Jenny Simpson

This week, George Hirsch and Amby Burfoot talk with Jenny Simpson, miler turned marathoner--well, almost, as Simpson hasn't finished a marathon yet. But she'll be toeing the start line in Hopkinton on April 15, and she sounds absolutely determined to make it to the Copley-Square finish line. 

Simpson explains in this conversation that she never intended for the Olympic Marathon Trials in February to be her first marathon start, but life had other ideas, so that's how things developed. She dropped out of the Trials at about 18 miles, and now thinks she overtrained and overstressed about the 26.2-mile distance.

For a decade, Simpson had been the best USA 1500 meter/miler. She excelled at the global level, winning an Olympic bronze along with a gold and two silvers at the World Championships. She also won the Fifth Ave Mile 8 times.

Even during her track career, Simpson explains, she did a long run almost every weekend. She also attended many marathons with her husband, Jason, a 2:18 runner, and found herself inspired by the tens of thousands of amateur runners who challenged themselves with the marathon distance. 

Before speaking with Jenny, George and Amby discussed the biggest recent running news. Amby got a chuckle over his Google News aggregator, which brought him an April Fool's Day story from It claimed that Taylor Switft was now dating shot put great, Ryan Crouser, all 6' '7" and 320 pound of him. Take that Travis Kelce!

But Amby turned serious when noting that the BAA/Boston Marathon was putting out press releases listing "5 Reasons for a Clear Course" while a Black running club rejoindered with "5 Reasons for a Cheer Course." Last year there was tension at the Marathon's 21st mile when club members allegedly ran onto the course.

George was impressed by the always strong performances at the World Cross-Country Championships. This year in Serbia, the Kenyan senior women swept the top 5 places--an unprecedented team achievement. Individual champions Beatrice Chebet (Kenya) and Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda) repeated their victories of 2 years ago. The next World Cross meet will be held in January, 2026, in Tallahassee, FL.

Reviewing their conversation with Simpson, Amby said that he appreciated her conviction that a woman athlete could be both a fierce competitor and a good sport at the same time. George liked her fearlessness in stepping up from the mile to the marathon.

You can keep up with Jenny Simpson by following her on Instagram.

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