MEMBER: Jeffrey Young

Name: Jeffrey Young
Hometown: Wayne, PA
High School: Devon Preparatory School
College: Cabrini University

Personal Bests
Mile: 4:44
5k: 15:45
10k: 33:08
10 Mile: 54:41
Half Marathon: 1:15:11
Marathon: 2:43:19


By: Kevin Brandon (04/05/19)

Jeff, thanks for taking 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?

It’s a pleasure to talk with you Kevin. I am a full-time undergrad student at West Chester University studying nutrition and dietetics with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. I have lived in the Philly suburbs my whole life, mostly in Collegeville and Wayne. My first college go around, I went to Cabrini in Radnor where I ran cross country. Since graduation from Cabrini, I’ve lived and worked in the Philly suburbs where most of my family lives.

I joined PRTC in April 2018 because I was looking for a sense of relatedness and connection with other competitive runners. I was running and racing almost entirely on my own the previous 5 years which was difficult at times. Connecting with the PRTC team has made me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself.

When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?

My earliest memory of running and racing is running the kids 1 mile race at the West Chester cross country summer race series. My older brother and I were very active and competitive youngsters so it was not too difficult for my parents (who were running the 5k race) to convince us to race the mile.

Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.

I first joined my school CYO cross country and track teams in 6th grade and competed fairly successfully on them through 8th grade. I then focused on soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school, but I would still run to stay in shape, doing hill repeats in my neighborhood and running local 5k road races. I played a year of college soccer at Arcadia University in 2009, but during that fall semester I experienced a bout of depression. This led me to move back home to Wayne and transfer to Cabrini, a short 5 minute drive away. During spring 2010, I decided to reach out to the Cabrini cross country coach Tom O’Hora about joining the team and he accepted me wholeheartedly. Being part of a team and having the daily structure of running were definitely factors that improved my depression. I made incremental progress over my three cross country seasons at Cabrini as I shifted my lifestyle and focus away from partying and toward improving my running. Since graduation from Cabrini in 2013, my appreciation for running has only deepened. I have raced the Broad Street Run every year since 2012 and improved steadily each year so that is always a big race on my calendar. Since moving to West Chester last August, I have been running and training with two separate local groups. I have gone from running by myself close to 100% of the time to the opposite end of the spectrum of running almost entirely with friends. Running with others more often has strengthened my own relationship with running as well as my bond to the running community.

What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?

My favorite running accomplishment/moment is my first marathon, the Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon in December 2017. I have never felt better running than I did in the second half of that race. I had a conservative strategy going into the race of doing the first half in a little under 3-hour pace and then picking it up a bit in the second half.  The first half went accordingly to plan and I decided around miles 14-15 to accelerate my pace. I think I was in roughly 15th place or so at the time. Over the next glorious 12 or so miles, I sped up a little bit each mile and proceeded to pass all of the runners save one. If you have ever read about flow state, that is what it felt like for me in the second half of the race.

Besides the race itself, my first marathon was also so meaningful because I was able to share the experience with lots of friends and family, including my mom, dad, and aunt who ran the half marathon that day. Rehoboth Beach is like a second hometown to me so I was able to share my experience with dozens of runners from the area whom I have gotten to know over the years.

How about a not-so-great moment?

My running career has been full of so many positives and very few negatives so this question is a bit harder. I have had a few times during training runs when I had to use the lavatory, but was unable to make it in time. It was definitely not worth attempting to push through my runs.

Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?

My near-term running goal is the Boston Marathon on April 15th. My training has been going really well so I believe I am in PR shape. I am not concerned with hitting a specific time though because there are so many variables that go into a marathon. I am going into the race confident in my preparation and whatever I run I run.

My long-term running goals are to continue to stay healthy and to get faster. After recovering from Boston, I think I may want to focus on shorter distances such as 5k or 10k for the first time.

Preferred pre and post-race meals?

I eat a lot of pre-race meals with my parents and my mom makes a delicious chicken parmigiana with pasta. As for post-race or post-run, I enjoy eating a big bowl of oatmeal. Last year, I started to cook weekly a massive pot of oatmeal on the stovetop mixed with various fruits and seeds. People who find oatmeal boring or bland are not being creative enough.

Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?

As I mentioned earlier, I am a full-time undergrad student at West Chester pursuing a BS in nutrition with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. I am on track to graduate from West Chester in May 2020. Following graduation, I hope to be accepted to a dietetic internship. The dietetic internship is a formal 10-12 month rotation in clinical, community, and food service nutrition in which all aspiring dietitians must partake in order to be eligible to sit for the RD exam.

What inspired you to pursue this field?

Over the last few years, I have seen how the nutritional changes I have made myself have dramatically improved my quality of life and well-being. I chose to pursue a career in nutrition because I want to help others improve their quality of live by improving their nutrition.

Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?

In my time away from running and school, I enjoy cooking, baking (mostly banana bread), and reading books. My cooking has been improving, but I’d like to take a knife skills class soon to improve the quality and efficiency of my mise en place. As for reading, I read for pleasure every day, particularly in bed at night before sleep. I have a soft spot for detective novels and I just read a few good short stories collections.