By Brandon Miles
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Annandale junior Ahmed Bile is the son of a 1987 world champion Abdi Bile from Somalia. 99.9% of today's high school runners in Virginia probably do not know who Abdi Bile is and probably a majority of their coaches do not either. However, both Virginia high school cross country coaches and runners know who Ahmed Bile is or now know all about him after his dramatic and remarkable last 100 meters kick to run down top ranked Silas Frantz of Douglas Freeman for the Group AAA state cross country title. He has only been running seriously for a year now after giving up soccer, which is scary for the competition to consider how much more development and potential is left in the tank for Bile. Fresh off his thrilling state meet victory, Bile now prepares for the Foot Locker South Regional and figures to be a late surging contender for a top 10 national berth. Earning a trip to San Diego this year or next fall would certainly show Ahmed is making a name for himself on his own accord and a different path to success than taken by his father, a NCAA champion at George Mason University. MileStat.com interviewed the 2010 Group AAA state cross country individual champion Bile on Monday evening after the state meet...
Interview with Ahmed Bile MileStat.com: How has life been for you since winning the state title on Saturday?
Ahmed Bile: Life has been really good. The whole Northern Region was very supportive and happy for me after the race as well as my family and friends. (Photo right by Mike Fewell)
MileStat.com: What was your race plan going into the state meet?
Bile: My race plan going into the state meet was just to stay up there with the leaders and hold on as long as I could before making a move in the final straight away.
MileStat.com:Silas Frantz had broken away from the pack before the 2 mile mark and shortly after the 2 mile...you started to break away from the chase pack. What were you thinking at that point of the race when you decided to make a break to go chase after Silas?
Bile: The pack I was in before the two mile mark was starting to slow down so I decided to just go after Silas on my own. I knew that Silas would’ve had the race in the bag if no one challenged him so I just went for it. I felt good so I was confident I could break out of the pack I was in.
MileStat.com: When you guys entered the gate for the final 600 meters or so finish, Silas had a lead of about 25 meters or so on you, which did not seem to change until the final 100 meters. Did you think that was a good enough striking distance to hold then for final kick or were you trying to close that gap more?
Bile: I was trying to close the gap more the best I could, but he just had so much distance on me. In the last 100 meters, something just clicked and I was confident in my kick, so I feel I made my move at the right time.
MileStat.com: What was your injury exactly earlier in the season and when did you realize you were hurt?
Bile: I had a bad sprain on the top of my right foot. It happened during a duel meet against Thomas Jefferson and it was uncomfortable to walk after that race, but I continued to train through it. After Monroe Parker I sat down to take my shoes off and when I got back up I literally couldn’t walk on it so my coach knew it was time for me to take some time off.
MileStat.com: What did you do during the time that you were hurt to stay in shape?
Bile: I rode the bike in the training room for about a week but stopped so I could completely rest. So for about a month or so I was just working on the bands for my foot and icing.
MileStat.com:How is the relationship between you and your father in regards to your running since obviously he has lots of great running genes, knowledge, and accomplishments being a world champion 1500 meter run?
Bile: My dad and I are really close and when I started running he just told me to have fun and not overwork myself. He has given me a lot of tips about warming up, stretching, cooling down properly, etc. and he also taught me the importance of speed because that is what every event boils down to in the end.
MileStat.com:What advice did your father give you before the state meet race and what was his reaction following your win?
Bile: My dad just told me to go out there and run a smart race. He also told me to be patient and to find a good rhythm so I could feel as comfortable as possible during the race. After the race I called him, because he’s currently out of the country, to tell him the news and he was extremely excited and congratulated me on my achievement.
MileStat.com: How did your family end up in Virginia and you attending Annandale High School?
Bile: Well at first we lived in Virginia when I was just a few years old, and then we later moved to Georgia because my father was coaching some athletes down there and then we moved back up here when I was in second grade and have been here ever since. My father ran for George Mason so he knew a lot of people up here and we also have a lot of family in the area.
MileStat.com: You probably have enjoyed a lot more comfortable life in the states growing up than your father did during his childhood in Somalia. A lot of people believe the harder lifestyle of the East Africans is what also makes them great and dougher runners. What do you see as the maybe the drawbacks as well as advantages of trying to become a great ru~ner in the states instead of say an East African country?
Bile: Well in East Africa, a runner's main focus is running and training, where as in the states there are a lot more factors such as school, school work and other extracurricular activities, but a lot of runners including myself normally don’t have too much trouble balancing everything, except for those occasional late nights doing work when I should be sleeping. I feel that my advantages growing up in the states in regards to becoming a great runner are that there are more resources in terms of facilities and there are more meets all over the country that runners like myself can participate in which leads to more exposure that could lead to more success in the long run on and off the track.
MileStat.com: Do you plan on competing at Foot Locker South. If so, how do you feel about your chances of cracking into the top 10 and qualifying for Foot Locker Nationals?
Bile: I will be competeing this year at Foot Locker South and I feel that if I can run as well as I did at states, if not better, then I will have a good chance of making it to nationals.
MileStat.com: What was your confidence entering this season on how well you could fare at the longer distance of 5K and 3 mile races especially since you had not done as well in cross country last fall?
Bile: I was a lot more confident going into XC this year then I was the year before because of the success I’ve had in the mile during the spring, and I hoped that my mile time would translate over to a better 3 mile and 5k. My coach was confident in my ability which also helped my confidence a lot.
MileStat.com: I believe you played soccer more so growing up and early part of high school and really have not started running seriously until the past year. Is that correct?
Bile: This is correct. I’ve played soccer for about 8 years and during the fall of my sophomore year my dad told me to do cross country to get in shape for soccer. I ended up quitting soccer because I loved running so much and wanted to focus on that. I have never run before that, so I have been running for only about a year now.
MileStat.com: I'm not sure how many races of your father you got to watch since you were born near the end of his career, but are there any races of his which you find watching now that are the most memorable and inspire you?
Bile: The 1989 1500 meter World Cup race in Barcelona is very inspirational to me because he sits in nearly last place for a majority of the race until he finally makes a move in the last 400 meter and again in the homestretch to win it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqCqb62sN98
MileStat.com: You ran 4:18 in the 1600, 2:36 in the 1000, and 1:54 last year on the track as a sophomore. What are some junior year goal track times which you would like to run?
Bile: I have high hopes for the upcoming track seasons. For the 1000 meters, I am looking to get 2:30 or faster, in the 1600 meters I expect to finish the year under 4:15 and in the 800 meters I would like to run 1:52 or faster.
MileStat.com: How im`ortant is it for you to make a name for yourself as a runner and not be just considered as Abdi Bile's son?0
Bile: Even though I enjoy being thought of after my father, I am looking forward to making a name for myself this year and being known for what I have done.
http://hiiraan.com/news2/2010/Nov/athle ... _bile.aspx