Anita Perez

Ali on the Run Show Episode 218: Anita Perez, 2:39 Marathoner, Single Mom, & Special Education Teacher

“It’s almost like I was running away from what had happened.”

Anita Perez just might be one of the most inspiring, hardworking, dedicated women you’ll ever meet. She’s a 2:39 marathoner (who also runs a 1:17 half marathon), a single mom to two kids, and a middle school special education teacher. She’s kind and caring, and she works her butt off in every facet of her life (including waking up at 3 AM to get her workouts in). On this episode, she talks about what it was like running at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last month, compares that to her experience running the 2016 Trials, and opens up about the years in between. She talks about her mom passing away after a short and devastating bout with cancer, and opens up about how that affected her running. It’s a powerful, poignant episode.

Thank you to the Atlanta Track Club for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! The Atlanta Track Club is proud to host the AJC Peachtree Road Race — the largest 10K in the world! — every year on the Fourth of July. The lottery for this year’s race opens on March 15, so head to to enter!

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Anita recaps her race at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (3:40)
  • Reflecting on running through grief (14:45)
  • On the goal to run an Olympic Trials qualifying time (25:00)
  • What Anita’s typical day looks like (37:30)
  • Why Anita loves her work as a middle school special education teacher (43:45)

What we mention on this episode:

LIVE at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials with Carrie Tollefson, Meb Keflezighi, & UCAN

MyCookieDealer on Instagram

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3 Responses

  1. Ali- after meeting you at the U-can talk at the Trials. I became more of a super fan! I listened to this episode and realized I have never left a comment or rating before. But I always tell folks about my favorite podcast! Ali on the run! I got into Chicago- so maybe just maybe you will be there too?? Thanks for what you bring to the running community! Carol from West Virginia

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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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