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 28, each one in a different state. My goal is to do one in each state and Washington D.C.

Currently, I am a firefighter for the City of Surprise. I am a paramedic and a personal trainer. 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 first got involved with coaching youth runners in 2013, as a distance coach for 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.

Distance University will focus on teaching runners the techniques and training needed to run both middle distance (400/800) and long distance events (1500/3000). Our goal is to make it a fun, competitive, and positive environment for youth athletes. Runners will compete against some of the best runners 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.

We had a great first track season in 2016, sending more than a third of our runners to the Regional meet in Albuquerque, and our 11-12 girls 3200 Relay team to Nationals. The girls were able to qualify for Nationals again in 2017. We also had both the 2017 boys and girls 8 and under state champions compete for our team.

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.