This week, we’re joined by two members of one of the newest professional running groups on the scene, the Mission Run Baltimore Distance group sponsored by Under Armour. Willy Fink and Casey Comber are two of the big stars in that group and they came on the show to talk about the big rebrand and what it means for Under Armour’s investment in track and field.
We talked about the story behind the “mission run” branding, got into the debate over the different styles of 1500-meter racing, and they shared what it’s like to live and train in Baltimore under coach Cory Leslie. Plus, we tease the possibility of a postseason Under Armour beer mile, which sounds like it could be a lot of fun. You can follow Casey, Willy, and Mission Run Baltimore Distance on Instagram to follow along with their journey as they gear up for USAs in a few weeks.
This episode was brought to you by CITIUS Mag’s Summer of Hayward. The competition is only heating up as we move into the championship part of the season and the CITIUS team is going to be there every step of the way. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
Thanks for listening and if you like the show, don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a five-star review wherever you get your podcasts, and follow us on Instagram.
This week’s guest is two-time American record holder Keira D’Amato, fresh off a runner-up finish at the U.S. 25k championships in Grand Rapids, MI. Keira has personal bests of 1:07:55 for a half marathon and 2:19:12 for the marathon, breaking the 16-year-old American record in the marathon in January.
For those of you who don’t know, Keira has an incredible personal story, as a mom and realtor who walked away from the sport for nearly a decade before coming back to the sport in her mid-30s and running faster than ever before, going from racing local road races for fun to becoming one of Nike’s top pros.
We covered a lot of really interesting ground, including the hesitation to turn pro, the value of authenticity, and how much life has changed in the last few years. We also cleared up some funny rumors from the 25K champs and Keira explained why she’s not racing the 10,000m national championships at Pre. Of course, we also got into binge-watching, beer miles, and hot takes on donuts.
On choosing to race roads over the 10,000m championships: “I try to keep an open mind to the track, and it takes me one 10k race a year to be like, ‘nope.’ The roads are way more fun, and with running, it’s always about having fun for me. As soon as I’m not having fun, I’m out.”
On why Keira has so many new fans: “I think what resonates with people is that I quit. For 8-10 years, I was just a spectator. And then I thought ‘what if?’ What would happen, what could’ve happened, what could still happen? A lot of us have those ‘what ifs,’ and it means something to people seeing me go for it where that took me.”
On running for fun: “I’m having fun with it, and I think people see that. Some people can do really well taking it really seriously, and other people like me are kind of anxious already, so when I lean into the fun aspect and do things that excite me, I can get the best out of myself.”
On reaching her athletic peak in her 30s: “I’ve never believed the whole getting old stuff. Forty years ago, women weren’t allowed to do a full marathon, you know? We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re still making progress.”
This week’s guests are two of the top Americans from the 2022 Boston Marathon, BAA runners Matt McDonald and Jonas Hampton. Matt finished 13th overall as the third American in a new personal best of 2:10:35, and Jonas finished 23rd overall as the 10thAmerican in 2:14:40. The BAA men did a great job of defending their home turf as they put four men in the top 25 overall and three in the top 10 Americans, winning the team competition by a landslide.
Both Matt and Jonas work full-time in addition to being pro runners, and we talked a lot about the balance between managing a demanding career and pursuing big goals in the sport. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than these guys running 130 miles a week and working in engineering. We also talked about the team culture on BAA following a number of coaching changes, the possibility of getting back on the track, and what makes the Boston Marathon truly special.
This episode is brought to you by Hayward Magic in advance of a big summer of racing in Eugene Oregon. As we lead up to the World Championships, all of us here in the CITIUS family will be bringing you high quality interviews, storytelling, content, and analysis. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
“Being a BAA athlete in BAA’s premier event is so special. Having the logo on your chest that everyone else has on their bib is fun. The two of us probably know this course better than anyone else.” – Matt McDonald
“I was on the BAA racing team, but going into [the 2020 Marathon Trials], I pulled a ‘Scott and Rojas’ – I kinda began to want a pro contract, so I didn’t re-sign with the racing team and went to altitude by myself to train. And betting on myself seemed to pay off – ran 2:12, got 8thplace, and joined the BAA high performance team after that.” – Jonas Hampton
“I went down to Atlanta to get a PhD at Georgia Tech intending to hang up the shoes. The coaches at Atlanta Track Club talked me into joining the elite team they were starting up [….] and for about a year I resisted, but eventually as the team grew I wanted to be able to compete with my teammates. It made me want to be good again.” – Matt McDonald
“One thing I miss about running marathons is that you can lose that competitive edge in between races a bit. The great thing about doing local races is that you can keep competing regularly and it’s also just fun.” – Jonas Hampton
This week’s episode is another great crossover with Chris Chavez and the CITIUS MAG podcast, where we talked to Nell Rojas who just finished as the top American in last week’s Boston Marathon for the second year in a row. This year, she lowered her personal best to 2:25:57 with her 10th-place finish, and we unpacked Nell’s training leading up to race day, how the race played out on the course, and even Nell’s unconventional path to the marathon in the first place.
We also talked about Nell’s decision to end her contract with adidas before Boston and why she chose to run in shoes that worked for her with no brand affiliation. I was particularly touched to hear Nell talk about the role representation has played in her running and the messages she receives from people all over the world who enjoy cheering on a prominent Latina runner.
This was a great episode that covered everything from Nell’s coaching career to her post-race bar adventure, and I think it was a lot of fun. This episode of Run Your Mouth was brought to you by Hayward Magic in advance of this year’s World Championships in Eugene, and you can learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
This week’s guest is Samantha Roecker, a Philadelphia-based marathoner and full-time nurse who’s running the 2022 Boston Marathon in scrubs to raise money and awareness for mental health supports for front-line health care workers.
Sam herself is a full-time nurse in school to become a nurse practitioner, and she’s also a phenomenally-accomplished marathoner who has run 2:29 in the marathon and represented Team USA in the 2019 Pan American Games, where she finished 5th overall. We talked about Sam’s journey from running track at Providence College to taking up the marathon relatively quickly, her experience both running and crewing the famed Speed Project relay race, and her side gig as a running model for Tracksmith photoshoots.
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for even more coverage of the Boston Marathon all week and weekend from the CITIUS Mag family. We’ve got great programming coming up and we can’t wait to share it with you all. Enjoy the show!
On racing the Speed Project in 2018:
“[Coming into Vegas] we couldn’t even run for a minute at a time; so we were trading off running every minute for the last segment and we still had a long way to go. You blink and it’s over but it also feels like an eternity.”
On her changing relationship with running:
“I’ve been running since I was in 7th grade, and competitive running has come and gone in that time. I’ve had times where I’ve been really competitive and times when it’s just been a daily mental release. I try not to get too caught up in the future because running is, ultimately, unpredictable.”
On elite racing as a full-time nurse:
“I just want to get the most I can out of myself and see how fast I can go. I definitely don’t think that working 10-hour nursing shifts helps performance, and I definitely have moments where I just want to take three months at altitude and see what I can do, but I also really like my career and that side of my life. I chose to do this.”
On being a health care worker during a pandemic:
“It’s hard to talk about it with people who don’t understand and you don’t want to bring home that negativity, but sometimes I couldn’t help it. It’s definitely challenging.”
On building a healthy relationship with running:
“What I’ve learned to appreciate as I’ve gotten older is that running is a constant. I always feel better after going for a run than before, even if it’s a miserable cold, rainy day. Periods where I’m not able to run are tough and so I try to appreciate that constant in my life that many people don’t have.”
This week’s guest is Christian Noble of Lee University, a 3x NCAA DII champion and the Division II record holder in the mile, the 3k, and the DMR. Last week at Raleigh Relays, Christian won the 5k in a new personal best of 13:24, beating a deep field of pro runners and D1 All-Americans in the process.
Christian came on the pod to talk about his mentality as a D2 athlete on a big stage, how he made it through the COVID-19 pandemic, and his plans looking forward as he finishes up his final year of eligibility. Hear him share his unique perspective, particularly as we talked about the recruiting process and the lessons we’ve learned as current and former collegiate runners.
Enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a rate and review. This episode, and all the podcasts in the CITIUS Mag network, are brought to you in part by the 2022 Summer of Hayward. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
On racing professional runners as a collegian:
“Being Division II, I feel like I’ve got a little bit more to prove… but it doesn’t matter if it’s Division I or pro runners; it’s about having fun with racing and running to win.”
On marketing himself as a runner:
“I’ve tried to market myself as approachable and relatable, and when kids see my success, they see that you don’t have to go to a Power 5 school to run fast.”
On training through a pandemic:
“The anticipation of getting back to racing again is what really helped me get through  the most. That’s why I wake up and run every morning; it’s what I love to do.”
This week’s guest is Nico Montañez of Mammoth Track Club. Nico is an accomplished marathoner and road racer who’s had a fantastic couple of months, beginning with running 2:13 for 7th place at the Chicago Marathon, continuing with a top-3 finish at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, and culminating most recently with his first national title at the U.S. 15K champs in Jacksonville, Florida last weekend.
Nico shared his unique story that began in Tuscon, Arizona, went from junior college to BYU, and landed at Mammoth Track Club under Deena and Andrew Kastor. Nico talked about how his sports psychology work has paid off in results, how his Boston buildup is going, and shared a lot about his time at BYU. We also covered bad tattoos, being mistaken for Galen Rupp, and slip-n-slides.
Enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review this and all the Citius Mag podcasts, and until next time, this has been Run Your Mouth.
On finding his place on the elite road circuit:
“I used to go into races with ‘something to prove’ and I realized that, for me, it was a big insecurity issue [….] now I go into races believing what I know I can be. And that I can allow everyone else to shine with me.”
On preparing for Boston 2022:
“The goal is to perform at my best level, whatever that looks like. I want to look myself in the mirror that night and say I gave it my all. But I’m fierce, I’m competitive, and sometimes that takes over the driver’s seat… so part of the goal is to be really competitive up front.”
On running at BYU:
“It was a big mental shift, but more than anything it was raising my standards. Seeing what people were actually doing behind the fast times at the university… I was like, ‘I have to raise the standards’ – not just for the running, but for who I want to be as a person.”
This week, we tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming U.S. Indoor National Championships in a very special crossover episode with More Than Running with Dana Giordano, our sibling podcast in the Citius Mag network.
This episode is essential listening before this weekend’s meet, and we cover it all – who’s been hot, who’s on the comeback train, and who’s not competing at all. We give you detailed insight and analysis into the meet, including our not-so-expert picks for every track and field event. Dana also gives her expert perspective on the “straight final” format for U.S. indoors, having competed in the mile and 2 mile at Staten Island in 2019.
We’d love to hear your feedback on our picks – good, bad, or somewhere in between – and let us know on Twitter and Instagram what events and story lines you’re most excited to see in Spokane this weekend. Enjoy the episode and don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review both Run Your Mouth and More Than Running if you haven’t already. Thanks for listening!
This week’s guest is Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, fresh off setting two Canadian records in two weeks in the indoor 3000m and 5000m. Even before her big breakout at BU this past weekend, Gabriela has been one of the world’s best middle distance runners, finishing 5th in the 1500 at the Tokyo Olympics, with personal bests of 14:31 for 5k and 4:17 for the mile.
We had a super engaging, fascinating conversation. She reflected on her Olympics performance, talked about her experience joining Bowerman Track Club in 2019, and the secrets to her success in her relationship with her coaches Jerry Schumacher and Shalane Flanagan. We also talked about her identity as a proud queer athlete, her reflections on the tragic 2021 death of Agnes Tirop, and, because it’s Valentine’s Day, the story of how she met her husband Rowan.
Enjoy this conversation – especially with our new microphones, thanks to the support we get are lucky to get from the Citius Mag network – and happy Valentine’s Day to all! If you love us as much as we love you, leave us a 5-star rating and your love letter in the reviews whenever you get your podcasts.
On being an out and proud bisexual athlete:
“Being bisexual comes with certain straight-passing privileges when I navigate the world, but on the flipside, there’s a lot of bisexual erasure. When people see me and assume that I’m straight, they don’t see me in my fullest sense. So I like to be loud and proud for all those young queer kids, to be a role model that I didn’t necessarily have growing up, especially for people who are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, seeing somebody who’s more fluid in the way they identify is really powerful.”
Reflecting on the Tokyo Olympics:
“I’d give myself an A. A+ would’ve been a medal probably [….] with those top three, it was gonna take a really special day for me to get a medal. I just had to overcome so much self-doubt and so many health issues. It felt like the whole year I was playing catchup adapting to the program at BTC and dealing with my relapse of Graves’ disease, and I don’t think I realized at the time what a big ask that was.”
On her relationship with BTC head coach Jerry Schumacher:
“It’s definitely a very healthy, very positive, even nurturing relationship. Jerry gives what every athlete needs and when I came to him I was very broken – mentally, emotionally, and physically scarred. He always holds me accountable, but I’m able to be very open with him and he’s a very positive person.”
This week’s guest is Dominique Scott-Efurd, a two-time Olympian who trains with the “Team Boss” group in Boulder, Colorado. Dom turned heads earlier this month with her 67:32 half marathon at Houston in only her second attempt at the distance, the #2 all-time mark by a South African.
We covered a lot of ground in this episode, and we hit on pretty much anything you’ve ever wanted to know about Dom’s history and relationship with running. We talked about her path to pro running, her racing plans for 2022, the differences between the Rio and Tokyo Olympics, her family history at the Comrades Marathon, her thoughts on the pressure of social media, and much, much more. Toward the end of the episode, you’ll also get a great explainer on the South African selection process for world championships and the story behind Dom getting left off the worlds team in 2017. We hope you enjoy this detailed conversation and exclusive look into Dom’s unique perspective on the sport.
On being a two-time Olympian:
“Going into Tokyo five years [after Rio], I felt like I knew the faces, I knew what I was doing […] I felt like I was here to compete this time, not just participate. But I skipped one very important part – some heat training. I posted on social media that I was the fittest I’d ever been and I still believe that, but I wasn’t able to show that in results on the track.”
On her spring racing plans:
“I’m going to run more on the roads. I already have my 10k qualifier for Eugene and I’m going to go home in April to run the [South African] championships and hopefully make the team there. But beyond that, I’m going to stick to the 10k on the track and run on the roads otherwise.”
On the need for more media support for athletes:
“I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on professional athletes to post on social media and not a lot of support. And I do try, but it’s honestly hard. It sucks to be in a workout and have to think about getting content from the workout so you can make a post. The athletes are really trying, but it’s tough to do on your own.”