Celebrity coach and pacer to stars including Karlie Kloss, Daniel Humm, Nev Shulman, James Blake, Caroline Wozniacki, Summer Sanders, and Apolo Ohno
National class runner who competed in multiple National Championships
Youngest semi-finalist in the 800m at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Member of the National Record 4 x 1500m relay team
Expert source for media outlets including Runner’s World and SHAPE
Featured in Coach Trains 900 Runners, Never Meeting Many of Them (The New York Times), Meet John Honerkamp, the Man Who Makes Running Not the Worst Thing in the World (Brooklyn Magazine), and Marathon Coach Shares Secrets of Celebrity Runners (New York Post)
John Honerkamp, affectionately known as Coach John, has coached runners of all ages and abilities for more than 20 years.
A 1998 graduate of St. John’s, John was an eight-time All-Big East and six-time All-East (IC4A) athlete while running for the Red Storm. He earned 12 Big East All-Academic accolades and was the youngest semifinalist in the 800-meters at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. After graduation, John ran professionally for the Reebok Enclave Track Club from 1998 to 2001.
Since moving to New York City in 2001, he has run for the New York Athletic Club (NYAC). He is an eight-time top-10 finisher at the U.S. Track & Field National Championships and a member of the American record-holding 4×1500-meter relay team. His personal bests include 1:47.26 (800 meters), 3:41.58 (1500 meters), and 4:01.30 (one mile).
As a coach, John started his career as an assistant coach at St. John’s University in Queens, NY for five years, working with mid- and long-distance runners, and was the recruiting coordinator for all events.
John worked for almost six years at New York Road Runners (NYRR). He created the Runners Products and Services team and helped it grow from one staffer (himself) to one of the largest departments in the organizations. While at NYRR, he created and launched the following programs and products:
NYRR Virtual Trainer—which coaches more than 10,000 runners online every year
NYRR Group Training—in-person classes that coach thousands of runners within the five boroughs of NYC each year
NYRR Running Lab
NYRR Pace Team
NYRR Race Predictor
John is no stranger to long distance running. He ran the 2010 ING New York City Marathon in 2:44:22, and the Long Island Half-Marathon in 1:12:24. Coach John practices what he preaches, training for the 2011 Berlin and ING New York City marathons using the official NYRR Training Plan. He has paced many celebrity runners in high-profile marathons including Apolo Ohno (NYC 2011), Summer Sanders (NYC 2013, Boston 2014), Caroline Wozniacki (NYC 2014), James Blake (NYC 2015), Nev Shulman (NYC 2016), Karlie Kloss (NYC 2017), and Daniel Humm (NYC 2018).
He is the co-founder of the November Project in NYC and led the free fitness tribe for over three years. He has also served as a lululemon running ambassador and is a member and manager of the NYAC Running Team.
John started his own consulting firm, J. R. Honerkamp, LLC. in late 2015 where he offers services including corporate wellness, running-related consulting, motivational speaking, freelance writing, and private coaching. His clients include New Balance, WeWork, Make It Nice, DailyBurn, Project Purple, and NYRR.
He has been the lead ambassador for New Balance for the last three years and his duties include casting runners for various campaigns and throwing shoe launch parties. With WeWork, he created and launched the Rise+Run program in 2018 and is expanding to the west coast and beyond in 2019.
John is deeply involved in the NYC running community. He launched the Off the Hook Track Club, a local training group that is based in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and also created The Run Collective—born out of a desire to unite the running community and connect, collaborate, and celebrate all efforts from various clubs, crews, and people in the city. The Run Collective recently created the first-ever Runner Safety Awareness Week in an effort to raise awareness and teach runners how to stay safe while running outside.
John is a RRCA and USATF certified coach. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1998 and his MBA with a concentration in marketing in 2008—both from St. John’s University.
“Everyone is a runner. Some just chose not to run or don’t know how to start.”
This is a quote I live by and preach. I love helping people break down the mental barriers and challenges that get in the way of starting a running and fitness journey.
Follow John on Instagram
Verywell, a Dotdash property, is a friendly resource where you can explore a full spectrum of health and wellness topics, from comprehensive info on medical conditions to useful advice on fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, pregnancy, and more. We take a human approach to health and wellness, delivering accessible solutions and offering a welcome alternative to clinical sites.
Our writers not only have a deep proficiency in the topics they cover, but an undeniable passion to help others live and feel their best. Our articles are written by experienced healthcare professionals and industry experts and are vetted by board-certified physicians. We work hard to make sure that everything you read is not only accurate and comprehensive, but also trustworthy and actionable. And our content is regularly updated to ensure that we only deliver top quality information to you. We cut through all the clutter so you and your loved ones can start living Verywell.