American middle-distance runner Clayton Murphy has joined a large cohort of other elite athletes and Olympic hopefuls who have turned to SPIRE Institute & Academy to continue training. Here they work in world class facilities at the athletic academy under the tutelage of some of the sport’s best known former athletes, coaches and developers of talent. Murphy took Gold for the US at the 2015 Pan American Games and Bronze in the 800 meters at the 2016 Olympics with a new personal record of 1:42.93—the fifth-fastest time ever by an American.
“After the Nike opportunity was forced to shut down in light of the rising number of COVID cases, I was basically set adrift,” says Murphy. “Finding a venue where I could train was a challenge. I was really concerned about staying on track for the Tokyo Olympics—physically and mentally. When I heard about SPIRE, I was cautiously optimistic. But then when I saw the quality of the facilities and the level of the coaches and performance training staff here, I knew I had found my solution.”
An Ohio native and talented athlete all his life, Murphy competed in multiple track and field events, including cross country, while a student at Tri-Village High School. Among other achievements, he broke the Division III state record in the 1600 Meter Run in 2013. His college career with the University of Akron Zips track team was marked by personal bests and college records, opening the door for Murphy’s entry into the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, his selection to the American Squad for the Pan American Games and the ability to compete in other national and international competitions.
Following his excellent showing at the Rio Olympics, Murphy joined the Nike Oregon Project in August 2017. He moved to Portland in the Fall 2017 to train at the Nike headquarters with Matthew Centrowitz, the Rio Olympic Gold Medalist.