Ep. 30: Leah O’Connor, Professional Runner and Former Michigan State Standout
Host James Rogers sits down with professional runner and former Michigan State standout Leah O’Connor for an expansive conversation. Now based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 27-year-old discusses her hometown roots, decorated MSU career and pro running roller-coaster ride. Topics also include mental health, faith, writing, farm life, support systems and Harper (her dog).
At MSU, Leah captured multiple Big Ten titles—cross country, indoor track, outdoor track—and won a national title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (June 2014) and indoor mile (March 2015). She was a member of the undefeated 2014 MSU women’s cross-country team coached by Walt Drenth that won the national title in dominating fashion.
Leah’s 9:18.85 personal record in the 3K steeplechase set in May 2016 makes her the fifth-fastest American ever in the women’s steeple. Now sponsored by HOKA and coached by Dathan Ritzenhein, Leah is a member of the Gazelle Elite Racing Team.
Ep. 29: Running in Circles Again with Cousin Mike
Cousin Mike makes his third appearance on Hooray Run Podcast. Host James Rogers goes all over the running map with Mike in the first portion of this episode, then the cousins talk music, time, nostalgia, Grand Rapids—many non-running topics but thoughtful conversation nonetheless. Mike also gets James to consider registering for a half-marathon in the fall.
Ep. 28: Former D3 Standout Tim Nelson on His UW-Stout Career, National Titles, Army Lessons, Real Estate
Host James Rogers welcomes former University of Wisconsin-Stout standout Tim Nelson to the podcast. Tim was on top of the NCAA Division III running world in 2012, the year in which he won the D3 national title in the indoor 5K (March), outdoor 5K (May), outdoor 10K (May) and cross country (November). He set multiple school records—including a sub-14 5K and a sub-24 cross-country 8K—while fine-tuning his collegiate priorities.
Tim reflects on his prestigious UW-Stout career and shares how he became one of the best D3 runners of all time. The conversation also covers his Army service, his career in real estate and a prediction for the 2019 Green Bay Packers.
Ep. 27: Cousin Mike on Fast Food, NBA Finals 5xMile Relay, Favorite Running Shoes
Cousin Mike returns to go in tangents with host James Rogers. This episode includes extensive fast-food talk and a discussion on 2019 NBA Finals players running miles. Also, is Cousin Mike thinking of getting more serious with his training?!
Ep. 26: Amanda Loudin on HOKA NAZ Elite’s String of Successes
Freelance writer Amanda Loudin joins host James Rogers to discuss her May feature entitled “HOKA NAZ Elite: Inside the Hottest Team Going” for PodiumRunner. Northern Arizona (NAZ) Elite—a professional running group based in Flagstaff, Arizona, and led by head coach Ben Rosario—partnered with HOKA in 2015 and had a breakthrough 2018 with multiple team members posting eye-catching results.
Now a 13-member team, NAZ Elite’s most notable performance came this year at the 2019 Boston Marathon, where 27-year-old Scott Fauble finished seventh in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 9 seconds (2:09:09) to become the 11th-fastest American ever for the 26.2-mile distance.
Ep. 25: Running in Circles with Cousin Mike; Cleveland Marathon Recap with Jon Weiss and Wilson Shaner
Hooray Run Podcast RETURNS with a two-part mega episode! Host James Rogers’ cousin, Mike Debowski, makes his debut Hooray Run Podcast appearance. Cousin Mike and James discuss running from both personal and spectating vantage points (starts at 5:05). Then, James brings on two longtime friends—Jon Weiss and Wilson Shaner—who joined him in Ohio on May 19 to complete the Cleveland Marathon. The trio, now fully recovered, shares recaps and stories from a wild day on the streets of Cleveland (starts at 53:36).
Ep. 24: Alyssa Godesky on Vermont Long Trail FKT, Mental Preparation, Triathlon
Alyssa Godesky set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Vermont Long Trail in July. She completed the 273-mile trail in 5 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes. Alyssa joins James Rogers in conversation to share stories from the endeavor, including the wet conditions, wacky sleep schedule and her trail diet. The 33-year-old also has quite the triathlon resume.
Ep. 23: Amy McKinnon on Managing Type 1 Diabetes, Her Plant-Based Lifestyle, NYC Marathon Prep
Amy McKinnon joins James Rogers in conversation. Amy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 years old. She will race the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, which will make it seven marathons to her name. She will use Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system—a revolutionary new glucose-sensing technology. Amy was born in Australia and moved to New York in 2013, the year in which she transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle. She now resides in Los Angeles. The conversation also covers her love for coaching.
Ep. 22: Reny Partain on Managing Type 1 Diabetes, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre, Chicago Marathon Prep
Reny Partain joins James Rogers in conversation. Reny was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 2 years old, and she’s set to run her second marathon—the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7. Reny recently moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. Reny’s background is in social work and public health. Topics include her work as a clinical therapist, her debut 26.2-miler at the 2016 LA Marathon, how to manage type 1 diabetes during rigorous training and Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system—a revolutionary new glucose-sensing technology.
Ep. 21: Deena Kastor on Career Highlights, “Let Your Mind Run” and Favorite Foods
Deena Kastor joins James Rogers in conversation in downtown Chicago. Deena is a three-time Olympian and the American women’s record-holder in the marathon (2:19:36). At the 2004 Athens Olympics, she captured a bronze medalist in the marathon for the USA. Deena wrote a fantastic book! “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory” released in April. This talk covers her writing and editing process, plus much more on her career and penchant for food.
Deena resides in Mammoth Lakes, California, and serves as president of the Mammoth Track Club. Her husband, Andrew, is the track club’s head coach, and two MTC members (Alexi Pappas and Sarah Attar) are competing in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon. Deena will be at the finish line handing out medals and congratulating finishers of the 26.2-mile race. Deena encourages you to get your copy of “Let Your Mind Run” at a local bookstore, but—believe it or not—you can also purchase it on Amazon.
Ep. 20: Amanda Loudin on UTMB Experience, Latest Writings, Kipchoge’s World Record
Freelance writer Amanda Loudin joins Hooray Run Podcast for a third time, with this episode focusing on her trip to UTMB. The Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc covers 171 kilometers and runs through France, Italy and Switzerland. This brutal race attracts top ultrarunning names and showcases Europe’s penchant for long-distance competitions. Amanda shares stories from her time at UTMB, and the conversation also covers her latest writings and Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:01:39 marathon world record.
Ep. 19: Josh Kammeraad on 100-Mile Weeks, Memorable Meals, Boots 5K
Josh Kammeraad will run with you, no matter how many miles are on the schedule. Josh K was a teammate of mine at Hope College, and he was no stranger to high mileage and hefty meals. He also had unwavering support for his teammates. I pick the brain of Josh K in this episode and have him elaborate on his infamous 1,300-mile summer of 2013. He also gives his take on the Boots 5K (see: EP15). We ran just over four miles after recording and then crushed some Jimmy John’s.
Ep. 18: David Gillaspie on Why He Started Running, Chicago Marathon Prep, Pokemon Go, Audiobooks
My last in-person interaction with David Gillaspie before today was in 2010. He’s a high school connection who now runs a lot. I started seeing David post about his runs in 2016, and I wanted to know his story. Never known as a runner in high school and having never run with him before, I could tell via social media that he caught the running bug.
We met in Evanston, Illinois, to catch up and chat about his running. He has his sights on the Oct. 7 Chicago Marathon. He’s with the Lurie Children’s Hospital Marathon Team for the race. Read about his fundraising for the hospital at this link: foundation.luriechildrens.org/site/TR/Ev…1509389590. Please donate if you feel inclined!
Ep. 17: Boston Marathon Recap with Amanda Loudin
Boston 2018 was historic. Cruddy weather didn’t stop 34-year-old American Des Linden from gutting out a victory on the women’s side. Linden became the first American woman to win Boston since 1985. On the men’s side, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi took top honors. It was the 31-year-old’s fourth marathon of 2018 and his first major victory. James Rogers does a quick solo recap, then health and fitness freelance writer Amanda Loudin (aka Miss Zippy) joins James to give her reactions to this wild day. James and Amanda also discuss the depth of American distance running.
Ep. 16: Randy Rogers and His Running Streak, Chapter 2
Hooray Run Podcast host James Rogers chats with his dad, Randy Rogers, in a follow-up episode to their August 2017 conversation. Randy’s running streak has now eclipsed 11,900 days and 57,400 miles. Since the August episode, Randy fought through excruciating nerve pain and still battles the setback today. James has his dad recall the few months of misery—what they agree was the most difficult stretch of his streak so far.
Eps. 13-15: Kari Rogers, Tyler Brinks, Zach Zandbergen
→Ep. 13: Kari Rogers and Her Running Streak (Oct. 31)
Hooray Run Podcast host James Rogers welcomes his older sister, Kari Rogers, to Episode 13. Kari’s running streak turned a year old on Oct. 18, as she runs at least one mile every day but aims to hit a minimum of 50 miles per week. Pre-streak, Kari lived in Rwanda for over three years and logged plenty of miles there, so the siblings cover her African running days. They also discuss the streak’s origin, Randy Rogers’ influence, her conversion to Nike Pegasus and her ideal running climate. James and Kari’s mom, Linda Rogers, gives a one-minute take on her 28-year-old daughter’s streak.
→Ep. 14: Talkin’ Track World Records with Tyler “T-Dot” Brinks: Men’s 800, 1500, Mile, 3K, Steeplechase
James Rogers and Tyler Brinks decided to do a pod series dedicated to the insane track world records, starting with the men’s 800, 1500, mile, 3K and steeplechase. JimCity and T-Dot take a deeper look at the following world records in this episode: David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 in the 800; Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:26.00 1500 and 3:43.13 mile; Daniel Komen’s 7:20.67 in the 3K; Saif Saaeed Shaheen’s 7:53.63 in the steeplechase. Which record is the most vulnerable? Which is the safest? As Jim and Ty’s friend Zach Zandbergen would say: Let’s break down these STUPID-FAST times!
→Ep. 15: Zach Zandbergen and His Boots 5K
Zach Zandbergen joins the line from London. Former XC/track teammates at Hope College and veteran Starburst consumers, James Rogers and Z discuss the Boots 5K. Z had to run a 5K on an XC course in hiking boots and authentic jeans after Jim hit a basketball shot from DEEP in the Ridgepoint Community Church parking lot on Sept. 2, 2017. Hope hosts its annual season-opening meet (Bill Vanderbilt Invitational) at this church in Holland, Michigan, and James and Zach were two of many alumni present on this day. Listen as Z gives his firsthand account of the infamous 3.1-miler—a run he could not have completed without the help of Josh Kammeraad.
Ep. 12: Noah Droddy, Professional Runner for Saucony
Noah Droddy ran 2:16:26 on Oct. 8 at the Chicago Marathon—his first-ever attempt at 26.2 miles. He finished 19th overall (eighth-fastest American) amid a strong elite field. You’ll want to hear how the 27-year-old got to this point of his career. An NCAA Division III runner at DePauw University, Noah had no sponsorship offers upon graduation and questioned both his work and running futures. So…how did he become a 61:48 half-marathoner and 28:22 10Ker now fully sponsored by Saucony and training with the Roots Running Project out of Boulder, Colorado?
Noah joins James Rogers in conversation. They discuss Noah’s marathon debut, his progression from DePauw to Roots, his move to Boulder, the All-D3 Professional Running Team, racing in hats and sunglasses, air mattresses, signing with Saucony, life outside of running, much more. Plus: Hooray Run Podcast introduces “Complete the Tweet”—a fun game toward the end of the chat.
Ep. 11: Amanda Loudin, Health and Fitness Freelance Writer
Freelance writer and 15-time marathoner Amanda Loudin (aka Miss Zippy) joins James Rogers in conversation. Amanda’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Runner’s World, Outside and espnW. She makes appearances on Another Mother Runner podcast, and her writing focuses primarily on health and fitness topics.
Based in Maryland, Amanda freelances almost exclusively in a remote role. She does travel frequently, but her ideal writing environment is her home. James and Amanda discuss the writer’s love for the trails, her coaching, the joys of running with her two kids (and without earbuds!), how running acts as medicine to alleviate depression and addiction, how she got her nickname, which runner she would love to interview and more.
Check out Amanda’s website: amanda-loudin.com
Ep. 10: Amanda Eccleston, Professional Runner for Brooks
Amanda Eccleston joins James Rogers for 80-plus minutes of conversation. Amanda is 27 years old and has a 4:25 mile and a 4:03 1500-meter PR to her name. Her sponsors include Brooks, Run Gum and Cocoa Elite. Amanda missed the 2016 Rio Olympics by 0.03 seconds in the 1500, finishing fourth in 4:06.19 to Brenda Martinez’s 4:06.16 in a memorable race at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Training in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a member of True Blue Elite coached by Mike McGuire, Amanda shares her story of transformation from a 5:13 1600-meter runner at Tecumseh High School to a 4:25 miler today. She journeyed from Tecumseh to Hillsdale College to the University of Michigan. Conversation topics include: Amanda’s 2017 highlights, UofM’s DMR dominance, her 2016 Olympic Trials, grassroots miles in the United States, training in Ann Arbor, trusting God, why she loves Staples (the store) and how she manages her sweet tooth. Amanda also reflects on David Torrence’s life—his impact on running and the joy he radiated.
Check out Amanda’s website: amandaecclestonruns.com
Ep. 9: Joel H. Cohen, Author of “How to Lose a Marathon” + Writer/Producer for The Simpsons
Joel H. Cohen—writer/producer for The Simpsons, winner of two Emmy Awards and three Writers Guild Awards, author of “How to Lose a Marathon”—joins James Rogers on Hooray Run Podcast. “How to Lose a Marathon” is Cohen’s first book, and it reveals his transformation from an out-of-shape slob to a slightly out-of-shape slob who finished the 2013 New York City Marathon. Self-deprecating humor and museum-worthy stick drawings fill this page-turner, and Cohen calls it a running book he wishes he could have read as a person who knew absolutely nothing about this ambitious pursuit.
Cohen’s writing holds inspiration. He makes it clear that if he can tackle 26.2 miles, then you can. James and Joel cover many topics, including what made the “lazy lump with more chins than trophies” even consider running a marathon, the learning curves involved with training/racing, how Oprah inspired his debut marathon, writing for The Simpsons and if he reads his online book reviews.
“How to Lose a Marathon” on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1419724916
Ep. 8: Randy Rogers and His Running Streak
Randy Rogers runs at least one mile every day. His running streak began Aug. 13, 1985, and it consists of over 56,000 miles—all logged in detailed journals. On the eve of his streak’s 32nd birthday, Randy sat down with Hooray Run Podcast host/his son, James Rogers. Randy, 56, tells how he’s done it, withstanding sickness/injury and battling uncooperative weather and hectic travel schedules. The conversation covers the enriching aspects of the streak, including memorable settings and the way running connects to faith. James also welcomes his mom, Linda Rogers, to get her perspective on stories and reveal what she’s learned from the streak. Randy is the head coach of men’s basketball at NCAA Division III Concordia University-Chicago.
Ep. 7: Erin Herrmann, NCAA D3 Women’s Steeplechase Champion
Erin Herrmann joins James Rogers in conversation. On May 27, Erin captured the national title in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio. She finished runner-up at nationals in 2016—her junior year. Erin wrapped up her Hope College running career with a personal best of 10:13.39 in the steeple on June 10 at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville. She has Hope school records in the steeplechase, outdoor 5K, indoor 3K and as the mile leg of the Distance Medley Relay. She is a four-time All-American and now owns the fourth-fastest steeplechase in women’s D3 history.
Erin shares her journey to a national title, including balancing academic responsibilities and battling eating disorders while maintaining full-time training. The conversation also includes racing anecdotes and the love/appreciation for teammates and coaches. She talks about the role of faith in her daily life and where the Lord is leading her post-Hope. Erin has Colorado on her radar for the fall—she plans to student-teach at a school for refugee children in Denver.
Ep. 6: USATF Distance Classic Preview
James Rogers delivers a preview for the USATF Distance Classic, which is set for May 18 at Occidental College (Oxy) in Los Angeles. THURSDAY NIGHT TRACK! The meet kicks off at 6:05 p.m. PT/9:05 p.m. ET with the women’s 800 meters. You may know the event by its former names of Oxy High Performance Meet or HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic. James offers his favorites for each race and shares his thoughts on the NBC Sports Gold Track and Field Pass.
Ep. 5: How Much Money Did the Breaking2 Pacers Make?!
James Rogers, T-Dot and J-Mo discuss the undisclosed nature of professional runners’ contracts and why the financial numbers should go public.
Ep. 4: Breaking2 Recap with T-Dot and J-Mo
James Rogers welcomes Tyler Brinks (T-Dot) and Julian Morrison (J-Mo) for a recap of Nike’s Breaking2 project. The conversation includes: Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:00:25 and his mental fortitude; the future of marathoning; Kipchoge’s 5K splits; Kevin Hart’s role in Breaking2; ideas for Breaking2 Pt. 2; the pacers’ reactions to 2:00:25.
Ep. 3: Breaking2 Preview, Marathon Talk with Zach Zandbergen
Zach Zandbergen joins James Rogers to talk Nike’s audacious Breaking2 project, which showcases three elite runners on a quest to break two hours in the marathon. Breaking2—the race—starts at 10:45 p.m. CT/11:45 p.m. ET on May 5 (5:45 a.m. on May 6 in Monza, Italy—the site of the race). Zach and James discuss Breaking2’s hype, the three runners going for it, the money involved, the intricate pacing/hydration plans and more.
Ep. 2: London Marathon 2017 Recap + World Relays Men’s 4×800 with Will Hewitt
James Rogers elaborates on Suguru Osako’s Boston Marathon third-place finish; Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba torch the London Marathon course; Daniel Wanjiru holds off Kenenisa Bekele for men’s title in London; Laura Thweatt becomes seventh-fastest American woman marathoner; James brings on Will Hewitt to discuss the men’s 4×800-meter relay from the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas.
Ep. 1: Boston Marathon 2017 Recap with James Rogers and Tyler Brinks (T-Dot)
Hooray Run Podcast’s debut episode! It’s a Boston Marathon 2017 recap hosted by James Rogers, who brings on friend and former teammate Tyler Brinks, aka T-Dot. Notable topics include: Galen Rupp’s second-place finish; Jordan Hasay’s 26.2 debut dandy; Meb Keflezighi’s Boston farewell; Des Linden’s fourth-place showing; Edna Kiplagat’s dominance; Kathrine Switzer’s return in bib No. 261.