Joan Benoit Samuelson & Frank Shorter

Frank Shorter (1972) and Joan Benoit Samuelson (1984) are the only two Americans to have won both a U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and the subsequent Olympic Marathon. Here, just a week before the 2024 Marathon Trials, they talk with George and Amby about their experiences, especially in the pivotal Trials. 

Samuelson recalls waking up from surgery 17 days pre-Trials, looking at the bandages covering her right leg from toe to hip, and thinking, "Maybe I can bounce back for the 3000 meters in the Track Trials." 

In fact she did much more than that in a Marathon Trials victory that still amazes her. "If somebody asks me about the biggest win of my life, I'll say in was the Olympics in L.A.," she notes. "But the race of my life was the Trials. I can't really explain how I was able to do that."

Shorter recounts how, as an unheralded Yale cross-country runner, he drove from his home in New Mexico to the 1968 Alamosa Olympic Marathon Trials--the first "modern" U.S. Trials to follow a strict Olympics-selection system. He was curious about the marathon distance, and wanted to watch the race. When he arrived, he discovered that anyone could enter (for $3), so he did. 

A borrowed, ill-fitting pair of shoes caused him to drop out after 17 miles. But four years later, Shorter tied with Kenny Moore for the top spot, and in 1976 he finished alone at the front.

Shorter credits much of his marathon success to training like a 5000-meter runner, including many workouts with Steve Prefontaine. He thought little of running 6 x 800 meters in 2:01 with 200-meter recovery jogs. 

Super-shoes? No, the opposite. Shorter says he won his Olympic gold medal in a pair of track shoes with the spike plate replaced by a thin pad of rubber.

"I just wanted whatever would give me the lightest shoes," he says. "We didn't worry about pounding. I would joke that we had four years to recover."

Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Use your smartphone to download podcast apps from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or YouTube Podcasts. Once you've selected your favorite app, search for “running state of the sport.” 


With your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can also listen direct to “Running: State of the Sport” at the below internet links.

Apple

Spotify

Audible

Pandora

I Heart Radio

YouTube

"Running: State of the Sport" is brought to you by MarathonHandbook.com and RunLongRunHealthy.com. Marathon Handbook is the world’s leading marathon website, with a special focus on trustworthy running information and free, runner-tested training plans for all ability levels.

Run Long, Run Healthy is Amby’s weekly newsletter with the newest, most scientific, and most useful training advice for runners.


Audio engineering by BJ McGeever.

CJ Albertson

In this episode, George and Amby talk with prolific fast marathon runner CJ Albertson--a fan favorite and dark-horse contender to make the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team at the Feb. 3 Trials in Orlando. Prior to the 2020 U.S. Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Albertson was a little known road racer competing without a shoe contract. 

That changed after he finished 7th in 2:11:49. He signed a contract with Brooks, and has been racking up consistently fast marathons ever since. This includes finishes among the top American runners in the last 3 Boston Marathons.

Known for his strength and hard-fast training runs, Albertson holds the world record for 50K on the roads. And last December he won back to back weekend marathons at Cal International (2:11:09) and Baja MEX (2:11:08). This means he has achieved the Paris Olympic "B" qualifying time, and will make the U.S. Olympic Team on Feb. 3 if he finishes in the top 2 or 3 positions among those with Olympic qualifiers.


(It's not yet clear if the U.S. will send 2 or 3 marathoners to Paris. No one can go to Paris if they haven't run under 2:11:30, not even if they win the Trials.)


Married with two young children, Albertson is also a teacher and coach at Clovis Community College in Fresno, CA. In this podcast, Albertson talks candidly about his earnings from professional running and his chances of making the Olympic Team.


He also discusses how he is training for the possible heat in Orlando by running on a treadmill with 11 infrared lamps pointed at him.


Amby was intrigued by Albertson's training and any future ultra-running ambitions he might have. George gave Albertson big points for saying that his Fairy Godmother wish for 2024 was completion of an track facility at Clovis, preferably with a large scoreboard. (He didn't mention the Olympic Trials.)


You can follow CJ Albertson on Instagram here.


Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Use your smartphone to download podcast apps from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or YouTube Podcasts. Once you've selected your favorite app, search for “running state of the sport.” 


With your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can also listen direct to “Running: State of the Sport” at the below internet links.

Apple

Spotify

Audible

Pandora

I Heart Radio

YouTube

"Running: State of the Sport" is brought to you by MarathonHandbook.com and RunLongRunHealthy.com. Marathon Handbook is the world’s leading marathon website, with a special focus on trustworthy running information and free, runner-tested training plans for all ability levels.

Run Long, Run Healthy is Amby’s weekly newsletter with the newest, most scientific, and most useful training advice for runners.


Audio engineering by BJ McGeever.

Chris Chavez / Citius Magazine

In this episode of "Running: State of the Sport," George and Amby chat with Chris Chavez, founder and prime mover-shaker behind Citius Magazine. In just a few years, Citius has become a top media player in coverage of elite track/field and road racing. 

While carrying old media nomenclature, ie, "Magazine," Citius is a thoroughly modern digital operation. It includes podcasts, blogs, newsletters, and on-site coverage of major events like the Olympics, World Championships, and U.S. Championships. 

Chavez himself races everything from the mile to the marathon, including a 3:17 in last fall's NYC Marathon. But he ranks higher as a writer-reporter, having learned the ropes at Sports Illustrated before founding Citius Magazine.

George and Amby were impressed that Chris discussed the business side of Citius as openly as the editorial operation. Also, he explained his passion for attracting more young folks to become fans of running (and even media like himself.)

Chris expressed no regrets about how super shoes have affected the sport, and didn't pull punches when naming his top 3 male and female picks for the Marathon Trials on Feb. 3. 

He's got a sense of humor, too. Chris said one of his Fairy Godmother Wishes for the coming year was to sell Citius Magazine for a price like what the New York Times paid for The Athletic. (Which is thought to be $550 million.) Go for it, Chris!

Before the conversation with Chris, George and Amby discussed some of their favorite running podcasts of 2023. Amby's list included: the "Let's Run podcast," "Koop Cast" with coach Jason Koop, and Ali Feller's "Ali on the Run."

George noted: Citius Mag's recent podcasts with Parker Valby, Katelyn Tuohy, and CJ Albertson; "Nobody Asked Us" with Kara Goucher and Des Linden; "Set the Pace" with Rob Simmelkjaer and Meb Keflezighi; "The Morning Shakeout" with Mario Fraoli; and "Some Work, All Play" with Megan and David Roche.

Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Use your smartphone to download podcast apps from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or Google Podcasts. Once you've selected your favorite app, Search for “running state of the sport.” 

With your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can also listen direct to “Running: State of the Sport” at the below internet links.

Apple

Spotify

Audible

Pandora

I Heart Radio

YouTube

"Running: State of the Sport" is brought to you by MarathonHandbook.com and RunLongRunHealthy.com. Marathon Handbook is the world’s leading marathon website, with a special focus on trustworthy running information and free, runner-tested training plans for all ability levels.

Run Long, Run Healthy is Amby’s weekly newsletter with the newest, most scientific, and most useful training advice for runners.


Audio engineering by BJ McGeever.


 

Ed Eyestone Interview

Ed Eyestone has been close to the center of USA distance running for nearly 4 decades, and never more than now. He's coach to American O...