An intermittent stabbing pain in the left knee caused John to drop out of the 2009 Missoula Half Marathon four days before the event.  It was diagnosed as osteoarthritis and a degenerative joint caused by a soccer injury in 1962!  What to do? Quit running?  Surgery?  Walk only?  The plan was to run until 100!

He bought the ChiRunning book at Runner’s Edge and discovered  as a 10-year Sports Massage Therapist with a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, that the technique based on alignment and relaxation principles of T’ai Chi, combined with modern physics, made total sense to him to overcome and reduce injuries and increase efficiency.  He began to practice ChiRunning in July 2009 and finished the 2010 Missoula Half Marathon nine seconds out of third place in his age group.

John sees a lot of injuries in his profession and decided that maybe he could help by teaching those folks a safer, more efficient, natural running technique.

ChiRunning is the world’s leader in teaching safe and efficient, natural running technique to reduce injury and improve personal performance.  Danny Dreyer founded and developed the technique in San Francisco in 1999.  There are currently over 140 Certified Instructors in 13 countries, including 100 in the USA.  And now there is one in Montana!

Certification does not come easily.  John has spent countless hours practicing, studying, traveling and student teaching the technique over the past 11 months. Prior to attending four days of instructor candidate training in Boston last October, John had to complete a 4-hour workshop with a Certified Instructor, complete a Home Study Program consisting of  44 hours of studying books, DVD’s and Instructor Manuals and three quizzes, and complete eight hours of student teaching with documentation. The 4-day Instructor Candidate class in Boston included written exams, a practical exam and four days of practice teaching with his 13 classmates from eight states and three foreign countries with constant grading on all aspects.  It takes a grade of 80% to pass.

The saga continued after John returned to Missoula.  He had to complete 14 hours of coaching practice and submit self-evaluation documentation, assist a Masters Instructor in an 8-hour workshop in Denver, produce a DVD of him teaching a student(s) (thank you, Meg) and submit to Masters Instructor for review and approval.  And finally he had to submit documentation of a CPR Certificate and Professional Liability Insurance. It has been quite a journey!

Current plans are to conduct a 1-hour Running Form Clinic at Runner’s Edge one Saturday a month and a 4-hour ChiRunning/ChiWalking Workshop one Saturday a month.  The Running Clinic will be limited to 15 people initially at a cost of $25 and the 4-hour Workshop is limited to 10 people at a cost of $125. If you are interested in attending the clinic, please contact the Runners Edge for more information (406.728.9297).

A big congratulations to John for his recent certification! We are looking forward to the upcoming clinics where John can help runners and walkers participate in the sport they love pain-free.