Coach Zachary Forney

Volunteer Assistant Coach

I started long-distance running in 2014. I ran my first 5k, a local road race, in 21 minutes; by the end of my senior season, because of my determination, dedication, and consistency in practice, I ran my fastest 5K in 16:05, was the runner up at the Delco and Central League Championship meets, and qualified for States. 16:05 continues to be the school record at Ridley High School (although I hope someone breaks it soon). I was also an accomplished distance runner for my Track and Field team. My fastest 1600m was 4:21, which helped me win this event in the Central League Championship meet, as well as qualify for States; while my best 3200m was 9:41, a vast improvement from my first 3200, which was around 11 minutes and 30 seconds.

Though I decided not to compete in college, my interest and knowledge about running came to use when I worked part-time at Jenkintown Running Company, Fairmount Running Company, and Ridley Running Company. There, I used gait analysis to fit runners with shoes that suited their needs and helped people get closer to achieving their goals. While working there, I learned more about biomechanics, injury prevention, and strength training, which helped me when I assisted my managers with building a running community out of these stores.

Now that I am a full-time teacher at Strath Haven, I’m excited to coach and continue the legacy of this historic program. I’ll use my knowledge and prior experiences to help the boys learn how to get ready to race, both mentally and physically. If a boy doesn’t think they can be a state qualifier, that’s okay! While I want to help build strong runners, what I want more than anything is to help these boys build the habits of active, healthy adults, and to give them a space to make life-long friends. While I have fond memories of racing, what I remember most from running in high school are the conversations I had with my friends on distance runs, the hilarious bus rides, and the diner trips after tough races. My job is not only to help these boys get better at running–it’s to make a space where everyone feels welcome and supported. If they feel comfortable, they’ll be consistent; and when someone’s consistent and works hard, they’ll achieve everything they set their mind to.