This week’s guest is Craig Engels, the 2019 national champion in the 1500m and 4th place finisher in this year’s Olympic Trials. Craig is a professional runner for Nike and a big presence in the sport who’s built quite the cult fanbase with his refreshing, unfiltered perspective. He recently moved from Portland, Oregon back to Oxford, Mississippi to finish his degree, and he came on the pod for a very special 69th episode.
We covered a good bit of running, including his return to Ole Miss, his future training plans, and what he thinks about the state of the sport. We also covered a wide range of other topics, including why he won’t buy airpods, how he’s using his minor in theatre, and why he applied to be on The Bachelor. This was a delightful episode with a delightful guest and definitely one of the weirder, more tangent-filled conversations we’ve ever had on the podcast.
On his future running plans:
“If I’d stayed in Portland, I would be done. I had no training partners or anything, and that was always the most fun part of running to me. Being back down in Mississippi has made me realize that, and I’ve been communicating with Pete and potential other sponsors that, if I’m gonna continue running, I’ve gotta be part of a group.”
On being his own agent:
“It’s awesome. My favorite thing is communicating with people, and having an agent kinda cut out getting to know meet directors, coaches, marketing people… and if you get to know these people and they still don’t sign you a contract, maybe one day down the road you’ll be working for them because you had that relationship.”
On being Craig Engels:
“The brand that I’ve built is literally… myself. It’s who I am. It’s a weird question because social media is so relatively new, but the brand is easy to maintain because it’s me.”
Craig Engels on Instagram