The RRCA Organization & Coaching Certification Program featuring President of the Board George Rehmet & Randy Accetta
In this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim is chatting with President of the Board of the RRCA, George Rehmet, and Randy Accetta, Director of Coaching Education. We delve into the RRCA organization as a whole, and their wildly popular coaching certification program. George also tells us about some of the steps that the RRCA is taking to diversify it’s programming and organization as a whole. Randy gives us knowledge on RRCA’s coaching program including, who can become a coach, & what it takes to become and maintain your coaching status with the org.
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[00:00:00] Kim: [00:00:00] Have you seen a bunch of RRCA run coaches popping up on your feed and wondering what is all going on while let’s talk? RRCA coaching certification and what it takes to get one.
[00:00:28] Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Run Wave podcast. I am your host Kim. If this is your first time tuning into the show. Welcome. I am so happy to have you here. If you are a return listener, welcome back to the show and thank you for riding with me week after week on this podcast. I appreciate you for being here and supporting the show.
[00:00:54] First up on the show. I have George . He is the president [00:01:00] of the board of the RRCA the road runners club of America. And I am talking to him about the RRCA. I wanted to know what was going on with the organization, why I’m seeing so many run coaches that are popping up on the scene in 2020. He tells me all about his running history, how he got involved with the RRCA and just a ton more.
[00:01:28] I’m also chatting with Ranzie ACETA. He is the director of coaching education for the RRCA, and he’s going to delve into that coaching certification with me, what it takes to become our RSP. I see a coach, the process that you have to go through the certifications that you have to have to keep your coaching year after year, which is we’re diving all into it.
[00:01:53] And we’re also talking about diversity within our RRCA and what they are doing moving forward to make [00:02:00] sure that their organization is more diverse. So let’s get started with the interview and I hope you enjoy my chat with these gentlemen. Welcome George remet to the show. He is the president of the board of the RR CA the road runners club of America.
[00:02:20] Welcome George.
[00:02:22] George Rehmet: [00:02:22] Um, thanks Kim. I’m happy to be here.
[00:02:25] Kim: [00:02:25] I’m so happy to have you on The Run Wave podcast. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?
[00:02:34] George Rehmet: [00:02:34] Um, I live in Daly city, which is just South of San Francisco. Um, I’m a teacher. Um, I’ve been teaching about. Almost 30 years. Uh, currently I teach a facility, mental health facility for kids from six to 12th grade.
[00:02:49] So they live there, they have variety of mental health issues. And so I teach a math, science, uh, history. They used to have me do PE and [00:03:00] English as well, but then I got over it. Um, so, um, I really, I really like it. Really get to work with the kids, one-on-one know him personally, get that, you know, really not locked into the curriculum.
[00:03:13] Um, I have a 25 year old daughter, um, been married for 26 years. My wife is a preschool special education teachers. So, so we get to talk shop. And one of my jokes is I don’t want to see any of your kids when they get to be teenagers.
[00:03:29] Kim: [00:03:29] That’s funny. So you, what age students do you teach?
[00:03:34] George Rehmet: [00:03:34] Uh, I teach, uh, right now I have kids from seventh grade to 12th grade.
[00:03:38] So I have like, so it’s like the facility can only hold 12 kids currently have seven kids. So it’s like a one room, class, school house you might say. But the classroom is in the facility. I do have a para educator. I do have like support staff as well. And I have residential counselors if I [00:04:00] need help with the behaviors.
[00:04:01] And, um, but it’s, it’s a great program, dedicated staff, um, the kids, you know, their issues. Um, but they’re good kids. You know, I just figuring them out and just working with them on solution, just listening to them. So just want to give a shout out to Kenny Oaks, youth facility in Redwood city. So love you guys.
[00:04:22] Kim: [00:04:22] Oh, that’s awesome. So how has it been for you as a teacher during COVID.
[00:04:27] George Rehmet: [00:04:27] It was a challenge. I’ll be honest. When I heard, um, in March I broke down and cried because these are like the neediest kids. Um, during summer, um, I was able to be in the classroom for four weeks. We did more out door, work, gardening, um, like Lily light stuff.
[00:04:47] And then of course back again, remote teaching, it was, it was a challenge because you can’t read one of the things as a teacher. It’s like reading the body language, listening to the tones of the kids. And it’s very [00:05:00] hard to pick up on from a screen, basically. So luckily, um, we got clear to be able to teach.
[00:05:09] So just before winter break, I just finished up my fourth week with the kids and the kids really appreciate the staff. Really appreciate it. I really appreciate too big difference. Um, and, uh, we started put away the computers, you know, just it’s like the kids are so tired. Like, you know what, let’s just do.
[00:05:26] Hands-on projects. Let’s just. Do discussions in person and so forth. And so it’s been a good four weeks. I feel like, you know, as a teacher, usually by winter break, it gets like, Oh, I need to break, but I still have the energy. I’m just so grateful that I have, because right now in California, we’re all like pretty much locked down.
[00:05:46] But luckily schools that have started teaching. In person, instructions can still continue. So I’m grateful for that.
[00:05:54] Kim: [00:05:54] So, yeah, I commend all teachers because I have a little one, [00:06:00] six, and I have a 14 year old. So the fourth year I was self-sufficient, but the six year old it’s like the remote learning is. So difficult.
[00:06:09] And I just come in all teachers that are able to do it, but I had to send my kids back to school in November. It’s hard. It is so difficult. So yeah, really kudos to all teachers out there. You guys are doing great work.
[00:06:22] George Rehmet: [00:06:22] I think. Thanks Kim. I’m thinking if there’s one thing, I think there’s more appreciation for teachers now.
[00:06:28] It’s like, wow. It’s like, I had struggled with my kids and I’m just thinking like, Teachers who have maybe 30 kids in the classrooms. So it’s like,
[00:06:38] Kim: [00:06:38] yeah, I don’t know how they do it.
[00:06:40] George Rehmet: [00:06:40] Um, I think it’s just, I think one of the things is with. Students is seeing the change positive. Yes. I deal with the most difficult population I’ve dealt with kids who I’ve known had passed away.
[00:06:53] I’ve gone to jail, but then I have, but for the kids who do well, it’s like you can’t put a [00:07:00] price tag on a life it’s like, and, and some of those kids come back. They contact me. Hey, Mr. Rabbit. Thanks for really being a great algebra teacher together. They see why I needed to learn all these skills or one kid came like six months later and had a job as a limo driver.
[00:07:16] And just want to say, Hey, thanks for pushing me. And it’s like those kids, like when those things happen, it’s like they say, remind yourself why. I am a teacher it’s just to make a difference in people’s lives
[00:07:30] Kim: [00:07:30] and that you are doing.
[00:07:32] George Rehmet: [00:07:32] Thank you.
[00:07:33] Kim: [00:07:33] So let’s talk a little bit about your running. I see you have a ton of metals on your wall behind you.
[00:07:39] So how long have you been running?
[00:07:41] George Rehmet: [00:07:41] I’ve been running since 1981 since a freshmen high school. And it’s kind of funny how I got into running as like, uh, back in the day. Um, my. Dad would take me, my sister and I up skiing in Lake Tahoe. And so it was a big skier. And so on the first day [00:08:00] of high school, You know, it’s like lost my check to buy my books.
[00:08:04] It wasn’t going too well. But then now it’s for say cross country, I’m thinking, well, I’m in San Francisco. It’s like, there’s no snow, but you know what? Yeah, maybe, maybe they got something. I don’t know. So I go in after school, into the room and then I realized, Oh, it’s running. But then I see. Uh, these guys sophomores from my previous school and they were kind of geeky like me.
[00:08:29] I, I thought, well, you know what, if they’re here, it’s like, there was like three of them. I knew it was like, well, I’ll give it a try. And so, you know, the next day went, went out too fast. Yeah. Hurt my body, hurt, wobble off the bed, going back home. But then there is something about the cameraderie of it. Yeah.
[00:08:49] And, uh, it was, it was very supportive, uh, to be honest, and I’ll be honest. My first, my freshman year, I finished nearly last in all the races. Sophomore year. I’ve [00:09:00] started finishing the middle, my junior year. I made varsity for the last, uh, meet. So, and, and then senior year it got most inspirational. And I think just having the positive experience kept me going, um, to do that.
[00:09:14] And then eventually I just built up, um, You know, running in college, I was on the triathlon team and of course there’s been some periods where I had to, you know, stop running because, uh, you know, injuries and so forth. And so, um, but it’s been a pleasant experience and I’ve done everything from like what one mile events to like, um, A 24 hour race.
[00:09:39] So, um, I’ve done it all. So
[00:09:43] Kim: [00:09:43] I, I had like a similar kind of situation when I was started running in high school and I had no idea what cross country rescue, you know, when you watch the Olympics and things like that on TV, they don’t show that they show the track and the fast work. So, but my coach, if you didn’t run cross country, you couldn’t run [00:10:00] indoor and outdoor.
[00:10:01] So we had no choice. But to run through there wasn’t cross country, but it makes you a better runner. And I would have never thought years later that I would be running long distances now. So yeah, running that young builds a foundation and look where it’s brought
[00:10:17] George Rehmet: [00:10:17] us. Totally. Totally. I think it’s like, especially it’s a good stress release.
[00:10:22] So my students would say, Mr. Roy, why are you spelling it all? I had a good run yesterday. So sometimes my students have pushed my buttons when I would have track workouts with my running club. Uh, Palmer kids is like, If the kids really got my buttons, I would have a really good track workout. Get all that aggression out and then come back the next day.
[00:10:41] Okay. Let’s I’m ready for round two.
[00:10:45] Kim: [00:10:45] So tell me about the RRCA what is the organization and what is its mission in running?
[00:10:54] George Rehmet: [00:10:54] Well, um, the RSE was found in 1958, uh, [00:11:00] by Ross Browning and Ted Corbitt, who was actually a black runner, famous ultra runner. Uh, and it was founded in response to them. American amateur union had strict rules.
[00:11:12] And so the purpose of the RST was to have like marginalized groups, which was mostly women because, uh, AAU was. Like it’s just about male runners. And so it was like, Hey, you know what, they, you have these really strict rules. We need something. We would just want people to have races, a place to go to. And so eventually grew over time and it had, um, many, um, You know, more members came in, uh, program started expand as well.
[00:11:42] And, um, basically we have like coaching clinics, um, which Randy will come in soon, uh, race director. Uh, as well running championship, um, we have kids run the nation gram. So there’s programs that are helping develop kids running. We provide grants, grants for [00:12:00] elite, uh, up and coming elite runners. Um, and the, and we have run pro camp.
[00:12:06] So for those. Uh, students, uh, leaving college, you know, who are really top of the game and they want to go pro we have a camp to help them, um, like say what the real world’s like, what is it like being an elite runner as like give them, and we have speakers come in, but the mission of the RC EA is basically, um, developed community-based, uh, running clubs and serve runners.
[00:12:33] And of course, right now, Um, as I’ll talk a little later, we’re in the process of updating our mission to really address diversity inclusion issues that are coming up. So that’s a,
[00:12:46] Kim: [00:12:46] I was going to ask you about that. Definitely, but I didn’t know that Ted Corbett was one of the founders because he’s, um, he was like the first president of New York road runners as well, I think here in New York.
[00:12:58] George Rehmet: [00:12:58] Yes. Any, and [00:13:00] actually he was the third president of the RRCA. And so however, just put diversity inclusion and diversity, and his perspective is like, I’m actually like the fifth big pop person. Um, To be on the board and actually the second bit pop person to be the president. And so I think about Ted as amazing first time, like in the 19, he was president in 1960 as like, uh, I mean, that’s revolutionary.
[00:13:30] I think, I think that something to be aware of a, Hey, it’s like a black runner. Was like, not just a great ultra runner, but like he was a founder of the national organization. That’s like 62 years strong. And so pretty, pretty amazing. And I feel honored in like, as president, especially in being a big pop person is like, I don’t know.
[00:13:52] I just feel a responsibility of like really improving, not diversity. Yes. But also like. [00:14:00] People having a seat at the table inclusion, basically.
[00:14:03] Kim: [00:14:03] What’s your, um, racial makeup
[00:14:06] George Rehmet: [00:14:06] and my dad’s Australian, my mom’s Filipino. And so, um, I do present as white, um, sometimes like, um, when I. Okay.
[00:14:16] Kim: [00:14:16] I don’t think you present as white.
[00:14:19] I could tell that you’re something other than white, but yeah, it’s definitely not you. I mean your last name. It could be go anyway, but
[00:14:28] George Rehmet: [00:14:28] yeah, it’s just, um, I don’t know. It’s just, it’s kind of, um, growing up. Um, yes, I would get like, um, like that. Equivalent for Philippines, equivalent of the N word was flipped.
[00:14:38] Basically. Of course, that’s, I’m glad it’s gone out of style, but basically I would get that at times back in San Francisco, which was lot less diverse growing up back then. And, um, I guess when, uh, Mo when the murder of the modern Arbery came out, I as president. [00:15:00] I have I represent all runners. And so what I did was it brought back the memories.
[00:15:06] My God, it’s like, I’ll be honest, like living in Bay area, I work in a diverse organizations like I’m in a bubble basically. And the RC was in a bubble too. I mean, great with. Women great with improving that, but with people of color as like not work needs to be done. And so I had to educate myself. And so, um, you know, I talked to co-founder and executive director, Tony Reed of national black marathon association.
[00:15:37] I talk with my state reps, um, Who are of color? Um, I, you know, Alison does Sears article in outside magazine. It’s like very eye-opening. And, um, as like, I felt shame as like, as a national organization, um, we, we have a problem it’s like here folks running, but they have to think about their safety or [00:16:00] like they come to a race or a running club and they feel like, um, like.
[00:16:07] The expectations are, are low. It’s like, Oh, like they’re getting the message. You don’t belong here. And so when talking with gene connect to the executive director, we had, my goal was like, Hey, we representation matters. We need to look at itself as a national organization. We need to clean fix, see what’s going on in our house, so to speak.
[00:16:30] And so. We, um, had a diversity working group. We had different, uh, people of color talk with them. And then what we did was we looked at our bylaws and see, was there anything where there systemic racism? Um, that’s present preventing people from, you know, coming up through the leaderships and we recognize we did.
[00:16:51] And, and I, you know, gene connects us, you know, how do we deal with the past? You know what we, we take, we take ownership of it. And we moved [00:17:00] forward. And so we just last week, a couple of weeks ago, um, the board we met, we approved the bylaws changes and hopefully at our convention, if it goes on in Orlando, in April, the general membership.
[00:17:16] Well, either, even if it doesn’t, we can do it online. Voting will, uh, vote to, um, you know, PA passed a new bylaws. And one of the things we’re looking, one of the biggest changes was like, um, how we recruit people, are we reaching out? And, and my thing is, yes, great people I work with, but I think we need to look outside the RRCA bubble basically.
[00:17:41] Kim: [00:17:41] And I think that a lot of companies, um, They don’t have diversity in the room and you know, that’s why a lot of these, you know, everything is like essentially whitewash because there’s no one in the room speaking up about these issues. [00:18:00] So, I mean, I, I, I looked at your board of directors and it’s pretty diverse.
[00:18:04] I think you can. You know, add a little more spunk to it, but I think it’s pretty diverse, but you’re like, you’re well, we’ll get into that. We’ll get into the members. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I think if, um, companies now they’ve, you know, we’re in the era of diversity and the need for change, but it’s the now.
[00:18:25] And I see that a lot of companies have, you know, they posted their black squares. They said black lives matter, but. In December, we’re not seeing much that is being done. So how is RRCA going to move in the future? Are you going to diversify your staff, your board, et cetera?
[00:18:47] George Rehmet: [00:18:47] Um, well with the bylaws, it is, uh, the board is a big thing too.
[00:18:52] Um, and so like, so we have a nominating committee that’s going to take a more active role and serve. [00:19:00] Reaching out to people like in, as a board. As a board member, we do have a responsibility. One of our responsibilities is like looking for people, recruiting people as well. And I think just being mindful and the NAMI community will say, Hey, you know, let’s talk with these people.
[00:19:17] Let’s reach out to these groups. And so I’ve served like, um, Like right now, I’ve been talking to different people, um, to say, Hey, what’s your interest. It may not be right now, but down the road. So that’s at the board level with the bylaws changes at a lower level. We have like a state representatives. So there’s like one in eight States, some bigger States like California have free.
[00:19:42] And for. So one of the things is the national office is trying to make sure when they’re looking at state representatives, is that, are we looking at diversity, I’ll re you know, trying to reach out, like make sure because I mean, back then when I first started the [00:20:00] state rep. Like 20 years ago, it was primarily white, primarily male it’s moved in direction of being more female.
[00:20:08] And then when I became Western region director, like, um, on the board where I oversee the state reps and like the West part of the United States, I made sure to, you know, recruit people. So we’re like the more, more diverse area as well, I think, going forward. And it’s like, I think I want to get the bylaws in and because I think we have to establish that first.
[00:20:36] Here’s what we’re doing at the national level. And what I want to do next is like, I’ve been hearing stories from big pop. People’s like, Hey, I tried to join this running club, this race. It’s like, Oh, how do we address these issues at the local level? And it’s like, and that’s, that’s, that’s a challenge. To be honest with you.
[00:20:55] I want to move ahead. I’m not going to stop on AA. We changed the bylaws, we got the recruiting, [00:21:00] but it’s like, Oh, I want to send a mess. I don’t know. I’m just trying to find a way it’s like where we could support runners that feel like marginalized, disenfranchised and so forth. Um, so, you know, hopefully, you know, I would say Kim, maybe down the road, Hey, George, what’s happening.
[00:21:21] It’s like what? And, you know, hold my feet to the fire. And I think that’s important. Um, other thing too is representation. And so. We’re looking to add a website. It’s like looking at the images that we put the pictures and so forth. Like, Hey, what image already presenting? I know like, um, runner’s world magazine.
[00:21:40] Um, you know, it’s like, it was very white, very,
[00:21:44] Kim: [00:21:44] I did a whole podcast interview on them
[00:21:49] George Rehmet: [00:21:49] on that. It’s like, again, representation matters. And I think. Finding out what other avenues? Um, for example, I [00:22:00] think, uh, I appreciate you supporting Ms. Stripe magazine is like, I really enjoy reading that. And so, and like, I think when I read it as like, it gives me a reminder, it’s like, you know what?
[00:22:11] There are other people runner a it’s like a vision, I guess. I think it’s more real. It’s like, there’s all sorts of runners out there. And I think that’s the message is there’s all sorts of writers just because somebody looks a certain way. Maybe it’s like, we’re all out there. We want to start. We want to finish.
[00:22:30] We want to get healthy as well. The other thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been reaching out to different groups. So I’ve had, um, this month I’ve had talks with, um, black girls on the run. Black girls run, um, central Valley and Sacramento. And I really appreciate it Don, this conversation we had with them. And of course, um, for them say, Hey, you know what, um, let’s I want to see what happens and let’s talk again in a few months.
[00:22:58] And so I think [00:23:00] just hearing the voices, I think reaching out that’s a key thing. And now hopefully when the pant, when this pandemics over, I’m going to say when I definitely want to reach out. And to all these different crews, like black men run Latinos run, um, native women. Uh, running it just to say, Hey, we support you and just say, Hey, you know, what if a national origin is supporting is hopefully it normalizes and say, Hey, you know what?
[00:23:25] These folks run. It’s like somebody who’s running and they’re not white. That’s okay. You know what? They’re just running.
[00:23:33] Kim: [00:23:33] What about, um, I know a lot of clubs that pop up on the scene. You know, there’s a lot of a whole lot of run crews in New York, but a lot of them are not ours, RRCA running clubs, you know, and a lot of the clubs in my city, they’re very diverse.
[00:23:50] You know, some clubs are primarily primarily to one ratio group, but a lot of co I’m a part of a mixed club. So there are so many diverse clubs that they’re not [00:24:00] your. In your list of clubs. Because when I started running, I went on your website to find a club, all of the clubs in my area, they were totally white.
[00:24:11] And I said, you know, I don’t know if I would fit in with these clubs. So I have joining black girls run. So how can you get clubs to become members so they can be listed on your website and people can actually find them. Yeah,
[00:24:24] George Rehmet: [00:24:24] well, a lot of clubs actually joined because of the insurance. That’s the main reason because group insurance, um, I think being, uh, you know, being a volunteer, I started get it’s like running clubs should find what’s best when it comes to insurance.
[00:24:39] And so yes, I would prefer them to join the RRCA because it’s very. Either insurance has ferry covers so much, but you know, if they feel like because of the costs, I I’m all I support that it’s like the club has to think about themselves. Um, hopefully may answer your question. So, um, I think I already have a [00:25:00] club not joined the RSC, but then they got their own insurance.
[00:25:04] There, the members are happy as they are. Um, and it’s very welcoming to all, so, so that’s, that’s my viewpoint on that, but I mean, the other thing too is like firstname.lastname@example.org chart is information that, how do you start running them? How do you, how do you manage running club too? I mean, it’s open for everybody.
[00:25:28] Kim: [00:25:28] Okay. So let’s bring Randy into the meeting. Please welcome Brandy, a setup to The Run Wave podcast. He is the director of coaching education for the RRCA. How are you, Randy?
[00:25:43] Randy Accetta: [00:25:43] I am good. I live in Tucson, Arizona, where I don’t want to brag, but it’s 75 degrees.
[00:25:51] Kim: [00:25:51] Well, it is about 30 something degrees in New York.
[00:25:55] So you’re very lucky in that aspect. So tell [00:26:00] me a little bit about your running background. I did read your bio and it was. Quite impressive. So tell us how you got into running and you know, your marathon then. Oh my
[00:26:12] Randy Accetta: [00:26:12] gosh. Um, well, first of all, I’m old. I forgot about everything I’ve ever done in the past.
[00:26:18] Um, um, so I got to remember, I. Before you were born. Um, diet Pepsi had a road race series called the diet Pepsi 10 K series. And my dad would he’d run track in high school and he dragged me out there one year and I ran well. And then I went off to high school and. Ran varsity cross country. Good. And junior varsity basketball in junior, varsity baseball.
[00:26:45] And finally, I just ended up running track because I kept being bad at everything else. And so that’s how I got into running. Um, I don’t know. And then I wanted to be good and I was never great. I wanted to be great and I was never great. Um, [00:27:00] and, uh, just kept plugging away at it. Miles after miles after miles stretching, uh, doing all the plyometrics and gym stuff that I don’t do anymore.
[00:27:12] And, uh, raised in Europe one season, which is kind of fun rate track in Europe, uh, ran track around the U S uh, failed a bunch of times trying to run what I thought was a fast marathon. And. Finally ran a two 19 something marathon and ran in the Olympic trials. Um, and it’s been downhill ever since.
[00:27:34] Kim: [00:27:34] So do you have a background in coaching running as well?
[00:27:41] Randy Accetta: [00:27:41] Um, I S so back in 1996, I ran in the Olympic marathon trials and I ran with a buddy of mine. We were roommates at the time, and we, everyone wants to run with us. It’s here in Tucson. Everyone wanted to run with us. Um, so we started to coach group and we’d say, yeah, you can work out with [00:28:00] us. Uh, we’ll have a group certain sometimes.
[00:28:02] So we called it. The workout group. And we started it in August of 1997 on a Tuesday night, Tuesday, Thursday, six, o’clock dressed, ready to run. And it’s been going every, every Tuesday, Thursday since then. Um, COVID has gotten in the way, the other thing that’s gotten in the way it’s my wife has taken it over.
[00:28:25] So she runs the whole thing. Uh, and I does do a little bit of work, but my wife Tia does most of the. The coaching and organizing, we have about seven people who help coach us, our coach, our group. So yeah, I’ve been doing community-based coaching. Um, I also coached team and training. I don’t know if anyone listening has done the leukemia and lymphoma society’s team in training program.
[00:28:51] I was the Arizona coach for a few years up in Phoenix and down here in Tucson, taking people all over.
[00:28:58] Kim: [00:28:58] Very familiar. I [00:29:00] see the purple, uh, jumpers when I’m out on my runs.
[00:29:04] Randy Accetta: [00:29:04] Ours had a little cactus, mine, not more than the RRCA shirt now, but we had team training when a cactus, the golden gate bridge for San Francisco and the Georgia peach.
[00:29:14] Everyone would get mad at the team and train coaches. So I got to be out in the pouring rain in Dublin, Ireland freezing out there for all the seven and eight hour, six hour marathoners. And I would see team in training. I’d go, go. And then I would sit there and freeze myself and not cheer for other people.
[00:29:33] And they’re going to get mad at you, but you’re only cheering for the purple. So you got to cheer for everybody. .
[00:29:38] Kim: [00:29:38] So how long have you been the director of coaching education for our RRCA?
[00:29:43] Randy Accetta: [00:29:43] That is a good question. I cannot remember George. I have no idea of maybe 2000, uh, 11, maybe 10,
[00:29:54] George Rehmet: [00:29:54] but that sounds about right.
[00:29:55] Yeah, it was
[00:29:56] Randy Accetta: [00:29:56] yeah. About 10 years. Call it 10 years. Um, [00:30:00] uh, yeah, a decade.
[00:30:04] Kim: [00:30:04] Long time, which is good. So the reason why I really wanted to chat with you all is because I see a lot of people with this on Instagram, basically with our a certified run coach in their Biles now. So, you know, I just want to know what that means.
[00:30:23] I mean, I know that you have a coaching certification program, but why are so many people now. R a C a run coaches. And how do you get to be our RRCA run
[00:30:35] Randy Accetta: [00:30:35] coach? Uh, is that me or George?
[00:30:39] George Rehmet: [00:30:39] That would be you Randy
[00:30:40] Randy Accetta: [00:30:40] or, um, Uh, well, to unpack your question, a couple of different ways, um, there, I think there reason there are so many people who want to be doing it and are doing it in, are proud of doing it is it’s been, become a great program.
[00:30:59] It’s over [00:31:00] 20, about 24 years old now. So, uh, there was a generation, a fellow named Jim to guy, uh, Uh, Andy Palmer, uh, Roy Benson helped found the program back in the late 19 in the late 19 hundreds. Um, and then Warren and Patty, uh, headed up the program with a woman named Janet, uh, out of North Carolina. Um, another fellow named Mike was one of the great coaches.
[00:31:27] People loved him. He was out of DC, but he died apparently of a sudden of cancer. I’d never met him. And so it’s been the last decade that we’ve really ramped it up. We have a teaching team, Carrie settler, Brent air, Bobby guesser are awesome. Um, and we’ve been consistent. The four of us have been doing it for the last decade.
[00:31:47] Uh, we do three. Well, when we could travel, we did 35 classes in 35 cities a year, uh, selling out the class at 35 people. Uh, so we get a thousand folks a year. [00:32:00] Um, I’m a professional teacher, so I am a professional teacher. So just to be good in many engineering, a classroom, uh, when I do it well, uh, Carrie Brent and Bobby all have exceptional coaching certification, backgrounds, USA, track, and field, and other certifications there of all coached high school youth.
[00:32:20] Brent was a college coach I’ve coached high school. So we just have a really good team and our, our office. Forgive me for belaboring this, but the staff at the RRCA national office has been awesome. Eric has been our coaching coordinator, so, and Jean, our executive director, we’ve all been here for awhile.
[00:32:40] We’re stable. Uh, uh, it’s a great
[00:32:43] Kim: [00:32:43] team now, what do you have to do to. You said you have classes to get the certificate, like, can I walk in off the street and just, you know, I want to be a run coach. I’m going to take this class, like do qualifications to take the class. First
[00:32:59] Randy Accetta: [00:32:59] of [00:33:00] all, you can walk in off the street, you should jog in at least off the street for now.
[00:33:04] You can walk in, we take walk around and I’ll kind, we’ve even had triathletes take the class. Now, uh, we, um, the co the RRCA as you know, is. Uh, community-based running organization, right? Uh, we used to call it grassroots running, um, but community based and the whole goal is to make our hometowns of looking at Tucson, our hometowns, our home cities, our own state’s own regions, healthier, uh, through running and walking.
[00:33:34] Um, so for our coaching program, we have no precertification to no prerequisite. So we do take anyone. Um, you. We do 35 classes a year. Uh, again, we kept them at 35. It’s a two day seminar. Um, and these days I’ve been sitting here doing them on zoom. Um, we have a 400 slides slide deck and a bunch of supplemental material, and we walk [00:34:00] through a whole host of topics.
[00:34:01] Uh, And basically teach people how to help someone accomplish their running and fitness goals.
[00:34:08] Kim: [00:34:08] Now, how do I know that I can trust a coach just because they have a RRC certification, because if you are running with me like last week and now all of a sudden you’re a coach, how do I know that you have what it takes to coach me to?
[00:34:23] Okay. That’s
[00:34:24] Randy Accetta: [00:34:24] a really good question. So how do we know if anybody’s any good, right. I think we’re only good. By experience and we’re good. We’re also good for certain people, right? So one coach might not be good for one athlete. One athlete might not be a good fit for a given coach. So on our end, given that we’re community-based.
[00:34:45] At its root, we were designed and still stay rooted in helping our local running club have a structured and healthy running coach program. Right. And so it’s theoretically it’s for [00:35:00] volunteer coaches or helping their local running club. Third charity organizations added rude. Also, we just want people to be better at giving advice.
[00:35:10] And so we’re, I’m not claiming that we’re training the next Olympic coach, although I’ve got Ben Rosario, who is a little bit desk coach, uh, is an Olympic Olympian coach. Um, and he took the course. So I guess my circle to this is, um, we try to do a really good job, a thorough job of creating a foundation of smart.
[00:35:35] Thoughtful people who can assist others. Not every coach is perfect for every athlete. Um, not every athlete works for every coach, but you can trust that people have gone through their weekend workshop. They’ve taken an exam, which is rigorous. I get complaints all the time about how hard we make people study for it.
[00:35:56] So, I guess that’s why
[00:35:57] George Rehmet: [00:35:57] I’m quick. If I could just hop in. So [00:36:00] one of the things too is like do shop around and like, um, if you’re a PR potential coach could say give you a free session and you can find a list of coaches on RRCA.org, but going back to. To earlier question about how to get involved. So like a running club, we’ll contact Randy and say, Hey, we’re interested in hosting a coaching clinic.
[00:36:24] And so they would get like first steps and it sells out fairly quickly. So it’s like, it’s good to have like your running club reach out to Randy, say, Hey, we’re interested in hosting with zoom. And also speaking to of like, Our earlier Todd came about diversity. We’ve been reaching out to other groups. So a couple months ago we had a, uh, just a black girls run, um, coaching session and we another one in March as well.
[00:36:51] And so we’re reaching out because, um, Our viewpoint is, is that we is like, if people of color [00:37:00] don’t seek coaches as well, I think that’s a big step as well. So we are moving in that direction as well. So, um, yeah, hopefully, um, so, you know, so folks just pay attention to RRCA.org, sign up for the emails. So that way, you know, like when a coaching Clint’s going on, but your best bet is, um, to really have you running club.
[00:37:22] Say Hey right now with zoom, but when it’s in live person, usually others more requires like a quiet, a place to hold the class, providing food, but I think will be, especially we’ll wait till the pandemic’s over on that. Randy. Anything else to add?
[00:37:39] Kim: [00:37:39] I also want to ask you another question about the coaching.
[00:37:41] Um, is there continuing, I know you have level one and level two. Do your coaches have to recertify yearly or is there continuing education that they have to do to keep their knowledge up? How do you,
[00:37:55] Randy Accetta: [00:37:55] that’s a good question. What the program has historically said, [00:38:00] the only. Thing you
[00:38:01] George Rehmet: [00:38:01] need to do
[00:38:02] Randy Accetta: [00:38:02] keep your certification in good standing is be certified in CPR and first aid.
[00:38:07] And so that public safety we’ve been working behind the scenes on developing an ongoing level one, uh, program. We have continuing ed that builds towards the level two program, but at the moment, it’s, we, we don’t require like two, uh, Uh, every year, a bunch of hours of CES or anything. So, but I want to do it down the road.
[00:38:35] Kim: [00:38:35] So when, if someone becomes a coach, Is that like a automatic big that, that they can take on clients and start charging people? Like, what is the scope of your coaching program? Is it like to volunteer within the community? Is it to turn this into a coaching business?
[00:38:53] Randy Accetta: [00:38:53] All kinds? I think it’s all kinds. So just in round numbers, let’s say we have a hundred people go through a couple [00:39:00] of few courses.
[00:39:01] Uh, probably. 40 50 of them. Won’t coach anybody at all, maybe 60 of them. So 60, 70% somewhere in there, I’m getting the number of bigger and bigger help friends, help family, and just want the wisdom for themselves. Well, we know how life is. You get focused on one thing and then you get focused on another thing.
[00:39:21] Uh, it, a very rare person who makes a living doing this. Um, We used to do a show of hands. How many of you volunteer? And about 20 of the 35 and hand to go up, go on here. How many of you make money coaching? And we’d get about five or six hands. And then I’d say, how many of you make a living? And people would raise their hand.
[00:39:41] And I say, no, all the money you make in the world as a run coach. And they put their hands down because they’re like, well, I’m a personal trainer. Or I work in a gym or I do triathlon coaching, or I am a high school cross country coach, but. Their salary is
[00:39:56] George Rehmet: [00:39:56] high school teaching, and then
[00:39:58] Randy Accetta: [00:39:58] co-teaching is part of it.
[00:39:59] So [00:40:00] really, um, we’re not here to, uh, make you wealthy. We’re here to create a, a smarter citizen rate. If that makes sense, a smarter running community to be more capable at offering advice, to be paced group leaders, we have a lot of people creating a run crews these days outside of formal clubs.
[00:40:21] Kim: [00:40:21] And I think that’s the misconstrued conception that I had about a lot of other people have, because it kind of seems like these days it’s like another notch on your belt.
[00:40:30] Like now I’m, RSCA run coach, you know, what’s what’s next, but I’m glad that you guys are giving people the tools that they need to potentially help others if they need to.
[00:40:42] Randy Accetta: [00:40:42] It’s been a decade of doing this. And I started a long time ago to use the phrase community leaders. We’re not just run coaches, you’re a community leader.
[00:40:52] And if you want to come through the program, the rhetoric in our course is not, how do you run fast? It’s how do you help people [00:41:00] accomplish their running goals? And that can include walking goals. I mean, they’re all bodies all kinds. All goals. Right. And so for me, it’s about community leadership.
[00:41:10] Kim: [00:41:10] Is there anything else that either one of you wanted to add to the show that you think our audience should know about the RRCA?
[00:41:18] Randy Accetta: [00:41:18] Nope. Or email me coaching gir coaching dura@RRCA.org. Um, we’ve been doing programs outside of running clubs for a long time. Um, and so, uh, happy to help anybody want to become a better community leader.
[00:41:36] George Rehmet: [00:41:36] Great. And Kim, well, I want to just say, if people want to reach out to me, my email is email@example.com and also a one say where the RC at would not be reach.
[00:41:49] Like I tell my kids about, I teach history and see, have we got the famous people, but there’s the people behind it. So it’s like people like you, Kim, having these podcasts, Ms. Trident magazine, black girls [00:42:00] run black men running Latinos run. It’s like hearing those stories. Um, I mean, yes. Yes, I’m sort of driving it, but it’s like, It’s everybody who’s come before who’s done the hard work.
[00:42:11] Who’s told me the story. That’s what keeps me mind. That’s what drives me. And I just want people to be aware of that. So it’s like, I want to do, to make the running community better and our organization better for everybody. So, thanks again for having me.
[00:42:27] Kim: [00:42:27] course. Thank you so much, George and Randy, for being on the show and shedding some light on the RSC.
[00:42:33] I think you guys answered a lot of questions that people have had about the organization and maybe you’ll get some of our listeners to take the program and help better educate us on their, you know, the rigors of running. So, and George, I am going to actually have mid-stride magazine contact you because I know the.
[00:42:52] Founder. So yeah. Have him, uh, send you a DM so he can possibly get you in the magazine and talk about the [00:43:00] organization.
[00:43:01] George Rehmet: [00:43:01] Awesome. And Kim, when they were in San Francisco, love to take you and your family round. And we got some great Filipino restaurants. They are like, let you try it.
[00:43:09] Kim: [00:43:09] I would love to come down on my bucket list, but you know, COVID happened.
[00:43:15] George Rehmet: [00:43:15] we got some great ready and racist. So, you know, keep in touch.
[00:43:19] Kim: [00:43:19] I surely will. Thank you so much, gentlemen, for being on The Run Wave podcast. Bye guys.
[00:43:26] Randy Accetta: [00:43:26] Bye.
[00:43:28] Kim: [00:43:28] Okay. I want to thank George and Randy for being on The Run Wave podcast. I love when I can speak with people and get the answers directly from the horse’s mouth, because they clarify things for me, it clears up things for sure.
[00:43:44] You listening and watching this podcast. And I’m glad that they were so transparent and they basically told us what the program is, what it’s about. It’s been around forever. Ted Corbett was one of the leading [00:44:00] members. I mean, this organization is deep, so I’m happy that I had them on the show to clarify.
[00:44:06] Clarify things for me. And I’m sure for a lot of you as well, it was just a good time talking with them. You know, they’re down, they’re regular people just like us. They volunteer in these positions. They’re not being paid to be on the board and the director of coaching education. These are volunteer positions.
[00:44:25] So I have to take my hat off to them for the great job that they have been doing with these. This organization over the years. I want to thank you again for tuning into another episode of The Run Wave podcast. And I hope that you will continue to ride this way with me. It is been such. A crazy 2020, but I’m happy that I started this podcast and that I get to bring you topics and talk with people that have been so interesting and so relevant [00:45:00] to what is going on in the running community today.
[00:45:03] So. Thank you again for tuning in. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show. So you get notified each and every time I upload a new episode, you can go on The Run Wave.com as well, and there will be a little pop-up you can put in your email address and I’ll send you an email every time I upload a new episode also.
[00:45:21] So you stay on top of everything. The Run Wave of has to offer. So thank you again for tuning into the show and I will catch you on the next one later. Thank you so much for tuning into the show. Be sure to subscribe to The Run Wave on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review of the show on Apple podcasts.
[00:45:43] It would really help me out if you are a runner that has a story to tell, and you would like to be on the show. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a DM on Instagram to the run wave. See you next time. [00:46:00] .
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