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September 30, 2013 -- The Boston Athletic Association announced today that elite distance running coach Terrence Mahon will lead the B.A.A.'s high performance distance running initiative, a new program that seeks to develop American distance running talent with the goal of racing at top national and international competitions. The program represents a significant departure for the B.A.A., which is primarily a not-for-profit event management company, although it also functions as a regional running club.
"The B.A.A. has a rich history of athletic excellence, both in terms of events and club membership, and I look forward to developing the next generation of top Americans who will compete wearing the Unicorn," said Mahon in a statement released by the B.A.A.
Mahon joins the B.A.A. ten days after British Athletics announced that he was leaving his position as Lead Endurance Coach with Great Britain's national governing body.
In the past decade, Mahon has aided eight athletes to Olympic Games appearances, including 2011 IAAF Diamond League 1500m champion Morgan Uceny. Prior to the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile on September 22, Uceny said she would stick with Mahon as a coach no matter where his next coaching position was. It is unclear at the moment if Uceny, Mahon's wife Jen Rhines, and training partner Anna Willard will be part of the B.A.A. high performance initiative.
Mahon's primary duties will be to recruit and coach athletes with the hopes of them competing in professional-level competitions.
"The athletes who will run for the B.A.A. in this program will represent one of this country's oldest and most prestigious running clubs, and our group will be the newest contributor to the already strong legacy of running in Boston," said Mahon, whose duties with the club will begin in October.
The B.A.A. already has a strong presence in local and national competition, with many sporting the traditional yellow and blue vest at races. Among athletes currently running for the 126-year-old organization are Tim Ritchie, who will be racing at the U.S. Marathon Championships this weekend in Minnesota. Ritchie currently sits sixth on the USA Running Circuit leader-board.
"The B.A.A. is committed to supporting running for both participation and performance, and we are pleased to introduce this program which will provide opportunities at the highest level of our sport," said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. executive director, in a prepared statement. "Terrence, our new athletes and this program reaffirm our mission to promote the sport. This performance group will focus on elite competition; through the program, we will inspire up-and-coming runners both locally and nationally. We also hope that these athletes will serve to inspire an increased community focus on the benefits of fitness for everyone."
"Terrence comes to the B.A.A. with a proven record of having successfully developed and coached high performance athletes," said Pieroni, who will work with Mahon to design and implement the B.A.A. program. "Our objective is to create a well-supported group of top performing athletes who will live, train and be coached towards the goal of representing the United States at international competitions."
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg