Many, many elite distance runners migrate to Flagstaff, Arizona for high altitude training throughout the off season. One group, however, claims this town as its permanent residence. For several years now, McMillan Elite has been building prestige and gaining recognition as one of the top distance training groups in the country. Athletes from the 5k to the marathon enjoy a positive training environment coached Greg McMillan and supported by adidas and the community of Flagstaff.
After bouncing around to several different training locations, including a few years in Eugene, Stephanie Rothstein has found success and happiness within the group. After a slightly discouraging go-around at the marathon Olympic Trials this winter, she is ready for a second chance on the track. Not only is she a dedicated runner, she is also the second half of the duo that developed the increasingly popular natural energy bar, PickyBars. Her fiancé, Ben Bruce is also excited to make it back to Eugene to compete in the 3k Steeplechase after having left the OTC Elite last year in order to be closer to Steph. We steal a moment of her precious time to ask her opinions and advice on the upcoming Trials…
Can you tell us a little more about McMillan Elite and some of the benefits it offers to its members?
McMillan Elite was started by coach Greg McMillan with the support and funding from adidas. It is intended to help post collegiate athletes pursue a professional running career by offering housing, adidas gear and travel for races.
Many athletes on the team train primarily for longer distances and road races, about how many athletes from the team will be coming to Eugene to compete in the Trials this summer?
There will be 4 athletes competing at the trials- Ben Bruce (steeplechase), Aaron Braun (10,000/5,000m), Stephanie Rothstein (10,000/5,000), and Kellyn Johnson (10,000/5,000m).
Were you training in Eugene in 2008 last time the Trials were here? Did you run in them?
I was training in Eugene under Brad Hudson and ran the 10,000m placing 12th.
What do you remember most about the general experience, aside from competition, back then?
The festival along Agate and on campus was full of energy as well as the post race celebrations at a popular pub on Villard Street.
Aside from your competition, what are you looking forward to most about the Trials this summer?
I’m looking forward to being back in a town where track and field is so revered and loved that you feel everyone cares about what you are trying to achieve.
What do you foresee being the biggest hassle/challenge in the experience?
I don’t foresee many hassles in Eugene.
Do you think you have any advantages, having lived and trained in Eugene? How so?
I think my knowledge of the town will help us with where to run for training, knowing several people there and being comfortable in a high pressured competition. Knowing the best coffee shops and restaurants also helps.
Where are some of your favorite places to visit when you come back into town? Do you have anything/anywhere specific that you would recommend other runners and spectators check out when they visit this summer?
My favorite eating places are Wandering Goat coffee, Off the Waffle, Hideaway Bakery, Sweet Life and Pizza Research Institute. As for entertainment heading to some of the local wineries is always a must when in Eugene- Sweet Cheeks and King Estate.
Have you heard anything about the London Pub, the SuperBlock exhibits/vendors, the live performances, etc being planned for the meet?
I haven’t heard of the London Pub but have heard of the SuperBlock and I’m sure it will be amazing.
Follow Steph and her teammates and friends leading up to their events in Olympic Trials.
Twitter: @stephazona, @mcmillanelite, @mcmillanrunning, @pickybars,