HR Pod: Leah O’Connor, Professional Runner and Former Michigan State Standout

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Photo by James Rogers

Leah O’Connor.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:

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HR Pod: Running in Circles Again with Cousin Mike

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Photo by James Rogers

Cousin Mike and his dog, River.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcher, Spotify, Overcast, many more platforms. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Former D3 Standout Tim Nelson on His UW-Stout Career, National Titles, Army Lessons, Real Estate

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Photos Courtesy of Tim Nelson

Tim Nelson captured several national titles and set multiple school records during his career at UW-Stout.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcher, Spotify, Overcast, many more platforms. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Cousin Mike on Fast Food, NBA Finals 5xMile Relay, Favorite Running Shoes

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Cousin Mike during the 2015 Grand Rapids Marathon.


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?!

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcher, Overcast, many more platforms. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Running in Circles with Cousin Mike; Cleveland Marathon Recap with Jon Weiss and Wilson Shaner

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Wilson, James and Jon completed the Cleveland Marathon on May 19; Cousin Mike post-Yankee Springs trail marathon in 2016; Spyridon Louis—winner of the 1896 Olympic marathon—as the new face of Hooray Run.


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).

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcher, Overcast, many more platforms. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Alyssa Godesky on Vermont Long Trail FKT, Mental Preparation, Triathlon

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Photo by Hillary Biscay

Alyssa Godesky completed the Vermont Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Amy McKinnon on Managing Type 1 Diabetes, Her Plant-Based Lifestyle, NYC Marathon Prep

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Photo by Alex Carrion

Amy McKinnon will run her seventh marathon on Nov. 4 in New York City.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Reny Partain on Managing Type 1 Diabetes, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre, Chicago Marathon Prep

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Reny finishes the 2016 LA Marathon—her debut 26.2.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Deena Kastor on Career Highlights, “Let Your Mind Run” and Favorite Foods

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Photo by James Rogers

Deena Kastor’s “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory” released in April.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!

HR Pod: Amanda Loudin on UTMB Experience, Latest Writings, Kipchoge’s World Record

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Photo by Amanda Loudin

2018 UTMB winner Xavier Thevenard (France) about to cross the finish line.


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.

If you prefer to listen via SoundCloud:


Hooray Run Podcast on Apple Podcasts—Podcasts app on iPhone! Also on Stitcher. Tell a friend, recommend, leave a review, SUBSCRIBE—thanks for listening!