Ali on the Run Show Episode 55: Nick Symmonds

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 55

Guest: Nick Symmonds

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“I wanted to prove to everyone that all the sacrifices I’d made and dumb decisions I made were worth it.”

Nick Symmonds was a professional track and field athlete for 12 years, specializing in the 800 meters. He made two Olympic teams — the first when he was just 22 years old — and represented Team USA in Beijing and London. Nick, who lives in Eugene, OR, and is the CEO of Run Gum, retired from professional racing last year, and is now a proud, self-professed “hobby jogger.” He made his marathon debut at the 2017 Honolulu Marathon, and is now training to break three hours in the 26.2-mile distance this spring.

Here’s what you’ll get in this episode:

  • How Nick got into running (3:20)
  • When he realized he could make a career out of running and the life-changing training decision that launched his professional career (5:20)
  • Nick’s advice for mastering the 800m (8:45)
  • What it’s like competing at the Olympics (11:00)
  • When he was “the most nervous he’s ever been for a race” (12:35)
  • How Nick developed his mental strength and overcame “the rollercoaster of emotions” (14:00)
  • The sacrifices he made to become an Olympian (16:45)
  • How he made the decision to retire in 2017, and how he felt the day after his retirement (17:45)
  • Why he wanted to run a marathon (20:45)
  • Why he says the Boston Marathon pisses him off and “is B.S.” and that running it would be going against his core beliefs (26:00)
  • The Run Gum story (30:00)
  • What Nick sees as the biggest problems in professional track and field (35:00)
  • Nick’s take on doping in professional sports and lifetime bans (37:00)
  • The latest on Nick’s love life — plus how he ended up on a date with Paris Hilton (40:40)

What We Mention on this Episode:

Honolulu Marathon

Run Gum

Willamette University

Frank “Coach Gags” Gagliano

Kate Grace on Episode 53 of the Ali on the Run Show

Eugene Marathon

New Jersey Marathon

Boston Marathon

Brooks Running

Brooks Levitate

Run Aloha

Sam Lapray

USA Track & Field (USATF)

“The Playing Field is Not a Place for Politics” via Runner’s World

“Guns in America: Time for Change” via Runner’s World

Ted Stevens Olympic & Amateur Sports Act

U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC)

Icarus documentary

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Molly Huddle on Episode 51 of the Ali on the Run Show

Kyle Merber

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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