[Written by Stephen Wright]
Dage Minors has teamed up with his childhood running idol, James Thie, as he gears up for the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
The Bermudian has received virtual coaching from Thie, who won the Front Street Mile elite men’s race in 2003 and 2004, for the past month after an amicable split with his long-time mentor, Zach Emerson.
Although it has been an impressive season for Minors, winning bronze in the 1,500 metres at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, last summer, he believes he has reached a point in his career when he needs fresh ideas and motivations.
“I’ve thought about switching coaches for some time,” Minors told Bernews. “I knew I had to make a decision, and I’ve been working with James since the start of September. We’ve been talking almost every day online.
“It’s a full-circle moment for me because James was the first runner I ever looked up to after watching him race in Bermuda when I was a kid.
“I vividly remember him racing in his Cardiff jersey and really admired his aggressive running style.”
The 27-year-old spent almost a decade under Emerson’s tutelage at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and said his decision to join Team Tie was purely a professional choice.
“Zach and I had a good ten-year run, much longer than I anticipated when he started coaching me at 17 years old,” Minors said.
“I’ve experienced many highs with him and have lots of respect for him, his family, and the sacrifices he made to help my career.
“There wasn’t a lack of belief in him or our trajectory; I just felt I needed something new.”
While Minors does not plan to move to the UK, he will spend several months a year training at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where Thie, who represented Wales at the two Commonwealth Games, works as a coach and lecturer.
“I don’t think I’ll be interested in a full-time move, but I will head out to train similar to what I was doing in the US [at Franklin Pierce],” he said.
“Ideally, I’ll base myself in the UK in the summer – there are many races there and in Europe.
“James and I will discuss what 2024 looks like after the Pan Ams – that’s where my focus is right now.”
Minors will compete in the 1,500 at the Pan Am Games on November 2 and look to better his personal best of 3min 41.24sec.
“It will be a tough field,” he added. “It’s a step higher than the CAC Games and similar to the Commonwealths. I’m hoping to put myself in a position to do well.”