Hi! I’m Ali!

the warm-up
I’m a podcast host, blogger, freelance writer and editor, runner, Orangetheory enthusiast, Peanut M&M super enthusiast, very proud human mom to Annie (born October 2018), and equally proud dog mom to Ellie (born September 2015, probably). Welcome to Ali on the Run!
The Middle Miles

My first real boyfriend broke up with me because I was “too silly.” Later in life, I dated someone (very wrong for me, and for far too long) who told me that it was “embarrassing” going out in public with me, because all I did was ask people “too many questions.”

I’ve since managed to not only embrace both those inherent qualities, but to also turn them into a career as a writer and a podcast host. (And, along the way, fell in love with and married a guy who lists “silliness” and “curiosity” as two of his favorite things about me. Aww.)

I grew up in Contoocook, NH (shout-out if you’ve heard of it! extra credit if you can spell it!), where my life revolved around dance. By the time I was 16, I had my sights on a goal, a dream, a plan: I would become the editor in chief of Dance Spirit magazine. And so, I did. I moved to New York City after graduating from Quinnipiac University, and pursued my glossy magazine dreams.

And when I grew tired of my tap shoes, I turned to an old pair of sneakers. My roommate at the time — a Craigslist success story! — had all these medals hanging on her walls. Always a fan of shiny things and tangible forms of achievement, I asked about her “necklaces.” She explained the concept of half marathons. Of running for fun. Of running on purpose.

The next day, I was out the door for my first run, which lasted…four lamp posts. I sprinted out the door, thinking that was “pacing,” and 26 seconds later, I was gassed. But I was hooked. The following day, I tried for six lamp posts, and eventually set my sights on running the full mile to the nearby dog park.

I ran my first race, a four-miler in Central Park, a few months later, and the rest is running history. I’ve since completed six marathons, a dozen or so half marathons, and many shorter races.

As my love for running grew, so did my desire to write about it. After leaving Dance Spirit in 2014, I pursued a freelance writing and editing career. I’ve written for Well+Good, Women’s Health, Self, Shape, Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Fitness, and NBC.

It’s also why I created the Ali on the Run blog 10 years ago. My goal was to make friends and find like-minded people in my Manhattan hometown. And it worked! I have friends! It started as a running-focused blog, documenting my daily runs and eventual training for my first marathon, and has developed into something more personal. I’ve broadened my scope — and my nonexistent personal boundaries — to write more about life with Crohn’s disease, pregnancy, and life as a new mom.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 7 years old. I’m currently taking Stelara every four weeks, and though I still flare occasionally, I’m grateful for a mostly clean bill of health.

In February 2017, I decided to combine everything I was passionate about — running and asking lots of questions, namely — to create the Ali on the Run Show podcast. Every week, I interview runners about why they love the sport, how running makes them feel, and what they love doing when they’re not on the run. With more than 3 million downloads, the show is one of the leading running podcasts in the world.

I gave birth to my daughter, Annie, in October 2018. Today, we — Annie, Ellie, my husband Brian, and I — live in Weehawken, NJ, where you can usually find me running along the waterfront pushing a stroller with one hand and holding Ellie’s leash in the other.

The Sprint to the Finish
My last meal on earth would be…
Warm bread with really good butter and a little bit of salt, lobster, steak (why not both?), Five Guys French fries, and chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream
Favorite TV show
Schitt’s Creek
My first real kiss was…
In the woods behind the tennis courts near the high school, on Step-Up Day before going into seventh grade. My friends made me do it. I hated it. My second kiss was a full three years later.
You’re about to win the race of your dreams. What race is it?
Oh LOL. Win a race. Cute. But TCS New York City Marathon, obviously.
You can pick anyone to come out and drape your country’s flag over your shoulders. Who gets the honor?
My daughter, Annie, and my dog, Ellie. They would be awesome at it.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A flying horse. Who says dreams can’t come true?
Greatest fear?
Snakes and hairless cats.
If you could only race one distance for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5K, baby!
In one word, how does running make you feel?
Grateful
If you could take a class in anything, what would it be?
Cooking. I suck at it. I want to be better. Someone help me. Also graphic design.
My reason to run today
Because you can.
Childhood celebrity crush
I used to listen to the Lion King soundtrack just so I could hear Jonathan Taylor Thomas’s voice…so there’s that.
favorite movie
I have five: Center Stage, The Greatest Showman, Crazy Rich Asians, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and Pitch Perfect. I love a movie musical.
If you could go for a run with anyone, who would it be?
Wow, turns out, these questions I ask people are hard! They would hate it, but let’s go with both my grandfathers. They both passed away when I was in middle school, and I wish I knew them better.
What song do you want playing as you head to break the tape?
“I Drove All Night” by Celine Dion remixed with “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga remixed with “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music remixed with “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. Potential DJs please inquire within.
All-time favorite book
“The Little Engine That Could”
Something that always makes me cry
Catching even a glimpse of the movie Stepmom. The Season 1 finale of The OC, when Ryan Atwood leaves the Cohen poolhouse to go raise not-actually-his lovechild with Theresa. That “Christmas Shoes” song. And videos about three-legged dogs or dogs with no legs who learn to walk and run and be really successful.
What was your first AOL or AIM screen name?
Alicia7304. Alicia was my name in Spanish class. 7304 was auto-generated for me. I guess there were 7303 other Alicias@AOL.com at the time.
Do you remember your first pair of running shoes?
Yes, because they were jazz sneakers…

Personal podcast episodes

Episode 2: Brian Cristiano — Being Married to Someone with Crohn’s Disease
Episode 17: Relationship Q&A with Brian Cristiano

Episode 26: My Running Story

Episode 30: My Crohn’s Disease Story
Episode 52: The Brian Cristiano Takeover Edition
Episode 57: Date Night with Ali & Brian, On Dreams, Goals, Fear, & Failure
Episode 68: We’re Having a Baby!
Episode 99: One Month Until Baby!

Episode 106: I Had a Baby!

Episode 114: The Fourth Trimester
Episode 118: A Message From Ali
Episode 131: The Fifth Trimester

Episode 174: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Ali on the Run Show 

Episode 187: I’m a New York City Marathon Race Announcer!
Episode 199: My 2020 Visions, Plans, Hopes, & Dreams
Episode 217: What It Was Like Being in Atlanta for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials