Podcast: Episode 204 with Tommie Runz


“I put myself through so many dark moments of life. I lived through all these things that told me to stop doing this thing that doesn’t even make me feel good—drinking isn’t a fun thing after a certain point—so I put myself through all that. And so with endurance, and lifting, and running, for sure, I feel like I’m good at it because I’ve been to the pain cave mentally for so long and all signs pointed to stop—and I kept going. And so, to me, in running, I’ll never get to the pain cave or a mental pain cave as bad as it was at my lowest moment in drinking, so I think I’m just attracted to that because number one, the process: It’s just really cool to do something day in, day out and actually see a benefit. I just got attracted to that process, and also I can just stay in this terrible moment for as long as we can.” 

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My guest this week is Tommie Runz. I met Tommie back in April at the Racers Roundtable that I hosted and he participated in a few days before the Boston Marathon. After talking with him for just a little bit that day, I knew that I needed to sit down with him for the podcast. That brief encounter led to this nearly two-hour conversation and it’s a really special one. 

In this episode, Tommie talks to me about the period of time he lived in Massachusetts, his troubled relationship with alcohol, and the journey he’s traveled to sobriety. He told me about when and how running came into his life and the path he followed to qualifying for the Boston Marathon. We discussed identity and how that’s shifted for him over the course of his life, what it’s like being a Black runner in his hometown of Detroit, and so much more. 

Tommie Runz: Instagram | YouTube | Strava | Chip Time Running

the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter

Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava

This episode is brought to you by:

Tracksmith is an independent running brand inspired by a deep love of the sport. Their Spring/Summer Collection is now available and features staples thoughtfully designed for training and racing hard in warm weather. My personal favorites are the Session tee and Allston half tights. If you buy anything on Tracksmith.com in the month of June, you can get free shipping on your next order, and support the Tracksmith Foundation, which helps give more people the opportunity to participate in Track & Field, by using the code Mario22 at checkout.

Open is a digital mindfulness platform combining Breathwork, Meditation, and Movement. I do a 5-10 minute breathwork class most days to get away from my desk and clear my head. Let’s take a class together. Open is giving listeners of the morning shakeout 30 days free when you visit withopen.com/MARIO.

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

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