“The day that Kobe Bryant passed away, something snapped in me. I realized how short life can be—and I never met him, and I didn’t even know him much, but the things that people were writing about him, there was just something that made me snap out of it. I realized that I hadn’t seen my family for over 3 years. Why had I not seen them? I had not seen them because I was making excuses that I was working very hard to make the Olympic team, but I don’t think I had my mind and heart in it. In that moment, I realized that I was wasting time and making excuses and not really taking advantage of the opportunity that I had, and in that moment, I decided that I was going to fully commit to making the team. So that was seriously the day that I recommitted myself to making the team and believing that I was going to make it.”
Aliphine Tuliamuk recently won the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta to qualify for her first Olympic team. She ran away from Molly Seidel in the last two miles of the race to break the tape in 2:27:23 and fulfill her American dream.
The 30-year-old is a native of Kenya and became a U.S. citizen in 2016. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and trains with HOKA Northern Arizona Elite under coach Ben Rosario. Aliphine is a graduate of Wichita State University, where she was 14-time All-American and earned a degree in public health. She’s a now a ten-time national champion as well as a two-time guest on this podcast, initially appearing back on Episode 15, which you should go listen to if you missed it the first time around.
This conversation was mostly focused on the Olympic Trials, how the battle actually played out versus how Aliphine thought it would go, and what life has been like for her in the days since winning the race. We talked about Aliphine’s Olympic dream and developing a renewed sense of appreciation for the opportunities she’s been presented in life. Aliphine told me about the impact that Kobe Bryant’s death had on her mindset heading into the Olympic Trials, why she was uncharacteristically nervous in the days before the race, what the final stretch of the race was like for her when she realized she was going to make the team, how she will use her elevated platform to inspire more people moving forward, and a lot more.
Will Jim Walmsley break 64 minutes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and take down some notable names at the Houston Half Marathon on Sunday? And how will Kara Goucher fare in her first marathon since 2016? Those are two of the most common questions I’ve seen thrown around in recent weeks and with good reason: Folks want to see the extent of Walmsley’s range and many are wondering if the 40-year-old Goucher’s got anything left in the tank. I’m not one for predictions so I’ll save my commentary for after the event while encouraging you to pay close attention to both half-marathon races—they’re going to be ripping fast, incredibly deep, and, in all likelihood, won by athletes whose names are not immediately recognizable. (more…)
“When I’m dealing with pressure from racing and stuff, I just tell myself, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime.” When I was growing up, or I started running, I never thought that I would be the person that I am today. I never thought that I would be living in America, that I would be an independent woman doing my own thing. I have an opportunity that not a lot of people have—like not even my role models when I was in Kenya, they don’t have the opportunities that I have here. And so when I have that pressure, I just tell myself that I am in a better place and I don’t want to complain because this is not going to last forever and so I try to just enjoy the process.”
All she does is win, win, win, no matter what. Super excited to welcome nine-time U.S. national champion Aliphine Tuliamuk to the podcast. Tuliamuk went wire-to-wire to win the U.S. half-marathon championship in Pittsburgh on May 6 and followed that up less than a week later with her third-straight U.S. 25K title in Grand Rapids on May 12.
The 29-year-old Tuliamuk, a native of Kenya who became a U.S. citizen in 2016, lives in Flagstaff, Arizona and trains with coach Ben Rosario’s HOKA Northern Arizona Elite squad. She’s a graduate of Wichita State University, where she was 14-time All-American and earned a degree in public health.