“People know me as Abdi the distance runner, the funny guy, just outgoing, and that’s all good, but they don’t know the reason I came to the U.S.—how did I end up here, what was my choice, that struggle behind me getting here, at the end of the day, your parents, your family, what they’ve been through to get here. And that’s the difficult part of the book, because that just brings back some memories because of the civil war in Somalia. It’s not like one day I woke up and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to go to America.’ It wasn’t that easy. It was one day you woke up and you don’t know what the future holds for you, you don’t know where you’re going to get your next meal, what happened, because it was a civil war. At the end of the day I’m thankful for everything that I’ve been through, and it’s made me the person who I am today, but it wasn’t the easiest though.”
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Abdi Abdirahman is one of my favorite people in the sport and I am super excited to share this episode with you. The 44-year-old is a five-time Olympian and he’ll represent the United States in the marathon at this summer’s Games in Japan. Abdi also has a new book coming out soon. It’s called Abdi’s World: The Black Cactus on Life, Running, and Fun and it’s due out in July.
In this conversation, we talked about making his fifth Olympic team and how he’s feeling three months out from the Olympic Marathon. He told me about growing up in Somalia, coming to the United States when he was 7 years old, and how that experience shaped his perspective and outlook on life. We talked about his longevity in the sport, his relationship with running and what it means to him beyond just competition and his career, and why he’s gone to Ethiopia to train in recent years. Abdi also discussed his upcoming book, giving back to his community and establishing a charitable foundation built around hope, and a lot more.
Abdi Abdirahman: Book | Instagram | Twitter
the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter
Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.