Episodes
We are excited to present this conversation with new Olympian Cory McGee! She earned a spot in Tokyo with a 2nd place finish in the 1500m at the Olympic Trials earlier this week, and in this episode, she joins us to tell us all about it.  Cory has been running at a high level for a very long time. She was a US junior champion in 2011 then went on to become a 10-time All-American at the University of Florida. In the pro ranks, she's been working diligently toward this breakthrough moment for...
Published 06/25/21
Zola Budd Pieterse has every reason in the world to hate the sport of track and field, but she doesn't. Instead, she gives back to it in ways that will help today's young stars experience it in a much more positive way than she did. It has not, however, been an easy journey. Zola grew up on a farm in South Africa before suddenly being thrust on the world stage at the age of 17 when she ran a world record time in the 5000m. That time would not be ratified by the IAAF because it did not...
Published 05/10/21
What price would you be willing to pay for telling the truth? What if you knew it would cost you your home, your livelihood, your security, and nearly your country? Would you still speak up? Would you still do the right thing? Whether they know it at the time or not, that is the choice often faced by what the world calls "whistleblowers." We call them truth-tellers, and Renee Anne Shirley ("Anne") is one of those truth-telling heroes. In August of 2013, she spoke out via a Sport Illustrated...
Published 05/03/21
Hillary Allen is used to defying the odds. She did it in graduate school when her running career began, rising from a first-time marathoner in 2012 to the very top of the sky running world in just five short years. She did it again in 2017, surviving a 150-foot fall on the trails which nearly killed her to return to the podium in her sport just over a year later.  In this episode, Hillary shares her inspiring story with Kara and Chris. We start with her journey to becoming a runner evolving...
Published 04/26/21
You might know Anthony Famiglietti (nicknamed “Fam”) as the two-time Olympian in the steeplechase with an aggressive, front-running style on the track. You may not know his other side as the quiet, introverted artist who sees the world a little different than the rest of us, including a unique perspective on the world of clean sport. In this episode with Kara, Shanna, and Chris, we get to meet both sides of him, Anthony and Fam, the artist and the athlete. Anthony grew up on Long Island and...
Published 04/19/21
Nick Willis might be the fastest "amateur" athlete in the world. He hopes it is fast enough to help him qualify for his 5th Olympic Games in Tokyo this year. In this episode led by Chris and Adam, we find out all about Nick's career, which now spans nearly two decades, from growing up in New Zealand to now joining the corporate world with Tracksmith. Of course, we cover the two Olympic medals in between too!  Nick's story is a fascinating one as he showed promise in running at a very early...
Published 03/22/21
With this episode, we release an important follow-up conversation with Dawn Harper-Nelson. In our preparation for our original interview with Dawn, we missed an important detail that should have been central to that first discussion. After posting episode 84, we learned that Dawn actually served a three-month suspension beginning in December of 2016 for unintentionally ingesting a banned substance. In the fall of 2016, Dawn ended up in the emergency room with high blood pressure. The...
Published 03/15/21
You don't want to miss this episode with Dawn Harper-Nelson because we can't think of a better person to showcase on this International Women's Day. Dawn is a fierce competitor and loving mom with an absolutely infectious personality. She's earned 4 global championship medals on the track including a gold, 2 silvers, and a bronze, but her story has impact well beyond the podium. In this episode with Shanna and Chris, Dawn opens up about her journey from growing up in East St. Louis to now...
Published 03/08/21
Published 03/02/21
There are few in the sport that have so selflessly given back to it as Kevin Hanson, and he's been doing it for the last 40+ years. He has coached at every level from high school to community college to the pros. He and his brother started and continue to run the Hanson's Running Shops near Detroit, Michigan, and of course, they are also the co-founders and coaches of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, the program that produced Olympian and Boston Marathon Champion Desiree Linden. In this...
Published 03/01/21
You know Jim Walmsley as the 4-time ultra runner of the year who owns the course record at the Western States 100, the 50-mile world record, and now the US 100K record. You probably also know him as the trail runner who ran a 1:04 half marathon on the roads to qualify and compete in the Olympic Marathon Trials with the road specialists, where he finished a respectable 22nd last February. But, did you know that he won a state cross country title in high school in Arizona? Or, that he attended...
Published 02/14/21
Clare Egan has *only* been competing in the sport of Biathlon for 8 years, but she has already made a lifetime of impact. Yes, you could talk about what she's accomplished for the US on the snow and ice as an athlete. She's an Olympian and a World Cup podium winner after all. Her real impact, however, has come as chair of the Athletes' Committee for the International Biathlon Union (IBU) where she's helped set a new tone in the sport, rooting out corruption in governance and taking a stand...
Published 01/31/21
For a professional runner, the resume of Alexi Pappas looks a little different than most. Even though she is an Olympian and 10,000m record holder for Greece, her running accolades might not even be at the top of the list. She's also an actress, filmmaker, and now author of her own memoir Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas. Her journey in life, however, has not been an easy one. In this episode, Kara and Shanna talk with Alexi about the challenges she has faced and...
Published 01/24/21
We dare you to tell Ali Jawad that he can't do something. He will probably prove you wrong just as he's been doing his entire life. Ali was born without legs, but he has never viewed that as a disadvantage. At age 7, he dreamed of being on an Olympic podium after watching Michael Johnson win double golds in the 200m and 400m in Atlanta. He finally made that dream come true by winning a silver medal in Rio in 2016 in his third Paralympic Games. The journey to that podium was not an easy one....
Published 01/17/21
Track and field is full of thousands of athletes who train hard, seeking glory without a sponsor and unsure of where they might earn their next check to cover rent and food. Mikel Thomas is one of those athletes, and in spite of all of his challenges, he's grinded to 3 Olympic Games and podium finishes at the Pan Am Games and NACAC Championships (for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean). Plus, he is now an advocate on topics that include athletes' rights and clean sport, even...
Published 01/10/21
We are excited to kick off the podcast in 2021 with one of the greatest American distance runners of all time - Shalane Flanagan. From the roads to the track to the grass and mud of a cross-country course, her resumé of accomplishments pretty much has it all: 3-time NCAA champion, 4-time Olympian, Olympic silver medalist, 18-time US champion, World XC bronze, NYC Marathon champion, and former American record holder for all distances from 3K, 5K, 10K and 15K.  Even with this amazing list of...
Published 01/04/21
What is it like growing up as the daughter of one of the greatest distance runners of all-time? Surprisingly normal actually. In this episode, Eilish McColgan, the daughter of episode 60 guest Liz McColgan, joins Chris and Kara to talk about her own running journey from childhood club star to 2-time Olympian. Not pressured into it by her distance-running parents, she fell in love with the sport all on her own, making her journey uniquely beautiful. Eilish details her up and down journey...
Published 11/30/20
Leo Manzano’s story should be a simple picture of everything that is beautiful about track and field. Mexican-born, he moved to small-town Texas at a young age and had to negotiate with his father to join the middle school cross country team by agreeing to work over the summer to help his family pay the bills. Once on that team, he fell in love with the sport, and then with his raw talent combined with grit, determination, perseverance, and lots of hard work, he went on to earn 9 state...
Published 11/15/20
For Frank Lara, there is so much bittersweet about winning his first national title. He earned his first podium in a US road championship less than a year after turning pro. He was ecstatic with his second-place finish on the day only to find out that he was beaten by a drug cheat with a prior suspension for using EPO. Still, he celebrated while the world was outraged for him, and he waited patiently for the much needed 2nd place prize money to supplement his part-time paycheck. The prize...
Published 11/08/20
Olympian in the 1500m in 2004. Podium finisher at the Ironman distance in 2016. Canadian record holder in the marathon in 2020. Malindi has 16 years of competing at a high-level as a pro, and she isn't finished yet with a potential spot at Tokyo 2021 pending selection by Athletics Canada.  Malindi's longevity and range in endurance sports is beyond impressive, but perhaps more impressive and inspiring, is the mindset that helped her achieve these results. Malindi joins Chris and Kara in this...
Published 11/01/20
Paula Aranda is the Chair of the Board for USA Weightlifting. As a 31-year-old woman of color, her background is unfortunately all too rare within sports governance. Perhaps equally rare is her clear and unequivocal stance on clean sport.  USA Weightlifting is currently locked in an international battle for the integrity of its sport as the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) tries to protect a culture of secrecy, bribery, and cheating. With Paula at the helm, USA Weightlifting...
Published 10/25/20
We are excited to welcome Ross Tucker back to the show! He joined us in a special episode in January to discuss the great shoe debate, and this time we learn more about his background growing up in South Africa before turning to discuss all of the major issues of today.  Chris and Adam lead this discussion as Ross talks about growing up in a small, industrial town in South Africa. He describes how checking out the only book on running in his local library would change the course of his life...
Published 10/18/20
Lee Troop grew up in Geelong, Australia and started running as an elementary school kid with his dad. His journey from that kid to become a 3-time Olympian and then ultimately to become coach of Olympic marathon team member Jacob Riley is equal parts fascinating and inspiring.  The journey has been far from easy, however, and Chris and Shanna chat with Lee about it all. He shares the story of the personal transformation of his father that would lead them to start running together. He...
Published 10/11/20
This week, we take a break from interviews for a Clean Sport Collective host roundtable to discuss current events in the world of clean sport. Chris moderates while Shanna, Kara, and Adam weigh in with their perspectives. Topics include recent doping sanctions in the pro and amateur ranks, the use of CBD, bribery charges for the former President of World Athletics, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Lance Armstrong, and of course, how the great shoe debate is now moving from the roads to the...
Published 10/05/20
It's rare for a track & field athlete to appear on Time's List of the 100 Most Influential People of the year, but there is no one more deserving than Allyson Felix for everything she represents both on and off the track. To celebrate Allyson this week for receiving this great honor, we are replaying our prior interview with her (recorded in September 2019).  In this conversation with Chris and Kara, we begin with a quick introduction on her background in sport and then dive into two...
Published 09/28/20