Bethany College Head Coach Aaron Yoder won gold in the Retro Running World Championships in Bologna, Italy.
Mr. Yoder, the World Record-holder, was in Italy for a three-day World Championship event with his family. Aaron won gold in the 800M for the United States, his twin brother Daniel collected silver in the 800M Open division, and his mother took silver in the 800M Masters division.
“It was so amazing to compete for the red, white and blue now for the second time in the Retro Running World Championships,” said Coach Yoder. “I feel very blessed to have such a strong support team. I want to thank everyone who wished us luck and encouraged us on this endeavor. My goal was to represent God, my family, friends, those who I coach and the students I work with. I drew a lot of strength from those people cheering us on in Kansas and America. The second goal was to run faster times and defend the 800M and 1500M World titles in which both goals were accomplished. Team America consisted of my twin brother, mother and father who added to the count. Daniel became a World Champion in the 400M and my mother won the silver three times in her events. This was a team effort and certainly victories for Bethany, Kansas and the United States.”
Overall, the Yoder family set two world records and took home four gold medals and eight silver medals.
Coach Yoder has set three World Records in retro running, or running backward. He holds the record for the mile run at 5 minutes and 54.25 seconds, the 1000M, and 4X400M relay. Also, the ratification for a world record in the 200M, which he did last year on the campus track, is pending.
Aaron is in his ninth season with the Bethany Swedes track and field program. This is his fourth season as head track and field coach and his fifth season as the head cross country coach.
“Coach Yoder is a great example of a successful professional who loves God and loves people,” said Will Jones, President of Bethany College. “We are very proud of him on and off the track.”
A 2009 graduate of Fort Hays State University, Yoder majored in health and human performance with an emphasis in health promotions and wellness and a minor in business administration.
A member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, Yoder was an advocate of health and wellness within the Hays community, and of the national honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, where he served as vice president for one year. Yoder completed his master’s degree in sport and movement studies through Fort Hays in December 2010.
While at Fort Hays, Yoder competed in cross country and track for the Tigers from 2004 to 2008. During this time, he earned All- Conference Cross Country Performer, All-Conference Indoor Track Performer (5k), four-time All-Conference Performer in Outdoor Track (Steeple, 5k, 10k), two-time MIAA Cross Country Runner of the Week, four-time Individual Champion of Collegiate Cross Country Races, and 3A State Mile Champion. Yoder was also a member of the two-time State Championship Track Team from Hillsboro High School and of the three-time State Runner-Up Cross Country Team from Hillsboro High School.
Yoder’s experience includes working as a camp counselor and coach at numerous running camps, including the Jim Ryun Running Camp in Fort Collins, Colo., and Gettysburg, Pa. He has also filled in as a pastor at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Peabody, Kansas.