Friday, September 8, 2017

Catholic Star Herald: Coach Pens Book About His Friend and Mentor Browning Ross

Coach Pens Book About His Friend and Mentor

By Peter G. Sanchez
Catholic Star Herald August 18, 2017
Browning Ross directing one of his many races.
  The way Jack Heath knew his friend and mentor, Browning Ross, would never speak too much about himself. The humble runner, Olympian, and Gloucester Catholic High School cross-country coach let his actions speak for themselves. Still, Heath was compelled to tell Ross’ story—352 pages worth, to be exact.
  Earlier this month, Heath published “Browning Ross: Father of American Distance Running,” the culmination of almost 40 years of friendship and lessons imparted from one runner and coach to another runner and coach. “His legacy has to be better known,” Heath says.

  The current Gloucester Catholic cross-country coach, and past columnist for the Catholic Star Herald, first began conducting interviews and research for the book almost six years ago.
 But the true heart of the story was formed in the mid-1970’s, when Heath was a Gloucester Catholic cross-country runner and Ross was his coach. “I graduated high school in 1977, and after graduating college (at Glassboro State, now Rowan University), Browning asked me to coach (boys and girls cross-country) with him at Gloucester Catholic,” and so he did.

  In his book, Heath recalls a “humble and charismatic man, with a great sense of humor,” who not only found much success in his sport, but also challenges in attempting to reform running for the better.
  A high school National Champion miler, Ross served in the Navy, and while studying at Villanova University, became an NCAA Champion. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, he became a two-time Olympian, and later won a gold medal at the Pan Am Games. In his career, he was also an eight-time National Champion in running.

  Ross’ contributions didn’t end when he stopped actively competing though, Heath says. In addition to being a high school and college coach, he was founder of the Road Runners Club of America, which gave the sport a bigger profile across the nation; and created the first national running magazine, The Long Distance Log.


  His mentor’s efforts to expand running as more than a man’s sport brought him some trouble early on, Heath says. “In the Philadelphia Marathon in the 1960’s, as race director, Browning helped a
woman compete in the race, but when the (AAU) Amateur Athletic Union  found out they suspended both the runner and Ross from running.

  Ross’ contributions didn’t end when he stopped actively competing though, Heath says. In addition to being a high school and college coach, he was founder of the Road Runners Club of America, which gave the sport a bigger profile across the nation; and created the first national running magazine, “The Long Distance Log," a precursor to Runners World magazine.



  Heath also notes that Ross, a convert to Catholicism in 1957, was not shy about sharing his Catholic faith.  “He ran a week long cross-country camp in Medford, (NJ) and on Saturday night would take all the runners that wanted to go to Mass over to Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in his car,” Heath remembers.

   Most of all, during his accomplished life, he treated everybody he met, professional and novice runner alike, the same way, with dignity and respect, Heath says. Lessons the protégé wants to keep alive, “I’m carrying on his legacy, and running in his footsteps,” Heath said.

Copies of “Browning Ross: The Father of American Distance Running" can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Browning-Ross-American-Distance-Running/dp/1511888253/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504899314&sr=8-1&keywords=Browning+ross


Courtesy The Catholic Star Herald: http://catholicstarherald.org/ 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Browning Ross: The Father of American Distance Running Book Now Available

     Browning Ross was a 1948 and 1952 U.S. Olympic Steeplechase runner, an All American runner for Villanova, a Gold Medalist in the 1500 meters in the 1951 Pan Am Games, and a long-time Gloucester Catholic High School (Gloucester, NJ) Track and Cross-Country Coach.    Browning Ross was also the first US World Cross Country Team Coach, started the Road Runners Club of America which in turn started the US running boom, and was sole writer and publisher of the first US National Running publication called the "Long Distance Log." Browning won 8 National Championships, set the American Masters Mile Record and won hundreds of races.

   After founding the Road Runners Club of America he also directed thousands of races for runners of all abilities.
   His efforts on behalf of the sport of American Distance running was sometimes met with resistance from the sports powers including suspensions from the AAU for permitting women to run races, and publishing his running magazine.
"Browning Ross: The Father of American Distance Running" tells his fascinating true story with humor and poignancy.
The book is available now on Amazon, and will be available soon for  Kindle  and will be in bookstores in September.

To purchase the book, use the Amazon link on the upper right of this page,
or go to: https://www.amazon.com/Browning-Ross-American-Distance-Running/dp/1511888253





Friday, November 25, 2016

10th Annual Browning Ross Bob Kupcha Memorial Run










































Ross Kupcha race results-- https://tomahawktiming.com/1022-ross-kupcha-5k-national-park/

Ross Kupcha race video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKhcDdtul7E&t=14s

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gloucester Catholic Cross Country 2016 Video and Final Season Pictures

The GCHS 2016 Cross Country Team!

Click here for a great video of the team https://1drv.ms/v/s!AlqgLyTHnQsqgYMSOYkcrYSpZ_gOZg








Mrs Young and Ed Grant

Legendary NJ track and cross-country writer Ed Grant at Holmdel

Shhh!