About Ray Orchison
I believe that coaching is a manipulation of the body’s complex internal systems and hormones in order to bring about adequate adaptations within each athlete so that they may reach their highest potential.
I am a passionate coach and runner. Nothing brings me greater joy than to work with individuals and to see them excel and achieve beyond levels they ever dreamed possible. I want my athlete’s to become more and more passionate for running. I want the athlete’s I work with to have longevity in this beautiful sport.
My vision is to become one of the leading coaches in the world through a continued and relentless investment in knowledge.
I believe knowledge is an essential element in ensuring that the athletes I work with are able to reach their full potential, develop an even deeper passion and love for the sport and discover their true selves in the process.
I want to work with individuals who choose to take themselves to new levels, and who are not afraid of hard work, sacrifice or commitment. My desire is to work with athletes who want to be the best possible versions of themselves that they can be.
I aim to provide not only a professional coaching service at all times, but also to establish a coaching relationship and an environment in which the athlete can learn and discover elements of their sport and themselves that where previously unknown.
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
by Eric Liddell
- IAAF Level 5 Academy Coach (IAAF Academy Diploma)
- IAAF Level 4 Senior Coach – Endurance – Middle Distance and Distance
- IAAF Level 4 Senior Coach – Sprints, Hurdles & Relays
- IAAF Nestlé Healthy Active Kids’ Athletics Upskilling Course
- Certified NAASFP Marathon Coach (North America, 2 year certification)
- Certified Lynotherapist
10km – 33:55 | 21km – 1:14:17 | 32km – 2:05:00 | 42km – 2:48:00 | 56km – 4:09:00
Comrades Up – 7:17:00
Comrades Down – 7:14:00
1st in 3 day Umgeni River Trail Fest 2012
3rd in 21km in Gauteng XL 2012
1st in 6 day 250km Wild Coast Ultra 2013
3rd in 2 day 100km Hobbit Trail Run 2013
2nd in Mont aux Sources 50km Trail Run 2014
My Journey to Coaching
I took part in the 1500m and 3000m events at school, but I really enjoyed the road races, 10km, 15km, 21km. My first 32km race which was the RAC Tough One when I was in grade 11. From as far back as I can remember I’d always wanted to run the Comrades Marathon and I couldn’t wait for my 18th birthday so that I could enter Comrades. After being told (and rightly so) by numerous “older” top athletes like Johnny Halberstadt to wait a few years, I eventually decided to run Comrades at age 23 come hell or high water, which I did. At that stage in my life I was struggling with “runner’s knee” and nothing seemed to fix it. I was put into entry-level anti-pronation shoes and when that didn’t work, the heaviest anti-pronation shoes you could find, and when that didn’t work, the heaviest anti-pronation shoes with a heavy orthotic. That helped for a couple of months before the pain returned and ultimately I ended up running a very painful Comrades with very little training in a time of 10h30 in 2000.
That was the end of my running career (or at least I thought so at the time). There simply seemed nothing more I could do to fix the knee and I called it a day. For 7 long years I didn’t run and I missed it every day of those 7 years. Each day I would enviously drive past runners as they went about what seemed to come so naturally to them.
Toward the end of 2007 I met a biokineticist who took a look at my knee and assisted me with rehab exercises and by October 2007 I was back on the road running and thankful for every minute out there. I threw out the orthotics and ran Comrades in 2008 struggling through the typical “too much, too soon” injuries of ITB and the like, but finished Comrades in 2008 in a time of 09h33.
From there I continued to strengthen my legs and build my running year on year. I now run injury free (unless I do something stupid) in minimalist shoes (a far cry from heavy anti-pronation shoes with orthotics) and continue to push myself harder and harder with each year.