I recently conducted an interview over email with Stephen Lane, author of the new book, Long Run to Glory: The Story of the Greatest Marathon in Olympic History and the Women Who Made It Happen. This book tells the story of American Joan Benoit, Norwegians Grete Waitz and Ingrid Kristiansen, and Portugal’s Rosa Mota—four of the greatest marathoners of all time—and the story of how all of them lined up to race each other for the first time at the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984. Despite the fact that this race happened nearly 40 years ago, I think it should be required reading for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the sport, no matter their interests, age, or how they identify. Add it to your holiday wishlist. I really enjoyed digging into the backstory of the book with Steve—himself a history teacher, track coach, meet director, and husband of my former teammate and training partner, Jess Minty—and I hope you’ll take the time to read our exchange below.
I recently sat down with Christine Yu, an award-winning journalist and author of Up to Speed, a new book that I would describe as a comprehensive guidebook that dispels false narratives around women in sport, dissects the latest research into women’s sports science and performance, and advocates for more and better research to improve the future experiences of active and athletic women across the age and identity spectrum.
Tracksmith recently announced the launch of the Varsity Club, an NIL program designed to support a small number of top-level college track & field and cross country athletes by providing them a gear stipend, mentorship, and the opportunity to travel to Europe for training and competition in summer of 2024. The program caught my attention for a few reasons: one, it's Tracksmith's first foray into the NIL space; two, it's an application-based initiative, differentiating it from other NIL deals brands are making with athletes; and three, it's headed up by Nick Willis, who was a seven-time All-American at the University of Michigan and understands the landscape of collegiate track & field as well as anyone. Anyway, I had a lot of questions, which Nick was generous enough to answer for me.
I recently interviewed Andy Wacker, a professional trail runner and founder of The Trail Team, whose stated aim is “to independently support and develop rising athletes into the best professional trail runners in the world through mentorship, skill development, and media exposure.” I was curious about the structure of the team and exactly how they were going about executing on their objectives so I called up Andy and we had a chat about it.
I recently had a conversation with Sarah Gearhart, author of We Share The Sun, which comes out on April 4 wherever books are sold. It’s part biography of Patrick Sang, the legendary coach of Eliud Kipchoge and other distance-running superstars, and part behind-the-scenes peek of the inner workings of his training group based in Kaptagat, Kenya. I was fascinated to learn more about the architect responsible for multiple world records, major marathon wins and course records, numerous global medals, and other incredible competitive accomplishments. Coach Sang is a private individual but he opened up to Gearhart in a big way and she did a wonderful job painting a portrait of a man who is revered not only for the successes his athletes have experienced in sport, but also for his holistic coaching philosophy and the impact he has on the rest of their lives. In addition to telling Sang’s story, Gearhart shines a light on many of his athletes, most of whom aren’t well known beyond the races they’ve won or the times they’ve posted.