Episode5: Rob Simmelkjaer, CEO of the New York Road Runners and TCS New York City Marathon

In this episode of "Running: State of the Sport," George and Amby chat with Rob Simmelkjaer, the CEO of the New York Road Runners, who of course are organizers of this coming weekend's TCS New York City Marathon. It's arguably the biggest, most globally recognized marathon in the world, and hence a hugely important event on the running calendar every year. 

Rob tells us how to pronounce his last name--it's much easier than it looks--and explains what it has been like to take the helm at NY Road Runners. He has held the top position only since last January, so this is his first Marathon overseeing the entire event.

Rob has had a long, wide-ranging careeer in other sports at ESPN and NBC, and explains what made him want to consider his new position in running. He also discusses frankly an area where he thinks those in the running world could do a better job: Telling stories and creating interest in the sport's fastest runners and biggest heroes. 

After speaking with Rob, who is 51, Amby notes that he was impressed with Rob's recent Staten Island Half Marathon finish in 1:39. That indicates he's in as good shape as he was a decade ago when he finished the TCS NYC Marathon in 3:28.

George was struck by what Rob said was his favorite part of the new job: Waiting at the finish to greet back of the pack runners and congratulate them on a job well done.

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.

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"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.

Episode 4: Merhawi Keflezighi, agent and brother to Meb

 

In the this episode of "Running: State of the Sport," George and Amby chat with Merhawi Keflezighi, younger brother of Meb Keflezighi. "Hawi" is also an important agent-manager to top track and marathon elites. He fills us in on the current financial state of the sport--who’s earning significant money, and who’s not.


He also proposes that every winner at the World Championships should receive a $1 million first-place prize. In an emotional retelling, he relives his brother’s famous win in the 2014 Boston Marathon--the year after the bombings.


Before speaking with Merhawi, George and Amby discuss the amazing results at the Chicago Marathon. George notes that Kelvin Kiptum is only 23, and has only run 3 marathons (all in the last year). At Chicago, Kiptum borke the tape in a world record 2:00:35. In both of his last two marathons, he has run the second half in sub 60 minutes. Also Sifan Hassan has incredible range--from a 1:56 in the 800 meters to 2:13 in the marathon. It's hard to predict which events she will run next summer at the Paris Olympics.


Amby talks about the age-group results at Chicago, including world records (3:34:32) by 75-year-old Jeannie Rice, and a 2:49:43 by 60-year-old Jenny Hitchings. Gene Dykes set an American record in the 75-79 age group (3:17:01), but fell 10+ minutes short of Ed Whitlock's world record 3:04.53.


Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Use your smartphone to Search or Discover apps from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or Google Podcasts. Look 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

Google Podcasts 

"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.



Episode 3: Deena Kastor, marathon great

 

In the third episode of "Running: State of the Sport," we chat with American marathon legend, Deena Kastor. Kastor took a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, was outright winner of the Chicago and London Marathons, and also the first American female to break 2:20 in the marathon.

And that's just for beginners. In addition, Kastor won 8 National Cross Country Championships, and still holds the American masters marathon record for women (2:27:47), set at the Chicago Marathon when she was 42.

Kastor also wrote the best-selling memoir, Let Your Mind Run.

Before speaking with Kastor, Amby and George discuss the amazing results from the Berlin Marathon, where Tigst Assafa set a world record, 2:11:53--that's 5:02 per mile pace! George believes there's plenty of reason to believe that Assafa has the talent and background to run so fast, while Amby remains a bit skeptical of her big breakthrough. 

Both agreed on one thing, however: Eliud Kipchoge's victory in 2:02:42 marked a strong comeback from his disappointing sixth at Boston last April, and establishes him as the man to beat at the Paris Olympics next summer. Should Kipchoge succeed there, he'll become the first runner to win three successive Olympic Marathons.

Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Search or Discover on your smartphone app from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or Google Podcasts. Look 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

Google Podcasts 

"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.


Episode 2: Mark Milde, Berlin Marathon

In Episode 2 of the podcast, "Running: State of the Sport," we chatted with Mark Milde, race director of the Berlin Marathon. The 2023 Berlin race will be held on Sunday, September 24, with Eliud Kipchoge returning to his favorite course. In 2022, Kipchoge established the marathon world record in Berlin when he ran 2:01:09.

Among other things, Milde talked about:

* His family's long history with the Berlin Marathon, which was founded by his father, Horst, in 1974

* Many of the Berlin Marathon's primary attractions, including its famous tour of the city that was once divided into East and West Germany

* The 9000 American runners who are entered in the Berlin Marathon

* Why he believes Eliud Kipchoge is such a great marathon performer

* Plans for the 50th running of the Berlin Marathon in 2024

In a discussion of recent running news, Amby and George chatted about:

* A new running book on the famous 1984 Women's Olympic Marathon. George recalls a surprisingly fast 10-miler he ran with Joan Benoit Samuelson the morning after her dramatic victory.

* The results of the New Haven 20K race, where several BYU graduates, Clayton Young and Connor Mantz, had strong performances. And it's only 5 months until the Olympic Marathon Trials early next Feb. Watch out for the BYU runners, coached by Ed Eyestone, himself a two-time Olympic marathoner.

* Smiling. Yes, smiling! Amby notes that he saw more runners smiling on the starting line at the recent Budapest World Championships vs past Championships. And he explains why this might be a new trend among top athletes.

Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Search or Discover on your smartphone app from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or Google Podcasts. Look 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

Google Podcasts 

"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.


Episode 1: Jack Fleming, Boston Marathon

 

In our first episode, we talk with Jack Fleming, CEO of the BAA/Boston Marathon. Among other things, we discuss: 

* His history in the sport of running

* The spirit and tradition of the Boston Marathon

* Where Jack was, and what he did, during the bomb explosions of 2013

* The amazing 2014 Boston Marathon

* Eliud Kipchoge's appearance at Boston last April, 2023

* What happened when local police were called to confront a Black cheer group last April

* What Jack says to Meb Keflezighi every time he sees Meb

* Boston's famous/infamous qualifying procedures

Where to find “Running: State of the Sport”

Search or Discover on your smartphone app from Apple, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, or Google Podcasts. Look 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

Google Podcasts 

"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.

Jared Ward Interview

In this podcast, Amby and George talk with Jared Ward, 2:09:25 marathon runner and sixth place finisher in the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon. Wa...