Yuki Chorney

Ali on the Run Show Episode 540: Yuki Chorney, “The Running Unicorn”

“All of a sudden, I was over here, alone, living in a small apartment the size of a dorm room, not having a lot of friends, I didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t have any future that I was looking forward to. I didn’t know what to do with myself except to put on my running shoes and go out and start running.”

Yuki Chorney is a 39-time marathoner with a 3:15 personal best. She has run 21 ultramarathons, including 100 milers. And she does it all — whether it’s a 5K or an all-day event — decked out in glitter, sparkles, and rhinestones. Yuki Chorney is a self-proclaimed “running unicorn,” and if you’ve ever seen her on the run, you know it’s hard not to smile when she passes you (which she probably will, with a joyful, genuine smile). At 50 years old, Yuki is finding joy in running more than ever before. In this conversation, she talks about growing up in Japan, moving to the United States, and finding running — and herself — in the process. Today, Yuki lives in Mont Vernon, NH, with her husband, two teenage daughters, two dogs, three cats, two goats, five chickens, and guinea pig. She works as a human resources professional for a financial services company, and she really wants you to try running in a tutu. (“Just once,” she says, “and see what you think!”)


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Yuki happy right now, and what she’s currently training for (3:30)
  • What Yuki’s childhood was like (6:30)
  • What life looked like after college (10:15)
  • How Yuki found running (12:00)
  • Yuki’s fondest Boston Marathon memories (18:35)
  • Yuki’s introduction to the running community (21:15)
  • All about Yuki’s iconic running costumes! (26:10)
  • The most fun Yuki has ever had running a race (41:45)
  • Why Yuki started running ultramarathons (45:00)
  • What Yuki’s daughters think of her running in costume, and how Yuki’s relationship with running has evolved throughout parenthood (49:30)
  • Yuki’s approach to training and racing (57:00)

For more, check out:

Millennium Running

Gate City Striders

Girls on the Run

Yuki’s 2019 Boston Marathon interview on WBZ

Follow Yuki:

Follow Ali:

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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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