Ben Chan

Ali on the Run Show Episode 277: Ben Chan, Ultra Runner & Activist

“If I want things to change, I have to keep on fighting. But I can’t be the only one.”

If you’ve ever run a race in New York City, you know Ben Chan. He’s the “leopard print short-shorts and cowboy hat guy,” and he’s a staple on the NYC running scene. On this episode, in addition to talking about his on-the-run fashion choices, Ben shares the story of how he found running at age 30, by way of donating a kidney to a friend in need. And Ben talks about his firsthand experiences with racism, many of which he’s experienced recently, and on the run. Ben talks about being the son of immigrants and grandson of refugees, and offers his perspective on what it means to create “safe spaces” and “escapes” by way of running.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! Go to for 15% off wireless headphones!

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • All about those amazing running outfits (6:30)
  • How Ben got started running — and how donating a kidney factored in (19:00)
  • Ben talks about his firsthand experiences with racism, both within the running community and beyond (27:30)
  • Why does Ben keep showing up? (51:30)

Stuff we mention on this episode:

The Years of Lyndon Johnson, by Robert Caro

April Cargill on Episode 148 of the Ali on the Run Show

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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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