MEMBER: Ethan Hermann
Name: Ethan Hermann
Hometown: Pittsburg, PA
High School: Taylor Allderdice High School
College: Drexel University
4k XC: 13:12
5k XC: 15:48
5k Road: 15:36
Half Marathon: 1:17:04
By: Kevin Brandon (02/18/19)
Ethan, thanks for speaking with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in the Philadelphia area and running with PRTC?
Hello, all! I am 18 years old and I hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went to Taylor Allderdice high school, and I grew up rooting for the Eagles in a city of black & gold. My dad grew up in Reading, so I’ve always had connections to Philly. This past summer, I was looking for a running club to join to run competitively with, as Drexel’s club wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I emailed Chris Mateer with interest, he said PRTC would be the club for me, and he was right!
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
I first became a runner in 6th grade when I joined my middle school cross country team. The reason I began running, though, was all due to my brother, Adam. He started running in 8th grade when I was in 2nd grade, and as he progressed through high school as a varsity cross country runner I swore to run like Adam. Once I got to middle school, I was able to run cross country!
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
In 6th grade, I was opened up to a whole new world. I wound up being #8 on the team and not running at our championship race, and then vowed to make varsity in 7th and 8th grade. We won in 7th grade and I was our #6 runner, and then we won in 8th grade as our #3 runner [I finished in 11th in the city]. I wasn’t the best in middle school, but I continued to improve as my love for the sport grew. In high school, it was a very similar story. I found myself on the edge of varsity freshman year, our #6 runner and state qualifier my sophomore year, before really hitting my stride. Junior year I knocked my PR down from 18:01 to 16:53, and then that spring I ran a 9:49 3200m on the track. Come senior year, I was training to break school records. While I did break the school record with a 15:48, my teammate ran a 15:44. Close, but no cigar. I got recruited by colleges but ultimately chose Drexel’s academics, but wanted to run as fast as I could while not being a student-athlete. I found myself training for a half marathon off of not even 40 miles a week, and despite not being super ready I still ran a 1:17:04 with so much room for improvement. Now, I’m training hard for whatever the future holds for me in PRTC!
Can you tell us about a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
My favorite running moment was probably my team at the Manhattan Invitational my senior year. I knew my team could place in the top 3, and I really wanted for us to go out big. We travel 8 hours by van to New York every year to run at the invite, so I wanted to make that a business trip. The night before the race I sat the varsity boys down as a squad and we went through the race bit by bit. We broke down the course, the field, the twists and turns and hills and the long finishing straight of Van Cortlandt Park. My teammate Tavonne ultimately got 3rd, I was close behind in 6th, and then we waited for results. As it turned out, we tied for 2nd place as a team and won the tiebreaker, which absolutely blew my mind. My teammate Isaiah out kicked a guy at the line, I was fading halfway through and then surged hard with energy I didn’t even know I had, and our 6th guy Reise got a boost from our 7th guy Edwin after they were close together later in the race. We got a huge trophy and we all got shirts, and it was the best feeling. We didn’t even win the race, but it was the best finish our school had ever had at NYC, so we were incredibly psyched.
How about a not-so-great moment?
A not-so-great moment would definitely have to be spraining my ankle with a hairline fracture, 13 days before my sophomore XC season began. I was finishing up an easy run at our preseason training camp, and on the trail there was this metal bar that is normally used to block cars from entering into the trail. My teammate Bart decided to hurdle it—which he did, easily—and I decided to follow suit. On my approach, I stepped on a flat rock that completely turned out, sending my ankle completely inwards. I heard a crack and felt a big surge of pain before I barreled into the gate. I had to get a cast, then a brace, and I was out for four weeks. It was pretty funny in the end, but I was super bummed.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
My near-term goal is to freaking crush the spring. It’s my first time not on the track for an incredible sum of meets in four years, so I’m ready to give my all to a couple of races. I’ll be running the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k in hopes for a PR, and I’ll be running my first Broad Street Run! Looking forward to fast times and a healthy spring. With my mind on long-term goals, I want to help PRTC win the Mid-Atlantic this year, and train for more competitive 8ks, 10ks, and then gear up for another half marathon in 2020!
Speaking of goals, can you share anything with us about your current coaching arrangement? How does this play into your upcoming goals?
I am currently training under Chris Naimoli, a close friend of PRTC who runs for Bryn Mawr Running Co. He and I met on a the River Trail in my first week being in Philly, and then we saw each other at the CHOP Parkway Run back in September [en route to him dusting the field]. He’s kept in contact with me, giving me advice along the way. After the Ursinus mile we were discussing training, and he sent me a plan to prep for Broad Street. It’s nothing fancy, which is what I need. It’s the added structure and discipline that will help me progress, and knowing that each run serves a purpose. It’s keeping me focused on my goals, and getting me to really be motivated to run day in and day out!
As a first-year student at Drexel, how has your experience on campus been so far? Can you tell us about your current field of study?
It’s been a good year so far! I’m loving my classes, and I’m staying on top of my work pretty well. The campus is very nice because it combines being in a city with being in college very well. I feel very much connected to Drexel, while also loving the fact that an entire city is a minute away. I’m currently an Economics major in the 5 year, 3 co-op program in the Pennoni Honors College, and I’m looking into working more with imperial economics and international trade! I want to potentially go more into public policy and legislation regarding economic policy, so I could deal with anything from grant proposals for the UN to being an Economic Consultant for companies or cities or even countries. I want to work more with the writing, rather than the numbers, in economics.
How about your work on the student newspaper? Have you been involved in any stories that you are particularly proud of?
I am very involved with my newspaper! I was Editor-In-Chief of my high school newspaper last year, and I’m continuing my love for journalism at Drexel with our newspaper The Triangle. I was recently promoted to Assistant News Editor, but I had spent the majority of my time as a writer for Arts & Entertainment. I think the best story I’ve written this year has to be about the Madeline Kenney concert I attended. It was at PhilaMOCA, and reviewing my first live show was a little daunting at first, but I loved the experience and loved writing about it. Here’s the link!
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills, or talents we may enjoy hearing of?
I am a master at sudoku puzzles, can play basketball very well, and am an avid hiker and explorer. I love writing short stories and poems, and I also am an expert at curating personal playlists! I also have a strong love for food, and trying out new places [especially bakeries and donut shops] is a great time. I’m always down for an adventure!