Kiya Dandena has been working with VDOT Coach Jay Bawcom on VDOT O2 since this past February. He currently has one of the highest VDOT scores on the app logging upwards of 100 miles per week. All Kiya’s hard work and dedication paid off this past weekend at the U.S. Marathon Championships where he had a breakthrough performance. Kiya finished 3rd overall in 2:12:56, improving his personal best by 10-minutes. [Full Results]

Jay was not just a proud coach this past weekend, his wife (pictured left above) and fellow VDOT Coach Janet Bawcom finished 7th female overall in 2:35:19. After the race he commented, “Kiya’s goal going into the race was to just hang with the guys who are usually his competitors in the shorter races until mile 19-20. We’d been doing his M-pace work at 5:04-5:05 per mile, but on race day he set his watch to not show splits and just raced against people – and it wasn’t a big shock when he crossed the finish line just a few seconds off from his VDOT projection.”

Jay and Kiya first connected because Kiya needed a place to stay while he trained in Flagstaff. The rest is history! The more you learn about these two they’re not just coach and athlete, they’re a team and that’s what’s so special about the tight-knit running community in Flagstaff. We’re excited to see Kiya’s progress as he chases new PRs for shorter distances in the New Year.

Chasing my coach to get my hat back! . . . ?: @lawerley

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