friends!

I would first like to apologize for sending you this as a mass email. I wish that I could share this with each of you on an individual basis, but as you can understand, time does not permit that. The reason you are receiving this message is because on at least one occasion, you’ve impacted my life in one way or another.

Some of you may have done it with a simple gesture of good luck or congratulations at one of the many events we’ve been to, or by simply being a worthy opponent that I’ve respected over the years.

Most of you, however, have made an impression on me on countless occasions and in countless ways. There are certainly people that I can think of that are not on this email list and many more that I can’t think of, but have contributed to my success and have helped me become the person I am today.

The support and encouragement of the Maine running community has astonished me ever since I started my running “career” in high school, and because of that, I have done my best to be a part of that community every chance I’ve had.

When I started running races in high school, I had never heard of Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, Frank Shorter, or Bill Rogers. However, I did have heroes that I looked up to. Those heroes were Todd Coffin, Bob Winn, Rusty Snow, Andy Spaulding, and so many others! I would go to the LL Bean 10K or Beach to Beacon and watch these guys in awe. How were they capable of such amazing things and how could I get to be like them?

I still look up to these incredible competitors and see them with the same heroic character that I did 10 years ago. The only difference between then and now, is that list of heroes has grown. It now includes everyone on this list. Regardless of what times you’ve run or what places you’ve finished, you’ve all contributed to what we call the Maine running community. It’s a group that is known across the country and has been praised wherever my travels have taken me.

Having said all that, I want to inform you of a recent decision that I’ve made. After a disappointing end to my spring track season, due to injury, I had fallen short of my goal to qualify for the Olympic Trials. I was in the best shape of my life, yet It was one of the lowest points in my career. I am still coming back from this injury and am not sure of how quickly I will return to my previous fitness.

However, while I was in this low point, I was presented with an incredible opportunity. I have been offered a position as one of six athletes that will be pioneering a new elite development program in Chino Hills, CA. I’ve accepted this offer and will be moving into the new team house at the end of this month.

Along with my new teammates, I will set my career aside for now and will spend the next four years chasing our goals of becoming some of the nations top athletes. It’s a dream that I’ve had for quite some time and one that I’ve worked very hard for.

There will certainly be some risks involved, but the potential rewards easily out-weigh the risks and sacrifices that precede them. I am excited about the possibilities that await me in this program and am happy to share my experiences with you. I will still be coming back for the Beach to Beacon and hope to race well there; however, due to my recent injury, I most likely wont be in the kind of shape that I previously desired.

As many of you know, I have been living in Boston for the last two years and have been a member of the New Balance Boston Team. It has been a great experience for me and it’s been great to see so many of you on the racing scene in that time as I’ve been able to stay connected to all of your success. I want you to know that even though I’ll be farther away, I will still have just as much interest in the success of this community and hope that you’ll have some interest in my pursuits as well.

Recently, one of the biggest contributors to this community told me that no matter where I go, I am and always will be a part of this community. This was very comforting to hear and I hope it holds true for many of you as well.

There are two things that I know to be true.

  1. I will always run in the Beach to Beacon 10K regardless of where I am, and
  2. 2.) No matter what address I am registered under, I will be running with the heart of a Mainer!

Thank you again for all of your support over the the years and I look forward to catching up with many of you soon.

All the Best,
Jeff Caron

I’d like to wish Jeff good luck out west! This sounds like a great opportunity and I hope that he is able to recover and overcome his injuries and find yet more success in the future. I’m glad that I’ve gotten to race with him and against him a few times, and I have no doubt that he will pull even farther ahead of me over the next 4 years.

If you would like to learn more about the elite development program that Jeff is joing, you can do so at their website: http://www.pacersrunningcompany.com/

If you would like to follow Jeff’s training and experiences as transitions into running full-time, he writes regular updates to his blog at: http://jcexperience.blogspot.com/

(Photo Credit: The JC Experience)