Rebecca Mehra

Ali on the Run Show Episode 271: Rebecca Mehra, Professional Middle-Distance Runner

“I got to this point where I had to tell myself that I deserve to be there and I deserve to be on the starting line, and say, ‘You are good enough, you’ve put in the work, you’ve put in the training.’ My motto was ‘Just give it a go.’”

Rebecca Mehra is a professional middle-distance runner for Oiselle’s Little Wing team, where she’s coached by Lauren Fleshman. Earlier this year, Rebecca became a household name when she Tweeted about helping an elderly couple grocery shop at the onset of the pandemic — and that story went viral. Rebecca is an incredibly talented runner, but her life off the track is as compelling as her fast 1500m times. When she’s not running, Rebecca is involved in public policy: She’s the special assistant to the mayor in Bend, OR, and is the campaign manager for two local candidates. On this episode, Rebecca talks about going pro, getting political, going viral, and growing up in a biracial family (she’s the daughter of an Indian immigrant father and a Jewish mother from Long Island) in California.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What it’s like training with Lauren Fleshman, and how and why Rebecca joined Oiselle’s Little Wing team (8:30)
  • On the idea of balance vs. going all-in (15:00)
  • What does it mean being special assistant to the mayor of Bend? (18:45)
  • Rebecca talks about her family, her childhood, and going viral earlier this year (24:40)
  • The full story behind Rebecca’s recent blog post for Oiselle, and what it was like growing up biracial (37:30)
  • “The electrocution incident,” and what Rebecca’s running looks like right now (52:00)

What we mention on this episode:

Jenny Simpson on Episode 268 of the Ali on the Run Show

Elle Purrier on Episode 210 of the Ali on the Run Show

Lauren Fleshman on Episode 103 of the Ali on the Run Show

“Mixed + Passing — Let’s Talk About Race,” by Rebecca Mehra for Oiselle

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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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