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