On a weekly basis, host Mario Fraioli gleans unique insights and inspiration from a wide range of athletes, coaches, and personalities in the sport of running through compelling longform conversations you won’t hear anywhere else.
In this conversation, Jake Wightman talked about the world 1500m final and the tactics he used to take the win. Jake told me about what it was like to come off the high of that world title and still having to race in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in the weeks that came after it. We discussed pressure as a privilege, what it’s like going into races now as a favorite rather than an underdog, and how he’s learned to appreciate his accomplishments over the years. Jake also talked about growing up as the son of two accomplished runners, being coached by his dad and the dynamics of their relationship, and a lot more.
I’m excited to bring you the 9th installment of Common Ground, a monthly podcast co-hosted by me and Dinée Dorame of the Grounded Podcast. In this episode, Dinée shares a couple personal updates, we geeked out and got excited about the upcoming New York City Marathon, which we’ll both be heading to later this week—we also shared some information about the respective events we’ll be involved in, so keep an ear open for those—we talked some music, of course, and a lot more.
Marielle Hall and I talked about how she’s using this training camp as an opportunity to re-center herself and set the tone for the year ahead. She told me about traps that she’s gotten stuck in over the years and how she’s trying to maintain focus and keep the main thing the main thing. We discussed how she’s feeling now versus a year ago when she left the Bowerman Track Club, and when she knew it was time to change her training environment.
This week’s episode is with Chris Mosier. Chris is a hall of fame triathlete, an All-American duathlete, a 6-time member of Team USA, and a two-time national champion and Olympic Trials qualifier in race walking. He’s also a Nike-sponsored athlete who, in 2015, became the first known transgender man to represent the United States in international competition. Beyond all of that, however, Chris is an incredible person who knows himself better than nearly anyone I’ve ever met and he’s an advocate, inspiration, mentor, and a role model to so many, myself included. In this wide-ranging conversation, Chris and I talked about his relationship to sport and how that’s evolved throughout his life. We discussed identity and how he shows up in the different communities that he belongs to, as well as why he doesn’t want to be seen in any one particular type of way. Chris told me about navigating the world now as a white male and how that perspective differs from what he experienced earlier in his life, how we can all be allies and advocates for equal rights in sports and society, and so, so much more.
This conversation with Alison Mariella Désir was a very topical one and centered around Alison’s new book, Running While Black, which is available for pre-order now and will be available for purchase everywhere on October 18. We talked about the book, how it came to be, and how it evolved during the process of writing it. Alison shared some of her experiences of being a Black woman in a very white space, she told me about the impact she hopes her book will have, we discussed what “reimagining the run” could look like for future generations, and so much more.
I am super excited about this episode of Common Ground, a monthly podcast co-hosted by me and Dinée Dorame of the Grounded Podcast. It’s one we’ve been talking about doing for a long time, and it’s one that many listeners have been asking for: we’ve put together a Common Ground playlist! That’s right,10 songs from me, 10 songs from Dinee, and you can access them all on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. There is no running talk this week but we go through each of the songs we chose, why we chose them, and we had a lot of fun doing it.
This week I’m re-sharing a conversation that I had in 2018 with Deena Kastor, which we recorded at her kitchen table in Mammoth Lakes, California. I’m bringing this one back not only because I was in Mammoth Lakes this past weekend but because Deena just ran 2:45:12 at the Berlin Marathon—at the age of 49, no less!—to earn the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal for completing all six Major marathons: Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Tokyo. I look back fondly at this chat from a few years ago, in which we covered a lot of topics, from the importance of surrounding yourself with a great team, both in running and in life, to using disappointment as a means to fuel the next big breakthrough. We also discussed how coach Joe Vigil influenced her and helped shape her life philosophy, how training for and racing cross-country “feeds her soul” and helps her become a better racer on the track and on the roads, and so much more.
I’m traveling this week and don’t have a new episode of the podcast for you but I want to take this opportunity to re-run one of my favorite conversations that I’ve ever had for the show. It’s with Diljeet Taylor, who is the head women’s cross-country coach and the Associate Director of Track and Field and field at BYU, which is one of the top collegiate programs in the country. We recorded this episode nearly two years ago when we were in the thick of the pandemic and it’s a great one to revisit or maybe check out for the first time. In this conversation, which is really a masterclass is coaching and team building, Coach Taylor talked to me about the culture she’s helped build at BYU, why gratitude is so important to the strength of that culture, the importance of investing in people and not performances, and so, so much more.
Ruben Sanca represented his home country of Cape Verde in the marathon at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea and the following year he competed in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in London. In fact, it was during those Olympics that I first spent some meaningful time with Ruben and got know him a little bit. Ruben has also finished in the top-25 of the Boston Marathon twice and still competes regularly on the New England road racing scene. In August, he and his five-year-old son Greyson broke the Guinness World Record for running a mile with a stroller, clocking a 4:32.2 at the High Street Mile in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Brendan Leonard is an ultrarunner, writer, award-winning filmmaker, speaker, and creator of one of my favorite websites on the internet, Semi-Rad.com. On top of all that, he’s also a new dad, which we talked quite a bit about in this conversation. Brendan is someone whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. He’s got an unmatched ability to tell stories, use humor, and share drawings that convey many of the things we all feel and experience as runners, and as human beings in general. In this conversation, we bounced all over the place, covering topics like ultrarunning, creativity, storytelling, self-employment, parenthood, where and how all these things overlap and intersect, and a lot more.