Sarah Sellers Boston Marathon

Ali on the Run Show Episode 69: Sarah Sellers, 2nd Female at the 2018 Boston Marathon

“I think that’s what unites us as runners — we’re all trying to overcome excuses and doubts to get out there.” —Sarah Sellers

“Who is Sarah Sellers?” That’s the question everyone was asking after the Tucson, AZ runner finished second at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Sarah isn’t a professional runner. She doesn’t have a sponsor. And she paid her own Boston Marathon entry fee. But on a brutally rainy and windy day in Boston, the 26-year-old nurse anesthetist ran a 2:44.04 — good enough to land her in the spot behind winner Desi Linden. Sarah had no idea she finished second (and, in doing so, nabbed a cool $75,000 prize), and when we recorded this episode just 48 hours after the race, she was still processing the results. Enjoy as she breaks down every detail from before, during, and after the race — including the surreal moment when she passed Shalane Flanagan! (And fun fact: Boston was only Sarah’s second marathon ever!)

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Sarah shares how she’s feeling 48 hours after placing second at the Boston Marathon (1:30)
  • What Sarah’s Boston buildup was like, and how she balances high-mileage training with a demanding full-time job (4:20)
  • The very cute story of how Sarah met her husband, Blake (8:00)
  • How working long days helped prepare Sarah for Marathon Monday (8:45)
  • Whether Sarah ever considered dropping out on race day (9:45)
  • Sarah’s unexpected pre-race detour (10:00)
  • Sarah shares her pre-race goals and the weather factors she dreads the most (11:35)
  • What it was like starting with the elite field (13:00)
  • Sarah breaks down the race from the soaking start to that triumphant finish (16:10)
  • What it was like passing Shalane Flanagan (19:00)
  • How Sarah found out she finished in second place (20:45)
  • How Sarah plans to spend her $75,000 winnings (26:00)
  • The moment that stands out as the ultimate high point from Sarah’s Boston Marathon experience (27:00)
  • What’s next? (30:30)

What we mention on this episode:

Boston Marathon

Deena Kastor

Acadia National Park

Boston Athletic Association

Desi Linden

Shalane Flanagan

Kara Goucher

Gwen Jorgensen

Jordan Hasay

Meb Keflezighi

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9 Responses

  1. Dear Ali,
    As Boris Badinoff would say with a heavy Russian accent, “Allow me to introduce myself.”
    I am a 90-yr old retired professor of Math, Computer, Physics. I have listened to your interview with Sellers twice, and I have something to tell her, which I hope you will be so kind as to pass it on. It is why and how did she win 2nd place in the Boston Marathon, and without pain in her quads.
    Please respond to me via e-mail, and I shall explain it in some detail. A simple matter of physics.
    Stanley Chang

  2. awesome program! Sarah’s achievement reminds me of another wonderful sporting moment this year, when snowboarder Ester Ledecka won the skiing SuperG at the Olympics. She didnt expect or believe it either, & stood staring at the scoreboards, thinking there’d been a mistake. But, like Sarah Sellars, she gave it her best shot.

  3. Such a fantastic episode! Made me run some tears when hearing how Sarah could not believe she was second at the finish line. Congrats to Sarah for an amazing achievent and to Ali for getting the interview so fast.

  4. Oh I can’t wait to listen to this during my long run Saturday morning!!! Kudos to you for getting an interview so quickly! Impressive!

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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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