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Dogfish Racing Brings Professional Approach to Team Racing

The St. Louis racing scene is heating up. Dogfish Racing was recently formed by a group of running experts with deep ties to the community in hopes of creating an even more competitive running scene.

John Merli, the team’s founder and owner of Dogfish Apparel and Dogfish Cycling, has been involved in the cycling community for around 18 years and is bringing his cycling experience to running.

Merli has recruited Tim Bradley, Assistant Track & Field and Cross Country Coach at Saint Louis University as the team’s coach. Jon Bell, SLU’s Head Track & Field and Cross Country Coach, will run the day-to-day operations of the team.

Dogfish Racing’s strategy is based professional cycling’s model of team racing that creates an elite and expert team using corporate sponsorship to attract and pay athletes. “We thought we’d diversify (to running) and take a corporate approach (to team racing) with sponsorship,” said Bell.

A few team members have already been signed – including a Dogfish-Racing-Michael-Lewis few familiar local names. Hilary Orf, Margo Richardson and Crystal Harriss, who starred at SLU as members of the track & field and cross country teams, will now continue their running careers in St. Louis as paid, professional athletes. “We currently have six team members and would like to have about 25,” Bell explains.

With athletes being signed, the team has set its 2015 race schedule. Five St. Louis races are targeted for this year, including the St. Patrick’s Day 5 Mile Race, Go! All-American 5K, Macklind Mile, The Great Go! St. Louis Halloween Race, and the Kirkwood/Webster Turkey Day Run.

“The idea is to elevate the area racing scene and eventually have a race at the end of the year where other teams race each other,” said Bell.

The team is not only open to elite runners, but also running enthusiasts who run for personal enjoyment. In addition to the elite team, Dogfish Racing welcomes runners of all abilities to join.

Visit to learn more and to become a team member.

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