Ali on the Run Show Episode 151: Jen Bigham AKA Local Elite

“Be happy with your life! Run races that are exciting to you. Set goals that are exciting to you. Maybe it’s a goal that everyone in the world has. Maybe it’s something that no one has. It doesn’t matter. Just be true to yourself. If you’re setting these goals that aren’t for you, it’s not going to fulfill you in the end.”

You may know Jen Bigham as the 2019 winner of the Eugene Marathon. You may also know her the way much of the internet does: as “Local Elite.” (Her Instagram and Twitter handle is, appropriately, @localelite.) On this episode, Jen talks about what it means to be a local elite runner, and it’s pretty impressive. Not only did Jen win Eugene this year, she ran a 10-minute marathon PR in the process, finishing in 2:41 and nabbing a well-deserved Olympic Trials qualifying time. The road to an OTQ wasn’t an easy one for Jen, who has been trying to land one since 2010. On this episode, Jen, who runs for Oiselle and is a high school track and cross-country coach, talks about the highs and lows along that road, and the illnesses, injuries, and series setbacks she faced. She talks about going from a 3:14 marathon before having kids to becoming a 2:41 marathon as a mom of three, and opens up social media and that dreaded comparison trap.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What does “localelite” mean to Jen? (3:00)
  • What it felt like to win the Eugene Marathon, run a 10-minute marathon PR, and get that sought-after Olympic Trials qualifying time (4:30)
  • On getting faster after having kids (9:30)
  • The heartbreaks along the way to an OTQ (16:00)
  • Coming back from injury and illness (26:00)
  • The role social media plays when chasing down big goals (31:00)
  • On re-signing with Oiselle’s Haute Volee team (39:20)
  • On parenting and how Jen sets an example for her children (43:10)
  • Jen’s message to everyone chasing big goals (50:40)

What we mention on this episode:

Eugene Marathon

Grandma’s Marathon

California International Marathon (CIM)


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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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