Ali on the Run Show Episode 180: Roberta Groner, 2:29 Marathoner, Nurse, & Mom of Three

“I’m not one to usually show too much emotion crossing a finish line, but that last 100 to 200 meters, I thought about my children, my family, and all the hard work I did to put into this race that I had a lot of people doubt or question. It was just this moment of, ‘This is why I do what I do.'”

Roberta Groner just returned from Qatar, where she was one of three women representing the United States at the marathon world championships. But Roberta isn’t a full-time professional athlete: She’s a full-time nurse, a 41-year-old single mom of three, and a 2:29 marathoner. (She’s one of only three U.S. women over 40 to have broken 2:30 in the marathon.) Roberta’s story is pretty remarkable and wildly impressive. On this episode, she recounts her race in Doha — it was 90 degrees and 73 percent humidity, and the race started at midnight — where she finished sixth overall and was the first American finisher. She talks about why she chose to go to world championships when she was very aware of the grueling conditions that awaited her, and she talks about how she’s gotten faster and stronger over the years. Roberta isn’t slowing down on the roads or in life: She’ll race the TCS New York City Marathon in just a few weeks, and then she’ll compete at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta in February 2020.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your Aeropex wireless headphone endurance bundle!

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Roberta breaks down the world championships marathon in Doha, including the heat and how she prepped for it, her goals, and her strategy (3:15)
  • How Roberta is feeling now, and what her training will look like between now and the New York City Marathon in a few weeks (22:25)
  • Roberta’s thoughts on sponsorship (32:30)
  • Roberta shares her running story, including why she took a long break — and what brought her back (37:30)
  • How Roberta has chipped away at her marathon time over the years (39:50)
  • What Roberta is doing to ensure her longevity in the sport, and when she fits running into her busy life (43:40)

What we mention on this episode:

New York Athletic Club

Truly Faster as a Master: Roberta Groner, 41, Makes U.S. World Championships Marathon Team, via Erin Strout for Women’s Running

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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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