Ben Luke Smith grew up in a small town in Alabama and spent his early years as most kids do, playing youth team sports and riding his bike. Ben describes how a series of very unfortunate events in his life over the past several years has shaped who he is as a man and runner. From being held at gunpoint, to losing his mom and others from cancer, Ben has encountered and overcome many obstacles in life. We talk with Ben about obstacle course racing, such as Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, Rugged Maniac, and Warrior Dash, and how his faith, fitness, and running have helped him continue to recover from PTSD and become stronger and more resilient. Ben has served in the U.S. Air Force since 2010 and encourages listeners to always keep going and never stop. He also reminds runners that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and challenges listeners to always lend a helping hand to others.
BethAnn Telford continues telling her story from Episode 39 by talking about her recent experience running the 2017 World Marathon Challenge, which consists of 7 marathons in 7 consecutive days in 7 continents. As the first competitor with live cancer in her body, she used this race as a platform to spread hope for those with brain cancer and to raise money for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. BethAnn shares stories about other competitors like Ryan Hall and Michael Wardian and how they all came together as a community to help each other achieve their goals. We reflect on the reason BethAnn continues to run and she challenges runners of all abilities to find a cause they believe in to run for, and to help others join the running community.
BethAnn Telford began running in high school as a requirement to participate on her field hockey and soccer teams. After 9/11, BethAnn moved to Washington, DC and quickly began running marathons. In the 19th mile of the 2004 Marine Corps Marathon, BethAnn had an odd experience, leading to her discovering that she had a frontal lobe brain tumor. After surgery and recovery, BethAnn was back running the Marine Corps Marathon the following year. BethAnn has been utilizing her gift of life and running to raise money for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, an amazing organization supporting cutting-edge brain cancer research. To date, she has run a couple hundred marathons and has finished numerous endurance races and triathlons. BethAnn continues her story on Episode 40 in Part II, which will release on March 13, 2017.
When Thom Singer first joined the Runified Podcast on Episode 5, he was a non-runner. Over the past year, Thom has eased into the life of a runner and shares the many different ways running has improved his life. Thom talks about training for and running his first half marathon. We also talk about how running has been a source of inspiration to further his own business and career, and likens his running transition and journey to challenges and progression and in the business world. As a professional speaker, Thom speaks about the Paradox of Potential, which he thought of while running. Thom challenges listeners to encourage others to start running by actively helping them through the transition from non-runner to runner.
Martin Parnell never excelled at a single sport until his brother challenged him to a marathon at the age of 47. Martin quickly realized that he has the unique ability to run for very long distances and time. In cycling across Africa and playing sports with children along the way, Martin realized the power that sports can have in the lives of youth. Martin took his desire to help others through running to an extreme level in 2010 where he ran 250 marathons in one year to raise money for Right to Play. We talk with Martin about his epic adventures and how a serious health concern nearly took his life. Martin shares details about his recovery and the inspiration for his most recent journey, a marathon in Afghanistan. Martin continues the conversation from Episode 36 with Kate McKenzie and opens listeners eyes to the reality women face in this very different country. Martin shares his stories in two books and challenges runners to do something to help others with their running.
Kate McKenzie started running as a young child, feeling free as the wind ran through her hair. More recently, Kate made the jump from running 10k races to running her full marathon in Afghanistan. Kate shares the reasons behind the decision to run this marathon and tells us about the amazing film her team is creating called The Secret Marathon. The story Kate shares is one of hope and courage, sharing the reality that Afghan women face when trying to run. Not only does Kate want to shed light on inequality these women face, but she also wants to erase the stigma surrounding Afghanistan, as she describes her experience. Kate will open your eyes to a different world of running and challenge you to be a part of the change she is determined to see in this world. Be sure to check out the recently released trailer for the film and tune in next week where we will talk with Kate’s coach, Martin Parnell.
Running found Bill O’Shields when he was serving a 15-year sentence in a federal penitentiary for robbing a bank. While in jail, Bill trained with fellow prisoners and quickly ramped up to running 70 miles a week, mostly on a half-mile track within the prison walls. After reading about the Boston Marathon in Runner’s World in 2007, Bill decided that running this race would be his goal. After being released he immediately began running, eventually qualifying for the 2016 Boston Marathon. Bill shares helpful training advice and challenges our listeners to be open to everyone's situation and background and to not judge others. Bill’s motto of “run free” has meant a lot to him and he shares his story in his book Behind the wall to the Boston Marathon 2016. Bill loves to inspire others with his story while sharing his message of hope and freedom. Running has brought Bill to amazing places, including meeting Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, and Bart Yasso.
Martinus Evans is not your typical runner. As a competitive football player, he always looked for ways to run the least amount possible while on the field. What started as a snide comment about his health from his doctor in 2012 turned into a love of running. Martinus is now a marathoner, a running coach, motivational speaker, blogger, and podcast host; all with the common goal of inspiring runners of all abilities to achieve more than they could ever think was possible. In our interview Martinus shares training advice, inspiration from his story, as well providing a unique perspective on running as a “back of the pack” runner. Be sure to check out 300PoundsAndRunning.com/runified for a special offer for Runified listeners, a free beginners guide to running.
Steph Cash Hogan is a first-grade teacher living in Saratoga Springs, NY. Through college, she was athletic and played lacrosse, but always disliked running. A few years ago Steph was going through a stressful period in her life and needed to do something for herself. What started with running 30 minutes on her lunch break turned into accomplishing much more than she could ever imagine, including running several half marathons, three full marathons and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Steph shares her running journey and amazing stories about the running community. She provides training tips for runners of all abilities and motivates them to reach their goals and to inspire others with their stories.
Marcel van der Kuil has been running for 25 years. What started as a way to cope with significant heartbreak, has now evolved into the goal of being a sustainable runner for the rest of his life. Running has taught Marcel a lot about himself, mainly through recovering from a very significant and freak injury to his lower leg. Marcel has a well-rounded and balanced approach to fitness and life, including the Marathon Revolution methodology based on heart rate, and the Quantified Self approach. Marcel’s passions for technology, entrepreneurship and sport led him to start a company called SensoRun, as well as a Meetup group called Running 20/20, with the goal of accelerating the innovation of the running experience by bringing together scientists, runners, and entrepreneurs. Marcel challenges runners to connect with themselves and others, sharing the joy that can be found in running.
Arne Robertson was inspired to start running through a combination of internal and external promptings. From the initial mile he ran, to the marathons he has completed, running has helped him in many ways. We learn about lessons learned in his races and Arne humbly provides training and running advice. He also inspires listeners by challenging every runner to be an inspiration for others, as well as remember and acknowledge those who inspire you.
Kim Eagle is a nutrition coach, helping athletes across the world reach their fitness and nutrition goals with her Earn That Body programs. Kim became a runner a couple years before her son was born. After training for marathons by herself for years, she found that training with a coach and group enabled her to reach new levels. We talk with Kim about how she became a nutrition and fitness coach and how she has turned her love for fitness and nutrition into a thriving business. We talk about nutrition for long distance runners and Kim provides very helpful advice for runners of all abilities. Kim provides a special offer for our listeners you won’t want to miss.