Alumnus races into business
From 5Ks to marathons, from bike time trials to triathlons, Jeff Coudron ’92 has loved racing for years. He once raced in more than 100 events in a single calendar year.
“I started out running pretty seriously at age 28 in 1998,” he said. “One of my favorite races was my hometown race, the West Milton (Ohio) Triathlon.”
He loves the combination of events — 4-mile canoe, followed by a 5-mile run, and finished with a 17-mile bike ride.
When he was told that the West Milton Triathlon was ending, he decided to take over.
“Recognizing how many people really liked this race, I told them [the organizers] they could not let the race die,” Coudron said.
Combining his technology skills with his passion for racing, Coudron purchased a timing system and began creating events for others to enjoy.
He founded Speedy Feet, a Dayton-area race organizer specializing in running, cycling, paddling and triathlon events for charities and organizations around the region.
“Having raced both running races and triathlons, I had seen modern timing systems using mats and chips,” he said. “As I got pulled into more and more races, I invested in a chip timing system of my own to time these events.”
Speedy Feet’s IPICO timing system allows participants to access on the web results, placings and times.
The timing was perfect. “After a few short years, I was timing a fundraising charity race almost every weekend,” he said. Today, Speedy Feet times well more than 100 events a year.
Coudron, who graduated with a marketing degree, continues to work his day job as a financial manager at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
He acknowledges the blessings in his own running experiences. Coudron has completed the Boston Marathon numerous times as well as 14 Ironman triathlons, four in Kona, Hawaii.
“I know not everyone will have this opportunity, so I try to make the crossing of the finish line at the events we time a memorable experience for everyone.”
Participants can expect a lively start and finish, complete with a digital clock, banner, music, announcements and special recognition.
Jeff Coudron ’92 was looking forward to taking a day off of his day job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base this spring. He loves his job, but he also loves his alma mater.
Coudron was going to take off April 2 to set up and time UD's 5K race for its annual giving day, One Day, One Dayton. With the help of his company Speedy Feet, UD was going to be able to expand the number of runners who could participate as well as provide them with accurate timing and placing results.
As he prepared to administer the race, Coudron said, “I hope that Speedy Feet's involvement helps make the event an even bigger success and a memorable experience for all those who participate,” he said.
But then the COVID-19 pandemic came to Ohio, and the governor closed all universities to in-person classes. On-campus giving day events were canceled, including the race, and the day of fundraising turned to a digital day of caring and sharing.
And while some runners did complete a 5K on their own from home, the race still contributed to giving day's success. The donations of those who were attracted to register for the improved 5K helped net the University more than $700,000 to support UD's students and educational mission.