Ali on the Run Show Episode 229: Nell Rojas, 2:28 Marathoner & 9th-Place Olympic Trials Finisher

“You have to believe in yourself. And you can say it a million times, but before this, I didn’t actually believe I could run with these girls. And now I absolutely know that I can run with these girls, and I know that I can be competitive.”

Nell Rojas finished ninth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February. And that in its own is impressive — but it’s especially impressive when you consider that it was only Nell’s third ever marathon. Nell is a triathlete and obstacle course racer turned marathoner, and on this episode, she talks about running the Olympic A standard at her first marathon, winning her second marathon (a 2:28 at Grandma’s Marathon in 2019), and running the Trials as her third marathon. She talks about her recovery from the Trials and what’s next, and talks about the time she beat Des Linden at the Falmouth Road Race — and then immediately asked for her autograph. Plus: What Nell is like as a coach, why she decided to rescue a dog right before the Trials, and the advice she has for anyone who’s ever been told they “don’t look like a runner.”

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Nell breaks down her post-Trials recovery, and explains what her training looks like right now (3:50)
  • Nell recaps her race at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (6:20)
  • Nell’s road to becoming a marathoner (24:50)
  • On winning Boulder Bolder 40 years after her dad won the race, and winning Grandma’s Marathon in 2019 (32:00)
  • What is Nell like as a coach? (36:00)
  • What will Nell’s training look like between now and the fall? (37:00)

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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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