Gabriela DeBues-Stafford

Ali on the Run Show Episode 353: Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, 6-Time Canadian Record Holder

“I think about it a lot, like what do I want to add to this sport? What do I want to add to my life, and what do I want my legacy to be? And I feel like it would be a hollow journey if I didn’t try to use my platform to spread a good message to make change.”

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford is having one heck of a year so far. In her debut season training and competing with the Bowerman Track Club, the Canadian professional middle-distance runner and 2016 Olympian has run — and won — two races already, including the 3000m at the Prickly Pear Invitational (where she also ran a personal best), and the 1500 at the Texas Qualifier in Austin (where she generously donated her winnings to Austin Mutual Aid). And Gabriela is doing all of this having joined the team during the pandemic, and while dealing with a Graves disease flare. On this episode, Gabriela shares her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease, and explains how it has affected her running over the years. She talks about training with the Bowerman team (and Coach Shalane!), and about being the first Canadian woman to break four minutes in the 1500. Gabriela is currently the Canadian record holder in the mile, the 1500, and the 5K — so what will it take for her to make Canada’s Olympic team this year? She explains the Canadian qualifying process, and assures us that things are looking good for her heading into the 2021 Olympic Games. Plus, she talks about being queer, about proposing to her now-husband, Rowan, and about their love story.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • All about Gabriela’s hair (3:00)
  • How Gabriela’s feeling at the start of the 2021 season (8:25)
  • Gabriela’s experience with Graves Disease (11:30)
  • On running that 4 x 1 mile workout after the Prickly Pear Invitational race (24:30)
  • Why Gabriela donated her winnings to storm relief efforts after the Texas Qualifier (25:45)
  • On being an outspoken advocate (30:25)
  • Gabriela explains the Canadian Olympic team qualifying process (38:20)
  • What it was like competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio (44:45)
  • On what it takes to be a professional runner in Canada (47:00)
  • Why Gabriela left Scotland to join Bowerman Track Club (51:15)
  • How Gabriela met her now-husband, Rowan (1:00:00)
  • All about training with Coach Shalane Flanagan (1:07:20)

What we mention on this episode:

Austin Mutual Aid

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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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