This is Coffee with Larry for Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Today, our topic is Mike Fanelli.
Mike Fanelli, noted track and field historian collector, former Reebok sports marketing manager, elite athlete manager, real estate agent, and husband of his “Bride”, Renay, has died from a year-long battle with brain cancer
His wife, Renay, posted a heartfelt note on Mike Fanelli’s FB site and sent a note with the Tamalpa Runners newsletter.
I ran in the same race with Mike at the Paul Mason Winery Marathon in 1979, where he battled Gary Goettelmann for the top ten.
I spent some time in 1980 at the US Olympic Trials, where Mike was credentialed for the Press.
In 1981, at NorCal Invite, Mike finished third in 10,000m with then PB of 31.03, I was back at 32:53, my PB on track.
In 1985-86, worked with Mike Fanelli and Pat Devaney while they were at Reebok, and I was at Runners World on a project to attract coaches to look at Reebok products. Brilliant and simple, a newsletter was sent to 35,000 coaches with Reebok offers and training tips, 10 percent ordered Reebok products and overwhelmed Reebok. Pat and Mike had come on a winner! Three years later, based on what I learned in that experience, I launched American Athletics, sending it to 60,000 coaches and trainers and getting 37,000 requests. I would not have gotten into publishing without this project and Mike and Pat’s encouragement.
A runner and his dog, Mike Fanelli, from his FB site.
Next, I ran into Mike Fanelli as he was the elite athlete coordinator at the SF Marathon in 1987-88.
Mike was a coach, athlete, runner store manager, and event developer; remember, he did the SF Outdoor meet way back in 1995 trying to get the first sub-4-minute mile in San Francisco!
Many people now know Mike for his amazing track and field stories on his FB site. Mike has brought the sport alive to many fans, young and old!
Mike Fanelli was a friend to many, and he lived his life to the fullest. My thoughts are with his “Bride”, Renay, his family, friends, and the running community.
Our phone calls, and seeing Mike and Pat at the Wild Duck are wonderful memories.
Mike Fanelli, you are #Solid.
See you tomorrow in Austin; I will be telling Mike stories. How can I not?
#CoffeewithLarry from Austin tomorrow.