MEMBER: Alex Predhome
Name: Alex Predhome
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
High School: Central Bucks West
College: Dickinson College
Occupation: Financial Analyst
Favorite Place to Run in Philly: SRT, Fairmount Park
All-Region Honors in Cross Country
Co-Captain in Track and Cross Country
By: Kevin Brandon (10/27/18)
Alex, thanks for taking some time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in the Philadelphia area and running with PRTC?
Hey, thanks for having me! I’m originally from Bucks County, specifically Doylestown. I went to CB West High School and then Dickinson College, where I got a degree in Economics. I moved to Philadelphia after graduating college and securing a job in finance. I was a runner while attending high school and Dickinson College, but I stopped for about a year after graduating to give myself a mental and physical break as I had been dealing with a frustrating on-and-off injury in my hamstring/glute region. When I got mentally and physically healthier, I started to really miss running. I then used that feeling to start training solo again with the goal of running Broad Street. On a normal training run, I ran into a fellow Dickinson alumnus named Kent, and we started meeting up for maintenance runs. A combination of Kent’s convincing case for joining PRTC and a renewal of competitive energy post-Broad Street led me to start showing up to Sunday long runs and joining the team.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
So, I was one of those nerds that was *super* into karate as a kid. When I reached my black belt, I started to do assistant teaching with big classes and helped run training workouts for the young students. This got me really interested in physical fitness and I started exploring different routes I could take for physical fitness. I started getting into running after running a PE mile and getting that buzz from it. I signed up for cross country that next fall in 10th grade.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
My career started off with a bit of an experience gap. I started in 10th grade and I was in the back of the pack when I started. I was putting up anything from 19:30 to 21:00 5ks and 11:20 at best in the 3200. I raced in trainers that year. That next summer, I had a better foundation and more experience (also learned to wear spikes), so I made a big jump into mid 16’s for the 5k and 9:40’s for the 3200. I raced Alec Brand a lot in high school as we went to rival high schools.
After deciding to go to Dickinson, I joined their team. My trajectory was more steady after that. My college career can split into two eras. The first is the era where I wore basketball shorts to practice and the other is the era where I wore running shorts to practice.
You're a Dickinson grad. What was it like running for their program? Any memories you care to share?
During my tenure at Dickinson, all the guys ran with a lot of heart and with something to prove. With our rivals being titans like Johns Hopkins and Haverford, we had our work cut out for us. We've had success, but rarely can you be complacent in that environment. I've never met a dude who cares more about training/racing than Don Nichter, the coach at Dickinson. I believe that he and the culture helped a lot of people improve. I watched a lot of my teammates put up some gutsy performances, but the other side of the coin was we usually had to worry about guys fizzling out or getting hurt.
For me specifically, when I first showed up to Dickinson, I really did not care what I wore to practice or how it effected my running efficiency. My first practice, I showed up wearing a giant Darth Vader shirt and basketball shorts. I eventually incorporated some critical thinking into what I wore to practice and was more aerodynamic.
Another thing I’d love to point out about college was that Matt, Cole, and I were a workout crew with 4 other guys that was called "The Bull Pack."
Can you tell us about a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
I have one from high school and one from college, both instances where my teammates and I picked up unexpected points in conference meets. I usually love moments like that.
My favorite running moment in high school was running the 3200 at conferences my junior year. My teammate Chris Berry and I were seeded in the back of the pack in the 3200, but we snagged unexpected points by me getting 2nd place and him getting 4th. This was particularly exciting because we were hunting for the team title against an undefeated North Penn at the time.
My favorite college moment was the 10k at conferences my junior year. Similar deal, but there was four of us and we went 1-2-7-8. I think that's one of our best collective scores in a conference 10k.
How about a not-so-great moment?
There are probably a few in PRTC who know this story.
During my junior year of high school, I was looking to hit the district standard in the 3200, which I believe was 9:50. I had been cutting off a lot of time on my 3200 time and I was entered in the Neshaminy Invitational. There were big gaps in the field between the first seed, me the second, and the rest of the field. I had calculated in my head that the only way I was going to hit the time that I needed to hit would be for me to run with the first seed as long as possible. He took it out in 61 at the first 400, which was a PR for me. Then it was 2:10 at the 800, another PR for me. We hit 4:35 at the mile, another PR at the time. With 600 to go, I collapsed on the infield for a DNF and my dad thought I died. He ran into the infield (he's 6'8, large dude), and it was a whole scene. It was super embarrassing. I later found out that my future college teammate Hunter's team was at that meet and they had a nickname for me after that event.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
I'm looking to get as close to 70 minutes for a half marathon as possible. I'm also looking to break 15 in the 5k at some point, with my PR at 15:03. I'd also like to take a stab at the marathon, but I'll have to see how the half goes first.
Can you tell us about your day job?
I'm a financial analyst for an education tech company called Ellucian. The team I'm on does a lot of collaboration with the financial planning team and sales teams. The cross-functionality is a neat thing to experience, because you can definitely feel the impact your work has on the company. My role mainly focuses on using sales analytics to best explain how successful the company and various sales teams are doing. This changes rapidly, given the nature of the higher education market, so the question of "how do you define success?" rapidly changes as well.
What inspired you to pursue this line of work?
I've been fascinated by markets and socio-economic trends/issues of our time. The state of the higher education market and the subsequent decisions being made in the private and public sectors critically depend on the socio-economic situation of the US and the world, and it's motivating to be part of an institution that could have a positive impact on all of this.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills, or talents we may enjoy hearing of?
Music has also been a big part of my life. I started playing guitar when I was 12 and attended Lehigh Valley Charter School for Performing Arts for the first part of 9th grade (which I ultimately transferred out of mainly because the commute was just too draining). I still play guitar and the bass guitar, which are both fun to do on the side.