Olivia Baker

Ali on the Run Show Episode 491: Olivia Baker, Professional 800m Runner for Atlanta Track Club Elite

“I was a complete mess. I was so emotional about it, so excited, so just…relieved to have come in, having a lot of momentum, knowing this was a possibility, and then completing a mission.”

Olivia Baker is on fire. The professional runner for Atlanta Track Club Elite just competed at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships where she finished second in the 800m, officially making her first senior world championship team. She’ll head to Serbia later this month to represent Team USA at Indoor World Championships. In this conversation, Olivia reflects on the road to Team USA, including dealing with disappointment after last summer’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials, weighing the decision of whether or not to attend medical school, and ultimately joining Atlanta Track Club Elite instead. She gushes about her teammates, talks about the tough times and low moments, and shares her confidence journey. Plus, commentating, book clubs, chocolate milkshakes, and more.


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How it feels to be representing Team USA, and what the start line felt like at USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships (4:50)
  • On knowing when it’s time to kick (6:45)
  • That finish line feeling (10:15)
  • Did this feel like the “more” Olivia wanted two years ago? (14:15)
  • Olivia’s relationship with Ajeé Wilson (14:50)
  • What Olivia’s training will look like between now and World Championships in Serbia, and what the travel there is expected to be like (18:45)
  • The impact Olivia’s coaches and teammates have had on her (25:30)
  • What Young Olivia was like, learning to get over being “obsessively afraid of racing,” and how she’s learned to deal with disappointment (35:45)
  • Olivia’s decision not to attend medical school last year (40:45)
  • Why Olivia joined Atlanta Track Club Elite (45:30)
  • On confidence, commentating, and book clubs (51:00)

For more, check out:

Allie Wilson on Episode 469 of the Ali on the Run Show

“Dear Younger Me,” by Olivia Baker for MileSplit

A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman

Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Tom Holland on Lip Sync Battle

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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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