When life gets you down, HANG IN THERE! | Podcast ep 24

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Life affects running, and running affects life. Sometimes perseverance extends beyond the run, requiring runners to “hang in there” through difficult times. Overcoming suffering is what distance runners specialize in. We took the microphone to Atlanta to capture stories from Olympic Trials marathoners.

If you missed our article with advice for coping with Coronavirus cancellations and postponements, you can find that here.

The World of Running

  • NCAA eligibility extended to athletes for a red-shirt season.
  • USATF 50 mile trail championships: winners Tim Tollefson and Ashley Hawks (California)
  • Japanese trials explained
  • Postponements and cancellations discussed.
  • If you missed the Olympic Trials Marathon Report, you can find that here.

Athlete Bios:

Dylan Belles


Qualifying time: 2:16:59
Hometown: Denver, NC
Current Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Running Background: I played several sports growing up, 7 total in high school alone. Began running as a way of getting in shape for wrestling season, loved it, begin to devote myself to the sport my senior year. Went from 19:09 my last race junior year to 16:48 my first race senior year. Walked on to a small D1 school, didn’t race much in uniform until my junior season. Completed school with a 29:39 10k personal best during my red shirt year, faster pace per mile than what I ran for the mile in high school. I moved to flagstaff after school to run for team run flagstaff and currently training with Brooks Running.
Follow Dylan:
IG: @runlikedylan

Joe Niemiec


Qualifying time: 2:17:18
Hometown: Zeeland, MI
Current Location: Greenville, SC
Running Background: Went to Cedarville University and now runs for Asics GTC Elite. Joe ran a 9 minute PR to hit the Olympic Trials Qualifier.
Follow Joe:
IG: @joe.niemiec

Katie Kellner

@ ktkellner

Qualifying time: 2:41:06
Hometown: Boston, MA
Current Location: Boston, MA
Running Background: 28th in 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials 3x All-American at Cornell University Ran for Hanson’s Brooks Distance Project 2013-2016 Runs for Boston Athletic Association 2016- Present
Follow Katie:
IG: @ktkellner
Twitter: @ktkellner
Coaching Business Website: forwardfocusrunning.com

Nathan Martin

@ nim_i_am

Qualifying time: 2:14:33
Hometown: Three Rivers, MI
Current Location: Jackson, MI
Running Background: I started in 8th grade after doing well in gym class. 3 time National Champion. NAIA Marathon record holder. Runner up in the 2019 20k championships.
Follow Nathan:
IG: @nim_i_am
FB Group: Nathan Martin’s Olympic Trials Countdown.
Team IG @glrc_team

Obsie Birru


Qualifying time: 2:35:51
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Current Location: Phoenix, AZ
Running Background: 5 time NAIA National Champ and 18 time All -American.
Follow Obsie:
IG: @obbirru

Aaron Dinzeo


Qualifying time: 2:18:35
Hometown: Sidney, Ohio
Current Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Running Background: I’ve been running since I was 13 years old. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people encourage me to take the sport to higher levels and it’s always increased my love, excitement, and attachment to it. Whether it was placing at the state cross country meet, earning my first of several All-American honors in college, or earning a spot on an international team, I’ve had great people in my corner that I’m thankful for and have shaped my life for the better.
Follow Aaron:
IG: @dinz.fool
Twitter: @thedinzruns
URL: www.nedistance.org

Dani Cook


Qualifying time: 2:42:16
Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana
Current Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Running Background: Ran in college at Indiana State, ran a few years “semi-pro” for Team Indiana Elite (Brooks), won my debut marathon (Columbus 2008), been chasing the trials ever since. Won the Disney Princess half a few months before my qualifier – huge Disney fan so that was lots of fun! Coaching at a local high school and not to many races the last year since being pregnant/having a baby.
Follow Dani:
IG @daniprin12
Twitter: @daniprince

When things don’t go your way, HANG IN THERE!

Lessons learned:

Dylan Belles- Trust yourself and lean into others.
Joe Niemiec- You can still perform when your world is rocked.
Katie Kellner- Mental health matters. You matter.
Nathan Martin- Tragedy and team shapes perspective.
Obsie Birru- Focusing on others gives purpose beyond the sport.
Aaron Dinzeo- Take ownership of your situation. Be grateful and learn.
Dani Cook- When dreams collide, keep hurdling life’s obstacles.

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As we discussed in this episode, we have more inspiring stories coming at you next week. Subscribe to get the inside scoop!

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