Name: Joel R. Pearson
Birth Date: October 16, 1985
Birth Place: Bellingham, WA
Residence: Bellingham, WA
Marital Status: Single
Parents: Jim and Barbie Pearson
Siblings: Rob (43); Hopper (28); Paige (21)
PR’s: 5,000M: 15:38 (Mead Invitational, 3rd place)
10,000M: 32:36 (Heart Throb Dock Run 10k, 1st place)
Hour Run: 10 miles 890 yards (Mead Hour-Run, 2nd place)
Marathon: 2:49:41 (Birch Bay Marathon, 1st place)
Joel graduated from Ferndale High School in 2004. He passed a coaching school in Spokane in 2005 to earn his certification as a Level 1 Track & Field Coach. (L1-05-2523) He then graduated from The Evergreen State College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and coaching in 2007. In 2010 he traveled to Philadelphia where he earned his credentials as a Level 2 Track & Field Coach/Distance Running (L2-10132) at Villanova University.
After several seasons as an assistant coach for various high school cross country and track teams in Whatcom County, Washington, Joel was asked to draw up plans for a possible cross country program at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham. He was subsequently hired as head coach. Though starting in mid-summer and having no recruiting budget, Joel was able to talk students already enrolled in the school to come out for the team. That first season the Whatcom CC Men's team placed 5th in the 39 school Northwest Athletic Association conference with one runner (Damian Hill) earning all-American status. The women placed 8th in the conference that first year. The following year, the Whatcom men placed 3rd, led by all-American Cory Jenkins, and the women placed 4th with Laura Carlyle and Lauren North earning all-American honors. Carlyle defeated the 2006 and 2007 conference champions on her way to the 2008 championship.
When the team fell to the axe of schoolwide budget cuts, Coach Joel started the Harrier Track Club, (a sub-program of Pearson's Athletics Club) which has shown tremendous success including Oliver Bear Don't Walk breaking the American Junior 50k track record by 71 minutes in a time of 3:10:07. Joel also had two athletes qualify for the USA Junior National Track & Field Championships (Lee George - 5,000 meters and Oliver Bear Don't Walk - 10,000 meters) and a number of top performances in Northwest marathons. Cory Jenkins won the 2009 Skagit Flats Marathon (2:47:14) and in 2010 the Birch Bay Marathon (2:33:57) and the Green River Marathon (2:37:50). Bear Don't Walk placed 2nd in the Birch Bay Marathon (2:37:15) and the Skagit Flats Marathon (2:38:57) and two weeks after the latter won the Bellingham Bay Marathon in 2:37:27, all in 2010. Eliza Eshelman won the women's side of the 2010 Birch Bay Marathon in 3:17:07. Emily Uhlig won the Veterans' Day First Call Marathon in Renton in 3:12:20 beating all the men as well. Mark Burke finished 2nd in the Green River Marathon (2:53:00), Dylan Dahlquist,5th in the Bellingham Bay Marathon (2:55:56), and Brandon Jenkins 5th in the 2010 Birch Bay Marathon (2:59:31).