The Merrell Noden Track Club was created to provide high level coaching and competition for NYC runners whose high schools do not provide winter track.
To share, nurture, teach and coach the love of running and commitment to sportsmanship that Merrell embraced every day.
THE CLUB OFFERS YEAR-ROUND TRAINING AND
COMPETITION OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG RUNNERS
Coached by Merrell’s lifelong friend, Joe Bolster, the club has grown from 25 members in its first year to 50 during the 2021-2022 season. Through the club, athletes learn about the sport of Track and Field, train for specific events, and compete in high-level competitions in the New York City metro area. Our athletes have shined at these events. In fact, at the 2022 Junior Olympic Competition at New York’s Icahn Stadium, 22 MNTC athletes took part and 16 qualified to move on to the Regional Championships.
Despite the enormous challenges of a global pandemic, MNTC has carried on and Coach Joe expects that MNTC runners will be a fixture at track meets in the years to come.
our young runners, we
would be so grateful to you!
A LEGENDARY HIGH SCHOOL RUNNER
Merrell was a legendary high school runner at New Jersey’s Lawrenceville School in the early 1970s. During his senior year at Lawrenceville, he authored an indoor season for the ages, running 1:54.0 for 880 yards, a 4:11.0 mile, and 9:07 for two miles. His 4:11.0 mile was the anchor leg for Lawrenceville’s Distance Medley Relay Team that set a National High School Record. His half-mile and two-mile times ranked in the top 5 nationally for the 1973 indoor season. All of these impressive performances were achieved on a rickety, ten-lap to the mile wooden track.
Merrell ran for Princeton University as an undergrad, and for Oxford University as a grad student in English Literature. After his academic career, Merrell went on to be a writer and reporter for Sports Illustrated from 1986 to 1999, covering a variety of sports, including Track and Field. Throughout his life he cherished his family, friends, and teammates, and kept up his passion for running through training, competing, and coaching. Born in Trenton, NJ in 1955, Merrell passed away from cancer in 2015. His memory lives on through the Merrell Noden Track Club.
Coach joe has been certified as a level one coach by usa track and field, the governing body of the sport. It is a pleasure for him to coach young runners who circle the track wearing singlets emblazoned with the words “merrell noden track club.”
Rich O’Brien is a writer and editor who lives (and runs) in Trenton, NJ. A former staffer at The Runner and Runner’s World contributor, he worked at Sports Illustrated for more than 25 years, covering a wide range of sports but always staying close to his first love, track and field. Rich’s friendship with Merrell began in 1985, grounded in a shared appreciation of literature, history, music, and running, and continued over the next 30 years — and thousands of miles run together. He is profoundly grateful to maintain that connection through the MNTC.