Podcast: Episode 196 with Russell Dinkins


“I recognize the value of diversity. I recognize the value of being able to interact and learn from and just be in the presence of people who have different backgrounds and different experiences. And when you have those experiences to actually interact with, talk with, learn together with and from, people who have different lived experiences than your own, that informs how you view the world. And I believe oftentimes it informs it for the better…For me, the diversity component and also the way that track and field can be used as a tool for educational access in a really proficient and profound way, is something that has driven me to do the work that I’ve done.” 

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I’ve been waiting to have this conversation with Russell Dinkins for a while now and it did not disappoint. Over the past couple of years this man has helped saved the men’s track and field programs at Brown University, Clemson, the University of Minnesota, and William and Mary. He’s now the executive director of the Tracksmith Foundation, where he will continue that work while also helping create more opportunities and inspire broader participation in track and field through various forms of advocacy and assistance. Russell is also an incredible athlete: he competed at Princeton, where he was a 400- and 800-meter runner and a five-time Ivy League individual champion, and he’s still getting after it and competing on the track into his 30s.

In this conversation we talked about the path he’s followed in the sport, track and field as a vehicle for diversity and educational access, how his relationship to running has evolved over the years, what he hopes to achieve through his work moving forward, and a lot more. 

Russell Dinkins: Instagram | Twitter

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by:

— New Balance. The Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is an absolute workhorse and has been been my go-to trainer for some time now. When I want to go fast, the FuelCell Rebel v2 finds its way on my feet. Recovery days? Fresh Foam More v3 all the way. Race day? FuelCell RC Elite v2. Check ’em all out at your local run specialty store or on newbalance.com and consider adding a pair (or two!) to your rotation today.

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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.

Photo of Russell Dinkins by Molly Seltzer.