Father-son stay on track

May 1, 2017 — by David Koh and Rahul Vadlakonda

Kole Tippets and his father running together

Sunday mornings mean that  freshman Kole Tippetts and his father Ian will be spending time together. In their case, it is for one of their typical 5-mile runs.

The pair’s routine Sunday runs have been a part of their lives for about a year, and they often undertake even more grueling courses ranging up to 10 miles.

Ever since Kole started doing cross-country in fourth grade, his father has taken the role of his coach. However, as Kole entered high school, his father joined him as he moved from his job as the Piedmont High School cross country coach and became the long-distance trainer for the Saratoga’s track and field team.

“It’s been great having my dad coach,” Kole said. “I feel like he’s become more involved and understands me more.”

Kole said that having his father coach the team has added a new dynamic, as he sees his father constantly pushing the team with an increased number of harder and more intense workouts. His father often couples these workouts with various runs and exercises outside of practice to create an extensive training regimen.

Kole, who mainly focuses on cross-country, currently boasts a 4:59 mile time, an improvement from 5:20 earlier this year and still hopes to improve his time in the next few years.

Freshman Julia Hoffman, who made states in cross country, said that coach Tippetts has been making a difference in her track performance as well.

“[Tippetts] pushes me to get better and points out specific things I need to work on,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman recounted a specific workout where runners had to run 1,200 meters at their mile time pace and then 400 meters at an 800 meter pace. This workout helped build endurance to help the runners finish strong during races.

As the track season comes to an end, Tippetts remembers one of his earliest memories running with his dad.

“When I was younger my dad took me on donut runs,” Tippetts said. “We would run 13 miles to a donut shop, my dad would buy me a donut and say that we burned zero calories that day.”

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