On this episode of the A to Z Running Podcast, track and field filmmaker Alex Andrei joins the show to talk about running as a sport. He shares what he has been learning and an exclusive look into what’s coming when his documentary premieres this summer and what many hope to be instrumental in revolutionizing the sport.
MAIN TOPIC: “STATE OF THE SPORT”
Main Topic: “State of the Sport”
Do you know about running as a sport? Fans obsess over sports like football & soccer, but how about Track and Field and running? There are many runners, but fewer running fans in the United States. Likely if you listen to this podcast we have some interest in the sport of running and hope today’s episode will invigorate your interest. Today we unpack the state of the sport, which is the title of our guest’s documentary.
About our Guest: Alex Andrei
Film director, content creator, & coach, Alex’s tagline is “show up for the sport.”
Alex dives into how to raise the bar in the sport and provide opportunity and connection for fans and participants. His pursuits have been recognized and propelled by opportunities with Nike, USATF, and now independently as the Artist-in-Residence in the Graduate Eugene Hotel.
State of the Sport: Track and Field in America Trailer
Some things we discuss in the episode:
Where the sport is at.
What can be done to improve it.
How the running community can get involved.
WORLD OF RUNNING
AtoZrunner updates: Congrats to Andrew on his 3rd in AG half marathon and Karl on his 5k PR in his 4 mile race last week.
#1. USATF Cross Country Championships
- Women’s results
- Winning her first national title as a pro was previous podcast guest Alicia Monson of OAC running a time of 34:01 over Weini Kelati by 17.
- 3rd was Emily Durgin
- Following Emily were Stephanie Bruce and previous guest Natosha Rogers in 6th.
- Men’s results
- The theme of the men’s national championships this year has been a sprint-to-the finish battle.
- Winning that battle in this cross country championship was Shadrack Kipchirchir and on his heels were Dillon Maggard and previous guest Sam Chelanga (who has been in almost all the battles).
- Leonard Korir was 4th and upcoming podcast guest Benard Keter (steeplechase Olympian) was 6th place.
#2. Aleksandr Sorokin broke two world records in one 12-hour race
- Spartanion 12-hour race in Israel on January 6th
- Aleksandr Sorokin, who goes by Sania, broke both his 100mi and 12-hour record in this single, astounding effort
- He ran 100 miles in 10 hours, 51 minutes, 39 seconds, 23 minutes better than his own previous record
- In 12 hours, he ran 110 miles (177 kilometers), amounting to 4.2 miles further than his previous record (and by the same metric as the 100 mi: around 28 minutes better)
- He averaged about 6:30/mile (fun face from Canadian Running: that means he ran 35 5ks in a row in 20:15)
- Backstory (from Canadian Running):
- Sorokin broke the 24hr record back in August, 2021, running 192.25 miles (309.4k)
- He also holds the record for 150 kilometres (10:27:48)
- He is 40 years old and started running at age 32
- He began running because he wanted to lose weight. Said Sorokin, “I began running to get in shape when I weighed 100 kg (220 lb.). At the time I wasn’t playing any sports, just drinking and smoking a lot.”
- After a half marathon only months into the endeavor, he heard about 100k and dove right in.
#3. Carrie Verdon’s fascinating comeback
(As published by Fast Women on January 5th)
- Carrie Verdon was an instant stud in high school, finishing 11th at Cali states as a freshman and state champ junior and senior year as well as 19th at a Footlocker XC Nationals
- Went to Colorado in college and continued success initially, but started waffling sophomore year
- Injury issues after that, and graduated in 2017 unsatisfied
- Running for Lee Troop in Boulder, she put together a string of healthy years and stomped back into the picture in 2020 with a 32:09 10k, a nearly 2-minute PR, and in 2021 a 15:18 5k (41-second PR) and a finalist at the USA Olympic Trials in the 5k.
- In the fall, she finished 7th in the blazing hot Chicago Marathon in her debut (running 2:31)
- Verdon was also 9th at the recent USATF Cross Country Championship
- “it clicked for her that the most important thing was to be healthy, so she could train, compete, and continue to do everything she loves”
Previous Podcast guest, Brittany Charboneau (Creativity on the run) won the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon at 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 4 straight days of the Dopey Challenge! All in costume. She won the 5K dressed as Elsa from “Frozen” and the 10K as Bing Bong from “Inside Out.” For the half marathon, she led the pack as Joy, another character from “Inside Out.” She crossed the finish line for the full marathon as Cruella de Vil from the “101 Dalmatians.”