“I would work around the clock, weekends, because I was passionate, and that’s one thing I say to anyone that’s passionate about what they do: make sure you do things that are sustainable, because no matter how passionate you are, no matter how much you love your job, if you’re doing it 24/7, seven days a week, and you don’t give yourself a break just because you love it, it’s still work and it will eventually catch up to you. And I did have those moments when I was a one-man operation—I loved it, and that’s why I was so quick to hire somebody else on my team, just to make sure we build the infrastructure to sustain ourselves for many years ahead.”
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Hawi Keflezighi is one of the top agents in all of endurance sports, and one of the nicest guys that I’ve ever known. He is the founder and president of Hawi Management and his agency represents some of the top athletes in track and field, road racing, trail running, and triathlon. His most notable client is his brother Meb, who he has been representing since 2005, and his roster also includes Aliphine Tuliamuk, Alexi Pappas, Katie Zafares, and Joe Gray, amongst others.
We covered a pretty wide range of topics in this conversation, from the book he’s been helping his dad out with to the role that storytelling has played throughout his life. We talked about coming to the U.S. from Eritrea via Italy and some of his earliest memories as a young kid, to how he ended up at UCLA, and the path he followed to becoming a sports agent.
Finally, we got into the weeds of the business, marketing, and sponsorship side of professional running and discussed how contracts have evolved over the past 15 years, what the job responsibilities are for an athlete today, how he sees things evolving in the future, and a lot more.
Hawi Keflezighi: Book | Website | Instagram | Twitter
the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter
Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava
This episode is brought to you by:
— New Balance. I was recently able to get my hands on a pair of the new Fresh Foam 1080v11 and I was shocked to love them even more than I did last year’s v10 model. New Balance claims the 1080 offers the ultimate ride, and I’d have to agree. It’s the best fitting shoe I own and the Fresh Foam X cushioning feels super comfortable underneath my feet. It’s lightweight and flexible, but also responsive and durable—basically the perfect trainer to log most of your miles in, which is what I do. I wear it on most of my non-workout days and for long runs too. The 1080 v11 is available in both men’s and women’s sizes on newbalance.com or at your local run specialty retail store.
— Girls on the Run has been inspiring girls to know and activate their limitless potential and boldly pursue their dreams. On Thursday, March 25 at 7 PM EST—just a few weeks from now—you are invited to join an exciting 25th Birthday virtual event celebrating the inherent power and courage of girls. Join me and RSVP today at gotr.gives/TMS. The event is free to attend, but donations can be made and special add-on packages are available for purchase such as a copy of Hoda’s newest book and a pair of GOODR sunglasses customized for Girls on the Run.
Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.