Hans Van Koppen

Some say that all runners are “a little different.” That may be the case, but Hans van Koppen (known at track workouts by his sobriquet “Hans N. Franz”), is a really different runner. For example, check out his other sports interests and hobbies – how many runners do you know who enjoy unicycling, juggling and kickboxing?

Many of us enjoy an occasional trail run. Hans has not only created and still serves as race director for the Montecito Trails Foundation trail run each year, he has demonstrated just how good he is as a trail runner, running the Catalina Marathon four years in a row with a sixth place overall finish in 1984! Hans is a great runner, a fierce competitor and one of many who makes a real contribution to the Santa Barbara running experience.

Basic Information

Name: Hans van Koppen
Age: 47 (2002)

Personal Information – Basic

Employment (Company, title, describe job if not obvious): Grow and sell flowers outdoors on a couple of acres in Summerland.
Family – who they are: what they do: Married for 17 years to “great wife and therapist” Eileen. (And yes, she fixes me up too!) We have one 14-year old, “extraordinaire volleyball player”, daughter named Mckenna.
Other Sports/Interests/Hobbies: Unicycling, juggling, mountain biking, kickboxing, kayaking, beach volleyball, art, photography, scuba diving.

Personal Information – Additional

My friends describe me as …: an optimist.
If money were not a consideration, I would love to be an …: owner of a large yacht that’s sailing around the world.
Goals – In the next 5 years, I hope to …: spend time with my family, pay bills, keep running and stay in shape.
In the next 10 years …: Retire for sure and do some things I want to do (which will include running), make a difference somewhere.
Accomplishments – I am really proud of the fact that …: I can still make it to the Tuesday night track practice (and once in a while run some youngsters in the ground).

Running Highlights

Favorite Distance & PR at same: 10K 32:32
Best Race and Why: Catalina Marathon – it’s my kind of race, all on dirt and trails and great views. I ran the Catalina Marathon 4 years in a row and in 1984 I placed 6th overall in 3:02:27.
Worst Race and Why: Started running in 1975. After 2 or 3 training runs of a couple miles each, I entered a 10K in Ventura put on by Gary Tuttle. I swore I was never going to enter another race after that. That’s how good I felt after that one!
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 15 to 25 per week, running two or three times a week (including the track on Tuesday). I have had to cut my mileage way down in order to be able to keep running and stay somewhat injury free.
Favorite Local Race: Pier to Peak
Running Goals (Realistic) for this year: I hope to enter a couple of races this year.
Running Goals (Wildly Optimistic) for this year: Run the State Street Mile under 4:45
Running Goals – (Lifetime) – Before I die, I hope to …: I would like to run some long trails with some other runners, maybe a big piece of the Pacific Crest Trail, with a nightly support van of course.

Additional Running Information

Why I Run: Please check one:
+ Fitness
+ Friends
+ Stress Relieve
+ Get Outside
=> All of the Above
My Local Runner Hero & Why: Gregg Horner, he’s my age and he runs a lot like he did 20 years ago. He still kicks some ass out there.
Personal Training Tips: If you are not getting anywhere, do another sport for a few months, it feels great to come back after a break.
I love runners who …: are slower than I am.
I hate runners who …: Trip you out of one of your shoes halfway through a 20K run, while you are running at a PR pace, and then tell you to watch what you are doing. (That happened to me once.)
Suggestions for local races: We’re doing pretty well; I think we’re lucky with all the choices of races here throughout the year.
Suggestions for SBAA: Great organization, thank you.
Quote (on running, life, whatever): Stay healthy, keep smiling, keep running for life!


SBAA Member since 1980

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