Hanging Out With a Pro

Okay, so I didn’t really hang out with a professional runner, but I was front and center at a Q&A a couple of weeks ago! šŸ˜€

I’m lucky in that there are some pretty awesome running stores around me that host cool events. I met Jeff Galloway last month at one store, and also last month at a different one, I got to meet Abdi Abdirahman.

He most recently ran New York Marathon and finished 7th overall and was the first American to finish.

Light blue shirt, orange Nikes (Source)

I didn’t know him prior to hearing about him through the Sole Sports Running’s event page, but when I saw he was a professional runner, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak. And let’s be real here, I could talk and listen about all things running all day!

Andplusalso, he’s from Arizona!!

Let’s ignore the UofA shirt–Go Sun Devils!! (Source)

It was an intimate Q&A, which I thought was cool because it had a real personal feel. There were maybe 15 people there. I sat right in front of him and even got to ask a few questions (like, What is a race day ritual? He said, new socks!)

What stood out from the conversation was that he was a late starter. He didn’t actually start running til his late teens! I laughed when he said that running wasn’t a dream he had all his life and that it wasn’t like he’d always wanted to be a runner. A friend asked him for company on a run and the rest is history!

He’s an older runner, in his forties, and he said that although he respects and admires Meb, he likes beating him even more, lol! I was inspired by Abdi’s confidence; he repeated several times that despite his age, he feels like he still has a lot in him to compete at the high level. He was not satisfied with 7th place at New York (even though I thought that was pretty impressive!); he finished 3rd last year in 2:11.

Abdi will be running Boston next year and joins a long list of pros I’m excited to see!

Oh just me and a pro šŸ˜€

Pretty cool, huh?! Have you ever met a pro runner? (I’ve also high-fived Meb once!)

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10 responses

  1. You have it backwards…That guy is lucky he got to meet the famous Helly!
    You need to come run the Dallas relay with us next year. We always seem to run into the pros – Meb, Ryan Hall, Deena, Shalene, etc. etc. etc. We even had tacos with Deena!!