About our authors.
Mark Covert retired in 2017 after twenty-eight years as the head men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coach at Antelope Valley College, located in Lancaster, California. With a coaching career that spans over forty years, Covert coached one of only four Junior World Cross-Country Champions to come from the United States, over thirty California State Community College Champions, and over twenty championship track and cross-country teams.
Mark began competing in cross-country and track in 1966, for Burbank High School in Burbank, California. During his senior year on July 23, 1968, he began his streak of not missing a day of running that would continue for forty-five years. After graduation, Mark attended Los Angeles Valley Community College, where he would go on to become the state’s cross-country champion, along with setting National Junior College records in the six-mile and twenty-four-hour relay. He then went on to attend California State University, Fullerton, where in 1970, he became the NCAA Division II National Cross-Country Champion and the school’s first Division I All-American. The following year, Mark and his Fullerton teammates would go on to win the NCAA Division II Cross-Country Championship—a team that has been considered by many to be one of the greatest collegiate cross-country teams of all time.
Mark would go on to compete in the 1972 Olympic Trials in the Marathon, finishing seventh. While doing so, he became the first person to compete in Nike “waffle” racing shoes, and later operated one of Nike’s first stores, The Athletic Department. He was the first person named to Nike’s Hall of Fame.
Mark is a member of the Mount Sac Cross-Country Hall of Fame, where he remains the only person enshrined as both an athlete and a coach. He also has been inducted to the Los Angeles Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame and the California State University Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame, and is a founding member of the NCAA Division II Cross-Country Hall of Fame. Mark’s success led to Fullerton’s Cross-Country team naming their annual home meet after him, known as “The Covert Classic.”
After forty-five years of running without taking a day off, Mark ended his running streak in 2013, with several hundred people from across the country gathering at Antelope Valley College to participate in his last run. During his running career, he completed over 163,000 miles (149,000 of those miles run during The Streak) and ran for 16,436 consecutive days, while overcoming broken feet, surgery, seven different stress fractures, and multiple hospitalizations. Mark’s story has been featured on ABC Nightly News, The Today Show, and other television and print presses across the world, including Runner’s World, CNN, ESPN, and the L.A. Times.
Chris Covert is Mark’s son and the Owner and CEO of Peak Performance Consulting, LLC., a Mental Conditioning & Sports Psychology firm based in Charleston, South Carolina. He has worked with NCAA Individual and Team Champions in football, track and field, and baseball.
A former captain of the Cal State Fullerton Cross Country team, Chris was the former head women’s track and cross country coach at Southern Connecticut State University. During his four-year tenure, Chris was named either a Conference or Regional Coach of the Year on nine separate occasions, winning five Conference Championships and working with over thirty NCAA Division II All-Americans. In 2008, he became the youngest coach in NCAA Track and Field history to be named a Regional Coach of the Year, at twenty-five years old. Chris also worked as the Secretary for the United States Track and Cross Country Coaches Association of America from 2009 until 2011. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in kinesiology and a master’s degrees in sports psychology and exercise science from Southern Connecticut State University.
Chris has consulted for non-profits, businesses, and political campaigns (working in races spanning from presidential campaigns to municipal races). He has also been a featured speaker for businesses, teams, and universities across the country, covering areas such as organizational management, culture creation, and self-awareness.