Ep. 75 – Cougar to Mammoth: with Nico Montañez

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.”

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Ep. 74 – U.S. Indoors Preview: with More Than Running’s Dana Giordano

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!

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Ep. 73 – From Canada With Love: with Gabriela DeBues Stafford

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.”

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Ep. 72 – Making Distance Cool: with Dominique Scott-Efurd

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.”

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Ep. 71 – “Relative Unknown”: with Ben Eidenschink

This week’s guest is Ben Eidenschink, a Wisconsin native who currently lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado. Ben recently made waves when he finished 6th overall at the 2022 U.S. Cross Country Championships as an unsponsored, relatively unheralded runner, winning the “Em ‘n Ben” co-ed scoring challenge with his girlfriend, Alicia Monson. 

Ben has personal bests of 13:56 for 5000m and 28:20 for 10,000m, but this was a breakout performance on the national stage and surely the start of a big 2022 season. We talked about his attitude as he races against pros, his journey from the University of Wisconsin to Colorado, and why he’s not moving to the roads any time soon. We also covered lucky underwear, training with the Coffee Club, high school message board drama, and some truly-excellent quarantine shenanigans in Madison.

If you didn’t know Ben’s name before, you better remember it now as he’s not going anywhere and he’s only getting better. Enjoy the conversation, don’t forget to leave us a rating and a review if you enjoyed the episode, and don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and follow us on Instagram at @runyourmouthpod.

On choosing the University of Wisconsin as a Wisconsin native:

“Chris Solinsky grew up pretty close to where I’m from, so watching him compete and seeing these in-state guys go to Wisconsin and run really well made me want to go there as well and continue the tradition.”

On arriving on the scene at U.S. XC Champs:

“Not many people know who I am, and I kinda like that. To me, it’s nice flying under the radar a little bit. It’s motivating when I get out there and there’s multiple Olympians in the field, and I’m still able to race with those guys.”

On continuing to run competitively:

“I’d definitely say I have unfinished business. I see that I have a lot of room left to grow and there’s a lot left for me to accomplish. It might be weird to ‘normal people’ who ask why I’m still running after college, but I love racing and I’m still improving. The work is paying off.”

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Ep. 70 – Falling in Love with Running: with Elly Henes

This week’s episode is Elly Henes, the 2021 NCAA 5000m champion who recently signed with adidas and is now training in Flagstaff, AZ. Elly is a 15:18 5k runner who finished 6th at the 2021 Olympic Trials, and she now trains with Olympian Rachel Schneider and NAU head coach Mike Smith. 

For the first 20 minutes or so of this episode, we talked about astrology, botched photoshoots, and teenage rebellion, but we also got very in-depth about Elly’s journey from high school to professional running and the lessons she’s learned as she’s grown up and her relationship to the sport has changed.

We covered everything from dating to coffee orders to Christmas movies, and we definitely went deep on the introspection side of things. This was a delightful conversation with one of the most entertaining, honest people in the sport and you’ll really enjoy it. Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and until next time, this has been Run Your Mouth.

On falling in love with running:

“Making NXN with my team made me fall in love – not just with the sport, but with my team. Working with and for each other toward a common goal is why cross-country has always been my favorite.”

On finding success at the end of college:

“I started setting process goals and focusing on loving the sport itself. And by my fifth year, the results showed. There were people who felt like I came out of nowhere to win the 5k [at NCAAs], and I just laugh because it may seem crazy to you, but sophomore year Elly set that goal.”

On overcoming self-doubt when turning pro:

“I had to learn to believe in myself. It can be scary to commit and go all-in for something even if it could fall through. It’s hard to do. And it takes a lot of courage to even try.”

On her relationship with running now:

“In this sport, we talk a lot about not letting running define you. Running doesn’t define me, but it’s a part of who I am. It’s in my family, it’s in my relationship, it’s in my relationship with my coach, and I’ve been lucky to find people who understand who I am as a person in the running world and beyond.”

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Ep. 69 – Can’t Say No: with Craig Engels

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.”

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Ep. 68 – Rewrite the Story: with Matt Llano

This week’s guest is Matt Llano of Under Armour and Dark Sky Distance. Matt is a 2:11 marathoner who has represented the U.S. internationally at the World Half Marathon Championships and has competed on the elite level in 4 of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. Matt is a New York native who ran collegiately for the University of Richmond, where he was an All-American, and now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, with his boyfriend and two dogs.

Matt came on the podcast to share his acquired wisdom and experience as he trains for his 11th marathon as a professional runner, as well as his unique perspective on the changing landscape for queer athletes and everything in between. We also covered HGTV, dog miles, beginning our careers in swimming, and track vs. road racing.

This episode is brought to you by the Under Armour All-Out Mile. It’s not too late to sign up for free and race a fast and fun mile this month as part of the Citius Mag team. You can go to uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth to sign up for your chance to win awesome prizes (including cash!). We’ve had a lot of fun promoting this awesome virtual race and community event all month and if you want a quick, easy way to support the podcast you can take 5 minutes to sign up and join the Citius team!

On choosing the NYC marathon:

“I ran it in 2016 in the midst of some injuries […] and I’m excited to go back and hopefully have some redemption. It’s my home state, the state where I was born; so to go back and rewrite my story is what I’m hoping to do this time around.”

On running his 11th marathon:

“I’m still learning with every race. Some come easier than others, but the marathon is just such a beast that no matter how many you’ve run, you can never take it for granted that you’ve got it figure out. It will always find out a way to humble you.”

Of the changing attitudes toward queer representation in athletics:

“It makes me feel a little envious of people going to school now to see how much has changed – not in a bad way, but to be able to be more comfortable, more open throughout college, I’m envious of that. I’m so happy for how far we’ve come and so happy to have been part of that conversation in a way that advanced discussion and acceptance in the running community. Nobody knew how to have those conversations at the time, and I’m glad it’s getting so much easier.”

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Ep. 67 – Hood to Coast: with James Randon and Mike Horowicz

This week’s episode features two members of the winning team at the 2021 Hood to Coast relay race, James Randon and Mike Horowicz. Hood to Coast is a 200-mile race in Oregon from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean that will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. This year, the Lostboys team finished in 18 hours, 34 minutes, averaging 5:40 per mile pace with a team of 12 runners. James and Mike are roommates, old friends, and Boston residents, and James is a professional runner for Saucony’s Freedom Track Club.

In addition to recapping the race and reflecting on the Hood to Coast experience, we covered binge watching, roommate pet peeves, and the longest “naked running” segment in running podcast history. This was a great, silly episode and you’ll really enjoy it.

All month, the podcast is brought to you by the Under Armour All-Out Mile. Get out there, run for fun, run your fastest mile, or just your fastest mile in a while this month as part of the Citius Mag team. It’s free to sign up at uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth, it’s super easy to participate, and the more runners we get, the better chance we have at winning $15,000 for charity. The Beer Mile boys have the biggest team at the moment and we can’t give them the satisfaction, so make sure you sign up and join the Citius team today!

Once you’ve signed up, if you still want to support the pod, you can always drop us a rate and review or follow us on Instagram or Facebook. Either way, enjoy the episode!

Mike Horowicz on his late-night leg:

“Before my 1am leg, I’m jumping up and down, sniffing smelling salts, and everyone is looking at me like I’m a psychopath… I never thought my life would take me to this point, but there I was.”

James Randon on running Hood to Coast after the track season:

“I had an abysmal spring season. Nothing went the way I wanted […] And on the other side of that, I realized that if I wanted to go back into training and continue to make it my career, I needed to find a love for it again. And running Hood to Coast, as insane and awful as it sounds, was a blast.”

Mike Horowicz on coming back to the race:

“There are certain things you do in life that you’re excited about the first time you do it, and then it’s like, ‘been there, done that.’ Hood to Coast is not one of those things. I’ve done it three times and I’ll do it again.”

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Ep. 66 – Earning Your Spot: with Helen Schlachtenhaufen

This week’s guest is a returning favorite, Helen Schlachtenhaufen of Freedom Track Club, who came on the podcast to talk about her breakthrough summer of racing.

After finishing a bittersweet 5th in the 1500m at the Olympic Trials in June, Helen ran a big personal best of 4:01.09 in her first-ever Diamond League meet in Sweden in July and put in big showings in Gateshead and at the Pre Classic. We unpacked her reflections on Trials and her mentality going into big European races this summer, as well as our favorite donuts, how she’d fare in a beer mile, and what it’s really like to date and live with her teammate slash boyfriend, Brian.

This episode is brought to you by the Under Armour All-Out Mile. All through September, you can sign up to train for and run your fastest mile at uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth. You can train to run your fastest mile ever, work on improving your time from August to September, or just enjoy the ride. Make sure to join the Citius Mag team for the chance to earn great prizes and earn money for charity. Visit uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth to sign up – it’s free!

As always, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @runyourmouthpod. Enjoy the episode!

On finishing 5th at Olympic Trials:

“It’s bittersweet. I definitely wanted more, but I’m relatively proud of how I finished, and it made me still want more, but it was still cool just to be there – it was not something growing up that I ever thought I’d be doing, even in college it wasn’t a level I thought I’d be competing at.”

On Freedom Track Club’s new coach Kurt Benninger:

“One of my favorite things about Kurt is that he puts a ton of thought into everything that we do. It makes me feel super prepared going into races. He’s also a very calming person and I tend to get very stressed out before races, so it’s really nice to have somebody there to bring you back down to Earth before a race.”

On feeling like you belong in the world of elite running:

“Making the final of Trials this year was a moment of change for me. Walking out to the starting line, I realized: I qualified; I made it through the rounds; I literally earned my spot on the starting line. You can’t really have imposter syndrome there. Those are the moments when I feel most confident in my place in professional running.”

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