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Spotlight on IDP's Newest Elite, Andrew Rafla

Updated: Jan 19

Andrew finishes first at Club Cross Regionals, leading IDP's men's team to a first place finish as well. (photo: M. Bates)

The Idaho Distance Project is very fortunate and proud to announce the addition of Idaho homegrown, and Boise native, Andrew Rafla to its elite roster!

Andrew began his running career at the local Timberline High School. He was a five time Idaho 5A State Cross Country Champion, and placed third at the Nike Cross Country Northwest Regionals in a highly competitive field. Andrew also found success on the high school track garnering State titles in both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters his senior year after finishing runner-up in both events the year prior, having only started running at age 16.

(Andrew running Track and Cross Country for Timberline High School - photos: Idaho Press Tribune)

Following high school Andrew continued his racing locally, joining the Boise State University Track and Field and Cross Country teams. On the track he was a two time competitor at the West Preliminary Rounds in the 5000 meters and 1500 meters, was Mountain West Champion in the Indoor DMR, and was two time All-Mountain West Track & Field in the Indoor DMR. Andrew also earned Cross Country honors as All-West Region, Mountain West Freshman of the Year (2014), and All-Mountain West Cross Country 2nd Team.

(Andrew competing at Mountain West Cross Country Regionals, and receiving the MWC Male Freshman of the Year Award. photos: M. Bates)

Andrew graduated from Boise State with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering, and has gone on to complete his Masters in Computer Science and Machines. He currently works at Kount, a software company that specializes in online fraud prevention.

(Andrew finishes first at the Club Cross Regionals in Boise, leading IDP's men's team to a first place finish as well. photos: M. Bates)

Q&A with Andrew

(1) How old where you when you started running, & did you play any other sports growing up?

Andrew: I started running when I was 16, at the end of my Sophomore year in high school. I played football for five years, soccer for a few years (as most Cross Country runners have), and JV basketball. At one point I realized that I stopped growing while my teammates had not, so running seemed like a logical choice for me going forward.

(2) How has your athlete/coach relationship worked together so far with Coach Ulmer, and how has training with him been different?

Andrew: It is working really well! Kameron is super fun and knows a lot about distance running and training. He is not so serious. He has a lot of knowledge about distance running at a wide range of distances. My varied focus is the mile to 10K, and Kameron works very well with me. He makes the workouts fun and I enjoy running again. We have been focusing my training on less mileage with higher intensity - un faster not longer. For me this has been working. I ran higher mileage in college, longer distances at a slower pace. I wasn't progressing with that type of training. Kameron's training is not one size fits all. He works with each runner's individual strengths.

(3) What are your goals for 2020?

Andrew: My goals are to PR in every event I race; the 1500 meters, mile, 3000 meters and 5000 meters. I really struggled the last couple of years in college. Now I feel positive about my chances for continued improvement moving forward.

(4) Why did you choose to train with the Idaho Distance Project? Why is Boise a great place to train?

Andrew: Living in Boise all my life, it is nice to have a locally based high level training group right here. I already knew so many of the IDP runners, and I have known Emma and Kameron for years. They are a good group of people. I have fun training with these guys. I noticed what Coach Kameron was doing with his athletes and I liked what I saw so I joined the IDP group! Boise is a great place to train because of the easy accessibility to so many dirt trails, mostly great weather year round, and the convenience of the Greenbelt. Boise is small enough that you can meet anyone anywhere within 20 minutes to go for a run.

Things to know about Andrew:

Favorite foods - A good steak, and Melokhia (Egyptian soup)

Favorite movies - The Departed, Pitch Perfect

Favorite pump-up music - Pitch Perfect Soundtrack

Favorite quote - "I am ripe for a blowup." Greg Montgomery, 2019

Favorite running trail - Polecat

Family - Parents in Boise, two older sisters

Hobbies - Backpacking, camping, travelling, naked mountain peaking, all things "Pitch Perfect"

What he wants people to know about him - Wants to be a trophy husband

Personal Records:

1500 meters - 3:46.78 April 2016

Mile - 4:10.52 February 2015

2 Mile - 8:56.06 June 2014

3000 meters - 8:48.28 February 2016 NEW PR!!!!!! 8:03.04 January 18, 2020

5000 meters - 14:01.72 April 2016

DMR - 9:51.89 February 2019

Rafla will be competing for his first time on the track in an IDP kit this weekend. He is opening his 2020 season in the men's 3000 meter at the Dempsey Indoor track in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, January 18th. The scheduled gun time is at 4:15 pm, PST, but all times are subject to change. There will be a live webcast available by subscription only on Runnerspace +.

Good luck Andrew!!! Run hard. Have fun.


©2019 by Idaho Distance Project