HR Pod: Seth Norder, Nolan Clark, Will Hewitt

Photo by Miles Postema.
  • Seth Norder (front) and Nolan Clark (Bib 4) are two of the fastest high school runners in Michigan.

Seth Norder, Nolan Clark and Will Hewitt joined me in conversation for Episode 32. Seth and Nolan represent Grand Haven High School in Michigan and are two of the fastest runners in the state. They had incredible performances at the Division 1 state track meet on June 4 in Rockford, Michigan. Seth finished second in the 1600 meters with a time of 4 minutes, 7.99 seconds (4:07.99). Nolan finished fourth in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:08.74. They were also part of the Grand Haven 4×800 relay team that broke the school record at the state meet — the first Grand Haven 4×8 team to go under eight minutes. Seth and Nolan talk about the state meet in detail, their high school careers so far, team culture, summer miles and goals for 2022 cross country. I then welcomed Will on the pod to get a coaching perspective. Will is one of Seth and Nolan’s coaches, and he shares thoughts on Grand Haven running and what it’s like to coach two of the best high school runners in Michigan.

This episode is sponsored by Sportwatch. Sportwatch is a team management app built by former athletes for track and cross-country coaches. View team performance, track athlete growth and much more all from the convenience of your phone. Ditch the clipboard and pick up Sportwatch! Learn more at

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Hooray Run Podcast: Episodes 13-15


Hicham El Guerrouj set his 1500-meter world record in 1998 in Rome.

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.

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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!

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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.

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No. 115 [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“Last season, I really wanted to break 17 minutes [in the 5K], but I didn’t run at all in the summer because I kind of thought I would do it without any work. I was just being dumb. And that definitely did not happen. I was kind of mad about that, and then during my track season, I actually worked in the winter, so I finally had a really good track season. I learned from that dumb thing I did that one summer. So now this season, I’m coming back really strong. I ran a lot this summer.”

A Detailed Look at Mo Farah’s Wild Dominance Under Alberto Salazar

Embed from Getty Images

Mo Farah made a monumental move in January 2011. No, not a strategic in-race move to break away from the pack, but rather a career-defining resettlement from Great Britain to the United States.

The then-27-year-old Farah committed to the Portland-based Nike Oregon Project (NOP) and its head coach, Alberto Salazar. In this group, Farah would train primarily with Galen Rupp, who has been under Salazar’s guidance since his high school days. Rupp was 24 years old at the time, and he would soon realize the importance and advantage of having Farah by his side for thousands of miles. 

Without delay, Farah dismantled the British and European records for the indoor 5,000 meters, running 13:10.60 on February 19 in Great Britain.  

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Alberto,” Farah said after his record-setting 5K in February 2011, per Simon Hart of the Telegraph. “I’m starting a new life there, so it’s not going to be easy, but he’s a great coach, and the four weeks of training with him and Galen worked out really well.”

This would be just the start of something extremely special.

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Q&Hooray: Kyle Merber, Hoka One One Long Island Mile


Kyle Merber is a professional runner for Hoka One One. On September 9, the first-ever Hoka One One Long Island Mile (Hoka LI Mile) will take place in Huntington Station, New York, at St. Anthony’s High School. Merber is the co-director of the Hoka LI Mile, which is a festival of races featuring an elite men’s and women’s mile that will follow an array of open miles and a 400-meter race for kids.

Merber, who is from Dix Hills, New York, ran collegiately at Columbia University and the University of Texas. While at Columbia, he ran 3:35.59 for 1500 meters. He has since lowered his 1500 personal record to 3:34.54. He has also clocked a 3:54.7 mile. Merber is one of America’s finest 1500/mile runners.

In May, Merber became a world-record holder. At the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015, Merber ran the 1200-meter leg of the USA’s distance medley relay (DMR) championship team. The squad of Merber, Brycen Spratling, Brandon Johnson and Ben Blankenship ran 9:15.50 to set a new world record.

Embed from Getty Images

Merber took time to answer questions about the Hoka LI Mile, which will stream live on September 9.

Hooray Run: When you approached Hoka One One with the idea of the event, how long did it take for the company to jump on board?

Kyle Merber: The idea came to life last year when I was in my first summer of racing as a professional. I was faced with the option of going back to Europe in late August to get a couple more races in before the 5th Avenue Mile. I was in good shape and wanted to race, but it’s expensive to fly over twice, and it can be exhausting. So the idea was kind of born out of that gap in the domestic racing season, and I saw an opportunity to help bridge it. My co-director Brendan Barrett and I have had multiple conversations through the years of ways to bring the pros to Long Island, and this was finally the way to do it. We wrote up a big business plan and met with Hoka in October, but before we could even finish the proposal they were already on board.

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No. 106, Revisited—4th Visit [Runners]

Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents
Photo Courtesy of IWU Parents

“OK, 5,000-meter final, NAIA indoor championships. I ran the race of my life in the prelim, it felt so easy, I PR’d by like 10 seconds. It just kind of came out of left field. So going into the final I’m like, Man, anything can happen. I wanted to give myself a chance to finish hopefully in the top three, maybe even win it if I could. Me and coach had talked about our strategy for the race, and our strategy was to really start kicking home with 600 meters left—it was a 300-meter track, so with two laps to go. I noticed with what was three laps to go, they had two up on the card. I started realizing then that they could ring it [the bell] next time, but I thought they’d get it fixed. There was some lap traffic starting to happen. We came around the next lap, and I’d been consistently closing the gap on the top three guys. By that point, with two laps to go—one on the board—it was about a two- or three-second gap, and I was feeling pretty good. They rang the bell, and all three of those guys took off, and I had to make a call at that moment. I could try to chase them, probably not catch anybody and be totally spent, or I could make things interesting—force a decision. I kind of protected my spot; I went a little bit faster than maybe I would have wanted to. Held on to fourth, and then just kept rolling. I remember looking directly at the guy counting the laps, and I’m exaggerating saying I’ll never forget his face, but his face was definitely telling a story about his internal dialogue as I ran past him. I didn’t know if anyone took off after me. I ran that last lap in a little bit of confusion. I finished the race, and I turned around and saw my teammates going nuts. It sure felt like I won. It was really cool. They ultimately decided to go with the 4,700-meter results. I kind of looked at it as the best of both worlds, because if they would have given it to me, it had an asterisk. And frankly, I think the best I could’ve done in that race was second. I don’t think I could have won. But now I don’t have to handle that, I don’t have to worry about people saying, ‘That’s not a legitimate national title because the officials screwed it up.’ But I still had those moments after the race, and for like an hour it was just kind of floating on cloud nine. When I finished and turned around and saw 20 guys and girls in IWU stuff just going bananas, it was something I will not forget—a really neat moment. … I didn’t know what I was going to do with the plaque—I didn’t know if I wanted to scratch out fourth and put first, or scratch out 5,000 and put 4,700. The coolest thing for me was that I was the subject of a topic that trended on the LetsRun message boards; that will never happen again.”

Neno (speaker) leads the pack in the photo above.

No. 107, Revisited [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“Last year, I had a stress fracture. I’m a pretty new runner, and once my season started going pretty well, I went to Christian [NCCAA] nationals and had a pretty good race but got a stress fracture during the race. That set me back. It was the first time in my life since I started running that I had to take an extended break from it. It made me realize the appreciation I have for not only running, but my teammates, my coach, the gift God has given us to run and to be with these wonderful people. I also noticed how invested my teammates were even not just on a running level, but a deeper level than that. It really helped me see the bigger purpose we have, where before it was so focused on running. I could see my teammates as more of people rather than just running mates. It was a blessing in disguise. At the time, I would have seen it as a curse, but now looking back, it’s definitely a blessing.”