“I’m kind of labeled as the gay runner. But those are two things I’m really proud of. I’m proud to be gay and I’m proud of my running.” —Nikki Hiltz
Nikki Hiltz and Therese Haiss are professional runners for adidas. They live in San Diego where they train with the Mission Athletics Club, and on this episode, they talk about how they met — and how their immediate friendship evolved into something more. They talk about coming out to each other, and to their loved ones, and talk about society’s obsession with labels. They share their insecurities, and talk about how living authentically has made them better runners. Nikki and Therese are one of my favorite pro runner couples, and they promised that nothing was off-limits for this conversation, which we had after they had just settled in Mammoth for four weeks of high-altitude training camp.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- What altitude training looks like for Therese and Nikki, and what sacrifices they have to make as professional runners (2:30)
- Nikki and Therese reflect on their trip to Doha for world championships (8:20)
- How Nikki and Therese met, the evolution of their relationship, and what it was like coming out to friends and family — and to each other (21:20)
- How coming out affected Nikki’s running (31:30)
- Reflecting on that now-famous adidas Pride photo, plus their take on authenticity and whether there’s pressure to be a role model (36:15)
- What’s coming up for Nikki and Therese? And what’s it like competing against each other in races? (49:00)
What we mention on this episode:
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