23 Jul 2009

Distance running academy planned for Nelson

4:39 pm on 23 July 2009

A plan to create a national academy for distance running in Nelson was launched on Wednesday with support from some New Zealand greats.

Former Olympian and New York marathon winner from Nelson, Rod Dixon, says Nelson is an ideal centre to coach future champions, with its year-round good climate and access to a variety of running conditions.

He says the first step is to fund full-time coach Greg Lautenslager who has trained 67 New Zealand age group champions in his seven years in Nelson.

Dixon says the Nelson academy has already attracted interest from American marathon runner Alberto Salazar, who has said he would like to send up to 60 athletes at a time from his training programme to New Zealand for summer training.