Long-run talk for long talking runners. A podcast hosted by David Melly on the CITIUS MAG podcast network.
Running for Fun with Keira D'Amato
This week’s guest is two-time American record holder Keira D’Amato, fresh off a runner-up finish at the U.S. 25k championships in Grand Rapids, MI. Keira has personal bests of 1:07:55 for a half marathon and 2:19:12 for the marathon, breaking the 16-year-old American record in the marathon in January.
For those of you who don’t know, Keira has an incredible personal story, as a mom and realtor who walked away from the sport for nearly a decade before coming back to the sport in her mid-30s and running faster than ever before, going from racing local road races for fun to becoming one of Nike’s top pros.
We covered a lot of really interesting ground, including the hesitation to turn pro, the value of authenticity, and how much life has changed in the last few years. We also cleared up some funny rumors from the 25K champs and Keira explained why she’s not racing the 10,000m national championships at Pre. Of course, we also got into binge-watching, beer miles, and hot takes on donuts.
This episode is brought to you by Hayward Magic and the CITIUS Mag Summer of Hayward. As we get closer and closer to the national and world championships in Eugene, there will be so many fun storylines to follow and athletes to root for, and the CITIUS Mag team will be there every step of the way. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
On choosing to race roads over the 10,000m championships:
“I try to keep an open mind to the track, and it takes me one 10k race a year to be like, ‘nope.’ The roads are way more fun, and with running, it’s always about having fun for me. As soon as I’m not having fun, I’m out.”
On why Keira has so many new fans:
“I think what resonates with people is that I quit. For 8-10 years, I was just a spectator. And then I thought ‘what if?’ What would happen, what could’ve happened, what could still happen? A lot of us have those ‘what ifs,’ and it means something to people seeing me go for it where that took me.”
On running for fun:
“I’m having fun with it, and I think people see that. Some people can do really well taking it really seriously, and other people like me are kind of anxious already, so when I lean into the fun aspect and do things that excite me, I can get the best out of myself.”
On reaching her athletic peak in her 30s:
“I’ve never believed the whole getting old stuff. Forty years ago, women weren’t allowed to do a full marathon, you know? We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re still making progress.”
Local Legends with Jonas Hampton and Matt McDonald
This week’s guests are two of the top Americans from the 2022 Boston Marathon, BAA runners Matt McDonald and Jonas Hampton. Matt finished 13th overall as the third American in a new personal best of 2:10:35, and Jonas finished 23rd overall as the 10thAmerican in 2:14:40. The BAA men did a great job of defending their home turf as they put four men in the top 25 overall and three in the top 10 Americans, winning the team competition by a landslide.
Both Matt and Jonas work full-time in addition to being pro runners, and we talked a lot about the balance between managing a demanding career and pursuing big goals in the sport. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than these guys running 130 miles a week and working in engineering. We also talked about the team culture on BAA following a number of coaching changes, the possibility of getting back on the track, and what makes the Boston Marathon truly special.
This episode is brought to you by Hayward Magic in advance of a big summer of racing in Eugene Oregon. As we lead up to the World Championships, all of us here in the CITIUS family will be bringing you high quality interviews, storytelling, content, and analysis. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
“Being a BAA athlete in BAA’s premier event is so special. Having the logo on your chest that everyone else has on their bib is fun. The two of us probably know this course better than anyone else.” – Matt McDonald
“I was on the BAA racing team, but going into [the 2020 Marathon Trials], I pulled a ‘Scott and Rojas’ – I kinda began to want a pro contract, so I didn’t re-sign with the racing team and went to altitude by myself to train. And betting on myself seemed to pay off – ran 2:12, got 8thplace, and joined the BAA high performance team after that.” – Jonas Hampton
“I went down to Atlanta to get a PhD at Georgia Tech intending to hang up the shoes. The coaches at Atlanta Track Club talked me into joining the elite team they were starting up [….] and for about a year I resisted, but eventually as the team grew I wanted to be able to compete with my teammates. It made me want to be good again.” – Matt McDonald
“One thing I miss about running marathons is that you can lose that competitive edge in between races a bit. The great thing about doing local races is that you can keep competing regularly and it’s also just fun.” – Jonas Hampton
Queen of Boston with Nell Rojas (x CITIUS MAG)
This week’s episode is another great crossover with Chris Chavez and the CITIUS MAG podcast, where we talked to Nell Rojas who just finished as the top American in last week’s Boston Marathon for the second year in a row. This year, she lowered her personal best to 2:25:57 with her 10th-place finish, and we unpacked Nell’s training leading up to race day, how the race played out on the course, and even Nell’s unconventional path to the marathon in the first place.
We also talked about Nell’s decision to end her contract with adidas before Boston and why she chose to run in shoes that worked for her with no brand affiliation. I was particularly touched to hear Nell talk about the role representation has played in her running and the messages she receives from people all over the world who enjoy cheering on a prominent Latina runner.
This was a great episode that covered everything from Nell’s coaching career to her post-race bar adventure, and I think it was a lot of fun. This episode of Run Your Mouth was brought to you by Hayward Magic in advance of this year’s World Championships in Eugene, and you can learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
Running in Scrubs with Sam Roecker
This week’s guest is Samantha Roecker, a Philadelphia-based marathoner and full-time nurse who’s running the 2022 Boston Marathon in scrubs to raise money and awareness for mental health supports for front-line health care workers.
Sam herself is a full-time nurse in school to become a nurse practitioner, and she’s also a phenomenally-accomplished marathoner who has run 2:29 in the marathon and represented Team USA in the 2019 Pan American Games, where she finished 5th overall. We talked about Sam’s journey from running track at Providence College to taking up the marathon relatively quickly, her experience both running and crewing the famed Speed Project relay race, and her side gig as a running model for Tracksmith photoshoots.
The funds that Sam will raise will go towards the American Nurses Foundation's Well-Being Initiative programs supporting the mental health and wellness of Registered Nurses in the United States. You can learn more or donate here: https://givetonursing.networkforgood.com/projects/152794-samantha-roecker-marathon-fundraiser
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for even more coverage of the Boston Marathon all week and weekend from the CITIUS Mag family. We’ve got great programming coming up and we can’t wait to share it with you all. Enjoy the show!
On racing the Speed Project in 2018:
“[Coming into Vegas] we couldn’t even run for a minute at a time; so we were trading off running every minute for the last segment and we still had a long way to go. You blink and it’s over but it also feels like an eternity.”
On her changing relationship with running:
“I’ve been running since I was in 7th grade, and competitive running has come and gone in that time. I’ve had times where I’ve been really competitive and times when it’s just been a daily mental release. I try not to get too caught up in the future because running is, ultimately, unpredictable.”
On elite racing as a full-time nurse:
“I just want to get the most I can out of myself and see how fast I can go. I definitely don’t think that working 10-hour nursing shifts helps performance, and I definitely have moments where I just want to take three months at altitude and see what I can do, but I also really like my career and that side of my life. I chose to do this.”
On being a health care worker during a pandemic:
“It’s hard to talk about it with people who don’t understand and you don’t want to bring home that negativity, but sometimes I couldn’t help it. It’s definitely challenging.”
On building a healthy relationship with running:
“What I’ve learned to appreciate as I’ve gotten older is that running is a constant. I always feel better after going for a run than before, even if it’s a miserable cold, rainy day. Periods where I’m not able to run are tough and so I try to appreciate that constant in my life that many people don’t have.”
Record Rampage: with Christian Noble
This week’s guest is Christian Noble of Lee University, a 3x NCAA DII champion and the Division II record holder in the mile, the 3k, and the DMR. Last week at Raleigh Relays, Christian won the 5k in a new personal best of 13:24, beating a deep field of pro runners and D1 All-Americans in the process.
Christian came on the pod to talk about his mentality as a D2 athlete on a big stage, how he made it through the COVID-19 pandemic, and his plans looking forward as he finishes up his final year of eligibility. Hear him share his unique perspective, particularly as we talked about the recruiting process and the lessons we’ve learned as current and former collegiate runners.
Enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a rate and review. This episode, and all the podcasts in the CITIUS Mag network, are brought to you in part by the 2022 Summer of Hayward. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
On racing professional runners as a collegian:
“Being Division II, I feel like I’ve got a little bit more to prove… but it doesn’t matter if it’s Division I or pro runners; it’s about having fun with racing and running to win.”
On marketing himself as a runner:
“I’ve tried to market myself as approachable and relatable, and when kids see my success, they see that you don’t have to go to a Power 5 school to run fast.”
On training through a pandemic:
“The anticipation of getting back to racing again is what really helped me get through  the most. That’s why I wake up and run every morning; it’s what I love to do.”
Cougar to Mammoth: with Nico Montañez
This week’s guest is Nico Montañez of Mammoth Track Club. Nico is an accomplished marathoner and road racer who’s had a fantastic couple of months, beginning with running 2:13 for 7th place at the Chicago Marathon, continuing with a top-3 finish at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, and culminating most recently with his first national title at the U.S. 15K champs in Jacksonville, Florida last weekend.
Nico shared his unique story that began in Tuscon, Arizona, went from junior college to BYU, and landed at Mammoth Track Club under Deena and Andrew Kastor. Nico talked about how his sports psychology work has paid off in results, how his Boston buildup is going, and shared a lot about his time at BYU. We also covered bad tattoos, being mistaken for Galen Rupp, and slip-n-slides.
Enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review this and all the Citius Mag podcasts, and until next time, this has been Run Your Mouth.
On finding his place on the elite road circuit:
“I used to go into races with ‘something to prove’ and I realized that, for me, it was a big insecurity issue [….] now I go into races believing what I know I can be. And that I can allow everyone else to shine with me.”
On preparing for Boston 2022:
“The goal is to perform at my best level, whatever that looks like. I want to look myself in the mirror that night and say I gave it my all. But I’m fierce, I’m competitive, and sometimes that takes over the driver’s seat… so part of the goal is to be really competitive up front.”
On running at BYU:
“It was a big mental shift, but more than anything it was raising my standards. Seeing what people were actually doing behind the fast times at the university… I was like, ‘I have to raise the standards’ – not just for the running, but for who I want to be as a person.”
Such a fun host. Love this podcast
Fun, honest, great for a long run!
This is just such a refreshing, fun, & honest podcast. I love following pro running and this is a great take with good mix of guests. Good work!
This is the type of podcast the sport of track and field needs! Not overly focused on talking about running/training. Highly entertaining and the hosts get the athletes to show some personality.