Conversations that probe how our athletic love affair with running can be a tool for change.
Danni McNeilly aka Leggatron Breaks Three Hours in a Marathon
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1:05:11It was a moment 10 years in the making for Black Roses NYC member Danni McNeilly. When she crossed the Chicago Marathon finish line at 2:59:33 in 2023, she became the newest Black American born woman to join a very exclusive list. With her accomplishment, Danni joined Black Roses teammates Sharada Maddox and Erica Stanley-Dottin. On the first episode of season four, Danni shares how long distance running became her passion, her dislike for the Boston marathon, and why running New York City and Chicago marathon courses remain her favorites.
Tom O’Keefe and Stride for Stride Are on a Mission for BIPOC Runners
1:12:01Tom O'Keefe started his non-profit Stride for Stride in 2018, and to date the group has secured bibs for over 500 runners into the New York City, Boston and Miami marathons, the NYC Half, the Falmouth Road Race in Cape Cod and many other races across the country. The bibs to date, are over $138,000. With $54,000 this year alone, when the yearly average is $46,000 a year. Tom stumbled into running by having a very popular twitter account dedicated to Boston. From his experience, he recognized that a major hurdle to running is financing, and that has become his motivation for running. Stride for Stride creates a space for minorities, immigrants, and low income people to find themselves in the frontline of races. Running helps build communities, and it's that community that now will support Tom as he waits for a kidney transfer.
LGU Episode 33 Mwangi Gitahi’s journey from track start to coach
54:04Mwangi Gitahi would be the first to tell you that he is naturally gifted as a runner. Growing up in Kenya, where long distance running is as common as apple pie, running is what everyone did. So excelling in South Kingstown High School in Rhode Island, was a no brainer. The unexpected challenges came when he picked up the whistle to be a coach. The red carpet that was laid out for him as a runner, didn't translate to being on the other side of the track. With his coaching career in bloom, he is set on challenging race directors to make races more accessible and inclusive.
Episode 32: The Chinatown Speed Kooks Take On The Speed Project
1:00:02In the first episode of season three, the Chinatown Speed Kooks join the show for a behind-the-scenes look at The Speed Project. If you've never heard of TSP, it's an unsanctioned and unsupported race from the Santa Monica Pier to the Las Vegas sign. Sebastian Chiu and Let's Get Uncomfortable cohost Jaime Chien break it down the planning, financing, and running logistics, with a surprise visit from a special guest -- and a full action plan for how to escape a desert dog mafia.
Episode 31: Rowann Bowcutt and 10IronWomen Blaze into Barcelona
46:51The name says it all: 10IronWomen. A movement from Rowann Bowcutt and friends to bring true gender parity to the Barcelona Ironman—and so much more. Like many triathletes, Rowann began as a runner, before adding cycling and swimming, two disciplines that require access to training spaces and expensive equipment. On the latest episode, we hop across the pond to London to learn why Rowann co-founded 10IronWomen, how they trained during the pandemic, and what happens at changing stations on race day. Spoiler alert: full nudity is not allowed.
Episode 30: Race the Bronx gives an inside look at the business of running
54:39Today we step off the track to go behind the scenes into the business of running with Sol Rivera and Alex Felicier of Race the Bronx. Proud Bronx residents, Sol and Alex give us an inside look at how and why they bring races to their borough, which has the worst health rating of any county in New York State. They’re on a mission to make running races affordable and inclusive, and we’re along for the ride.
Episode 29: Davon Culley talks track to ultras and how he builds representation
1:05:30With nearly 40 marathons under his belt, Davon Culley has spent the last three decades running and being part of the running boom, from the track to ultramarathons and everything in between. Encouraged by the growth of Black runners, as well as the significant number of races by Black race directors, Davon joins the show to discuss his hopes of true diversity and inclusion in running, and how his leadership roles give him a seat at the table to bring change.
Episode 28: Nacho Valle, founder of Snake Run and Achilles volunteer, on blending art and running into an inclusive space
43:50Art and running have a lot in common. Depending on your social connections or access to the outdoors, they can both be exclusive clubs. For Nacho Valle, the founder of Snake Run and volunteer/coach with Achilles International, art and running are about inclusion. On the latest episode of Let’s Get Uncomfortable, the Valencia, Spain, native shares his love for art and how it changed his perception of the world while growing up in an art gallery thanks to his father. That same passion for color, beauty, and heartbreak then led him to running and exploring the world. From being a guide for runners with disabilities in Spain, London and now New York, it’s all part of his master plan to blend all his passions, and ultimately open doors for others.
Episode 27: Jean Bell, Coach and founder of Jeuness Track Club, on building Black Girl Magic
57:42Jean Bell, a judge for New York State and former college track runner, has been coaching girls in Brooklyn through Jeuness Track Club, the grassroots organization she founded in 1985. Jeuness athletes, ages 5-17, learn not only how to train for athletic excellence, routinely competing in national and world championships, but how to become dedicated students with the goal, often attained, of earning a college scholarship. Join us for Episode 27 of the Let’s Get Uncomfortable running podcast to hear how Jean Bell has overcome barriers of personal and institution doubt to become an inspiration to thousands of young girl runners in Brooklyn—and how she feels about the acclaimed Netflix documentary Sisters on Track, featuring three of Jeuness Track Club's runners.
Episode 26: Kim Rodrigues on using running to manage depression and stay in touch with herself
47:57While attending Tilden High School in Brooklyn, Kim Rodrigues ran the 600-, 800-, and 1,200-meter dashes, and the 400-meter hurdles, mainly to stay out of trouble. Years later, as she celebrates her 57th birthday with 15 marathons under her belt and more to come, she reflects on how running not only set her on the right path in fitness, but also helped her manage bouts of depression. Kim has become a premier fixture in the New York City group running scene, but she continues to find solace in the internal nature of the sport. Join us to hear how Kim is redefining expectations for master’s runners—and doing it with an unmatched sense of style—on the first 2022 episode of the Let’s Get Uncomfortable running podcast.