By Coach Mike Reif
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that we lost Kevin Clinefelter. This was due to sudden cardiac failure during or shortly after running most of the Shore Line Half Marathon. Indeed it was a total shock and with great sadness when I heard the news. I am deeply saddened as I am sure all who knew Kevin are. He had not been feeling well the week before and he knew he was doing the race because of his passion just to run. Running gave Kevin great peace and comfort.
As many of you know, Kevin was a dedicated runner with the Genesee Valley Harriers Running Club (GVH) for the past 4+ years. He had his own unique style for sure and he made friends with everyone. He helped everyone pursue their dreams, ran many phenomenal times, paced races, had a unique sense of humor, listened to whatever you had to say and was just an all-around great guy. Kevin was serious about all he did and he did it with passion and precision. No doubt about that, for he and I had detailed discussions before and after every workout regarding the plan, the pace, the strategy, how it went . . . the ups and downs of injuries . . . and life. I enjoyed our conversations because they were serious, fun and always thought-provoking. He almost always listened to my suggestions and thanked me often.
Kevin made some dramatic improvements over the time period he was with GVH. He worked extremely hard. He followed with precision the workout plans, paces and input I provided him and he was not only pleased with the results but deep inside he was ecstatic with his accomplishments. We, his team captains, teammates and I lured him into running USATF National Championship events around the country, despite some initial reticence on his part. Before you knew it he was hooked and eventually Kevin was the deciding runner in winning several first-place team National Championship titles. He qualified and ran the Boston Marathon several times during his tenure with us and he loved it. We were proud of all of his efforts, contributions, and successes. His times and places in national events were phenomenal, especially for someone who took up the sport or running later in life. He befriended runners from across the country and enjoyed the camaraderie of his team-mates and fellow runners whether they were with GVH, Fleet Feet, Medved, Rochester Running Company or whoever he was with.
We will miss Kevin immensely and he will be remembered as a very fast National Champion level runner, who was a friendly dude and who’s passion for life and running was intense.
Coach Mike Reif
USATF National Masters’ Race, Dedham, MA.
Kevin with Meb.
Kevin helping everyone–a great pacesetter.