My name is Ron Steinhilber, and I am the head coach for Distance University. I have been involved in track since the 1980's, and I still compete today. In high school I ran the 400, 800, 1600, and 3200, as well as cross country. I chose not to run in college to focus on my studies, but soon after graduating, I hit the pavement again and started running 5K and 10K races.

In 2001, I was bitten by the marathon bug. I ran my first one in San Diego, and I have completed 312 each one in a different state. My goal is to do one in each state and Washington D.C. I’ll be doing my next race in January 2023 in South Carolina.

I am also the Head Cross Country and Track Coach for Paradise Honors High School in Surprise, AZ. My resume includes being the Youth Cross Country Chair for USATF-Arizona. Therefore, I am the race director for all the USATF cross country meets held in Arizona.

 I first got involved with coaching youth runners in 2013, as a distance coach for a former USATF-AZ team, the Spartan Speedsters. After the 2015 season, I felt that I had learned enough about how USATF Arizona works and that there was a need for a West Valley distance running club team. So, I decided to start Distance University.

DU started out primarily as a distance running team. That is no longer true. We have sprinters, jumpers, throwers, and racewalkers. We sent athletes to Nationals in many types of events last year, and even had our first All-American athlete.

 Our goal is to make it a fun, competitive, and positive environment for youth athletes. Our athletes will compete against some of the best athletes in the state and in some cases, the nation, but they will always be competing against themselves in an attempt to improve their own performances. This is something I will emphasize in our practices.

 In my non-running life, I am a Fire Captain/Paramedic for the City of Surprise. I have worked there since 2002. I understand running injuries (having had my share of those) and how to rehab and avoid them. We will work hard, but I will not overwork the athletes. Overtraining is what leads to most injuries.

 I have a passion for coaching young runners. I promise to devote myself to their well-being and enjoyment of running. I have experience as a personal trainer, so I understand that every athlete is an individual and needs training devoted to that individual. I hope you come check Distance University out. I think you will like what you see.