By Dominique Smith - Florida MileSplit Correspondent
At any given track meet, Chris Kail will sit underneath a large tent near the finish-line with his laptop open, making sure that everything is going according to plan. He arrives two hours before the meet starts to set up his equipment and make sure everything works and is one of the last to leave when the meet is over.
While this may seem like a lot of work, working in timing has turned out to be a match made in heaven for Kail, as it has combined two things he loves, track and computers.
Kail ran track and cross country for Edgewater High School. He was a member of the 1995 cross country team that won the state championship. After graduating from Edgewater, he walked on to UCF's then cross-country team, eventually earning a scholarship. His love for running came from his former coach, the legendary Ted Benz and the sport taught him lessons that he still carries with him.
"Running taught me a lot of life lessons," he said. "I learned if you stick your nose in it and you just work hard, you will do well. You can't help but do well."
He admitted that running completely turned him around and changed his life. In his sophomore year, he had a cumulative GPA of 1.25. In his last two years of high school, his cumulative GPA rose to 3.8. He says that this transition happened because he decided to run.
"I never had more success than I did when I ran, or when I put the effort in like I did when I ran, he said.
Kail is no stranger to the timing industry. He went into timing after college, working for Troy State University as an assistant meet director. He eventually made his way to Orlando, starting the former timing company Steeple Timing with the late Jeff Wentworth. He then moved on to Elite Timing and Event Management, where he's been since 2011.
Making sure that everything is constantly stable and going well at a track meet is not easy. So it goes without saying, that if the meet is going according to plan, Kail is happy.
"I get a real kick out of having everything go flawlessly, he said. "If I'm doing everything right and we're having a good event, what I do looks unbelievably easy."
For Kail, his main desire is to put out a good product. Everything that he's learned and accomplished can be circled back to his love for running and the lasting impact that it's had on his life.
"I love what I do and I want to be good at it," he said. "All of those things were reinforced through running. If you put in the work, you get the results."