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Former Chicago Coach & CARA Staff Member Jim Knoedel Authors Running Novel

From sweep-hand stopwatches and cinder tracks to computerized timing and all-weather surfaces, when it comes to running’s continual advancements, local Chicago coach and runner Jim Knoedel has seen it all. Taking his years of experience, Jim explores the evolution of running and changes from eras past in his debut fiction novel, A Golden Era: A Tale Of Two Runners.

A Golden Era is the fictional story of a father and son – the elder an Iowa high school athlete competing in the late ’60s, the son running for a suburban Chicago high school in the new millennium. We follow their prep careers through the ups and downs, comparing the training methods, equipment, and obstacles of the two eras, trying to answer the age-old question – which generation was better.

“Written from the perspective of an athlete, ‘A Golden Era’ is one of the best books I've read. I highly recommend it for athletes and coaches.”- Bill Bergan (Iowa State, 1989 & 1994 NCAA Men's XC Champions, 2006 USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame)

When it comes to his own running connection, Jim’s is deeply rooted in the Chicagoland area. Having coached cross country and track and field at the collegiate level for 35 years, his tenure included notable programs such as Drake, Iowa State, Northwestern, Loyola, and the University of Illinois Chicago. He was also selected to coach the 1996 US Ekiden Team in Yokohama, the 1999 World XC Championships in Belfast, and the 2007 US v Germany 'Thorpe Cup' Heptathlon in Stuttgart.

In addition to his coaching career, Jim was a part of CARA’s staff in the late 1980’s where he served as race director of the Lakefront 10 Miler & 5k. Even though he has retired from coaching, you can still find Jim involved in the local running scene - like driving the lead vehicle for Chicago Marathon as he has done for the past 20 years.

Learn more about A Golden Era: A Tale Of Two Runners by visiting


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