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Get a degree and a real job.
-you probably won't make a living as a runner.
-you might if you run "a lot" of road races, but not likely.
Don't expect any one to help
you, get up and do it yourself
-most likely you don't earn shoe companies the money they give you for equipment so thank your stars you get what do. Keep your eyes open and live in as big a world as possible (don't let anyone keep you bottled up). Any knowledge is power. More knowledge is more power.
Have a plan and concrete goals for where you see yourself in the future and how you're going to survive until you get there.
Make a running resume, they'll ask for it.
Set your sights realisticly
-shoes are pretty easy to get
-travel you have to be a GOOD college runner (scorer at NC's at least?)
-stipend is real tough to get
-$250 a month is average for a stipend and you shouldn't expect more than $500 unless are a big time stud. You can't live off either.
Make connections while
you're in school and at races afterwards. Meet the important
people and get their numbers.
-the school shoe guy
-meet directors (Penn, Mt Sac, X-C meets)
-coaches from your conference
-USATF committee members and coaches
-use your coaches at school to get you into meets after you graduate
-other runners (find out what they have going on)
Study the market:
rule 1-companies don't hire after Olympics they are dropping dead weight.
rule 2-companies hire anybody before Olympic Trials they are covering the odds.
This year it was good to be a girl. A lot of the US women are getting older. New blood was being hired big time. Some companies found they were short of young males as well, others had a lot. Look at who has what and show them you can fill a need for their market.
You probably don't need an agent, but if you feel lost get one so you're not taken advantage of and hope they don't screw you too (most everybody is honest in this business)
Keep calling the shoe guys if they don't give you an answer. The same goes with meet directors. They might pick you up if a space opens up
Be as loyal to your company or agent as they are to you. Remember if you don't live up to your end of the bargain, most companies will drop you in a heart beat. Nothing personal. Don't dump them for no reason.