Dylan Belles

Distance Runner

“If you want to lead, you have to first learn to follow”.

These are the words that Dylan believes fits his purpose in running. As a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Dylan gained much attention for his fast improvement within the program. However, it wasn’t his race times that made Dylan stand out. His enthusiasm, capacity for learning, and teaching the sport of running made him noticeable.

During a run in his first semester at UNCG, 2016 Olympic Games Silver Medalist Paul Chelimo bestowed upon Dylan words of encouragement that made an everlasting impact. 

Paul said, “Dylan, you may never be one of the best runners, but you may become one of the best coaches”.

These were words that would upset most college freshman with big dreams of a running career. However, Dylan took these words of wisdom as an opportunity.  He began to pursue knowledge that would not only be beneficial to his own running, but more importantly to others. Since this rather small conversation, Dylan has dedicated his time to learning about running.

He has developed practical training strategies, tactics, and routines from some of the most notable names in the sport.  To name a few, Dr. Jack Daniels, two-time Olympic medalist and Northern Arizona University Head Coach Mike Smith, and Ultra Distance Runner, Rob Krar. In addition, Dylan has surrounded himself with hundrends of diverse pro distance runners since moving to Flagstaff, Arizona.

This exposure has provided Dylan with a greater working knowledge of the sport. He has benefited both as an elite runner and more importantly as a high performance coach.

Dylan proclaims: “I would not have been able to reach this level of the sport without the help and opportunities of my mentors. There have been innumerable sources of individuals who have lent a hand or word to place me in the position I am today. I am very thankful for the time and the support provided toward my future.”

Dylan continues to train devotedly to achieve his ultimate goal of running in the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon.

Dylan is currently training under coach Jay Bawcom. He has many goals for 2018. Above all, he wishes to remain healthy and be competitive across a wide range of events.  His specific running goals are to run the American B standard for the marathon (2:19), make his ultra distance debut, and to participate in the famed Transrockies Run team stage race!

Dylan has served as a member of Team Run Flagstaff, an Under Armor sponsored group in Flagstaff, Arizona. Over the last two years, he has devoted his time to promoting and developing the organization and the runners within the Flagstaff community, ranging from school-aged children to older adults.

Dylan is a Personal Coach at Runners Connect and a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, UNCG. Dylan is now bringing his athletic and coaching education to Cocoa Elite.