Interview: Navalayo Osembo of Enda

By Mario Fraioli |
Navalayo Osembo, left, and Weldon Kennedy, co-founders of Enda.

I recently had a chat with Navalyo Osembo, co-founder of Enda, to learn a bit more about the company, how it came to be, its influences, biggest challenges, and goals for the future.  (more…)

Interview: Tim Soar of SOAR Running

By Mario Fraioli |

I recently had a chat with Tim Soar, founder and creative director of SOAR Running, to discuss the brand’s origins and points of differentiation, how his own background in both cycling and menswear influenced the brand’s aesthetic, what running “culture” means to him, how SOAR (as a brand) supports the sport, and much more. (more…)

Going Long: An Interview with Susan Lacke

By Mario Fraioli |

I first met Susan Lacke in 2010 when I was working as a senior editor at Competitor and she was writing a humor column for the magazine and website. It was clear from the get-go that Lacke not only had a way with words—she also possessed an uncanny ability connect with her readers on a deeply personal level while inciting a belly laugh or two along the way.

Written words are in important tool for Lacke, who is deaf, and she best expresses herself through the stories she tells for a variety of publications, including Triathlete, Women’s Running, Success, and others.

Lacke’s first book, Life’s Too Short To Go So F*cking Slow, was published last fall by VeloPress. It’s the unlikely story of her friendship with her former boss, Carlos Nunez, an Ironman triathlete who helped Lacke kick a smoking habit and cultivate an interest in endurance sports. That relationship “traversed life, sport, illness, death, and everything in between” and the book is chock full of life lessons that will make you laugh, cry and reflect on what’s really important in your own life. 

I recently caught up with Lacke to talk about her book, how she got into endurance sports, her relationship with Nunez, what sparked her interest in writing, how she’s made part of her living doing it, and a lot more.  (more…)

Interview: Matt Taylor of Tracksmith

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: Courtesy of Tracksmith

I spoke with Matt Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Tracksmith, a few days before the 2018 Boston Marathon for a live recording of the morning shakeout podcast. We covered a lot in a short period of time, including the impetus behind launching a premium apparel brand, how Tracksmith continues to support the sport of running and its culture as both continue to evolve, what’s going on in the running space right now that’s exciting him personally, where he sees things going in the next several years, and much more. 

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Interview: Knox Robinson of Black Roses NYC

By Mario Fraioli |
“People want to know about culture right now,” explains Knox Robinson. “Like you know, everybody out here has probably suffered through Yasso 800s before they found out it’s not really a marathon indicator, but not everybody is tasting peanut butter tea, so it’s like the culture element of that is actually ascendant and that’s really what’s exciting.” Photo: Zach Hetrick

I caught up with New York City-based runner, writer and coach Knox Robinson a few days before the 2018 Boston Marathon at Tracksmith’s Trackhouse for a live recording of the morning shakeout podcast. We talked about his run crew, Black Roses NYC, what “running culture” means to him and what its future looks like, his recent trip to Ethiopia and Kenya, where he spent time training with Mo Farah, Abdi Abdirahman, Eliud Kipchoge, and others, how he’s been able to run personal bests in his early 40s despite already having over 20 marathons under his belt, and much more. (more…)

Inside Look: Q & A with District Vision Co-Founders Max Vallot and Tom Daly

By Mario Fraioli |

Max Vallot, left, and Tom Daly, right, are committed to “making the best tools for runners and active souls, and bringing the worlds of sports and mindfulness closer together through product, research and programming.” Photo: Courtesy of Max Vallot

I wanted to satisfy some of my curiosities about the morning shakeout’s current partner, District Vision, so I threw a few questions to co-founders Max Vallot and Tom Daly, which they were happy to answer for me. You can check out that exchange below. 


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Trading Jabs With Iron Mike

By Mario Fraioli |

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Wardian

“In running, the times are the times and if you’re not performing or you’re not doing what you used to be capable of, I can see that it would be hard to find the motivation. Running is not a very forgiving sport. If you don’t do the work, you’re not going to see results. Like, you always have the ability to ride a bike. That’s muscle memory. But, the ability to run a 5-minute mile? That’s not muscle memory. That’s training, and the training is something you have to do all the time. There’s no break — when you’re not running, you’re still training. If you want to go out and party, that’s not helping your running. It’s a full-time lifestyle. You’re in it all the time. Running is very transparent — it’s easy to see if you’ve done the work or not.”

Michael Wardian’s enthusiasm for running, competing and pushing perceived boundaries is palpable through a phone line, which is one of the realizations I came to while talking to him for about an hour a week ago today. After the call, my own motivation meter shot up a few ticks and I started thinking about different ways I could test myself this fall.

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Going Long: An Interview with Shalane Flanagan

By Mario Fraioli |

“So yeah, I guess, in a sense, this possibly could be my last track season ever,” Flanagan says, “so I say why not just go all-in and see if I can represent the U.S. one more time.” Photo: Scott Draper

I’ve been following Shalane Flanagan’s running career since I took up the sport myself in high school. We’re the same age and both grew up in Massachusetts, competing in many of the same scholastic meets in the late 1990s. She was a boss back then, she was a boss in college at the University of North Carolina and she’s been a boss on the professional circuit for the past 13-plus years. A lot has changed in American distance running since 2004, but Flanagan factoring in races isn’t one of them. The four-time Olympian, who lives and trains in Portland, Ore., as a member of Jerry Schumacher’s Bowerman Track Club, is a threat to win, set a record, earn a medal or make a U.S. team whenever she steps to the starting line.

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Going Long: An Interview with Danny Mackey

By Mario Fraioli |

“The one thing that was the key thing — that I like about coaching — is that it’s so hard and there’s so much on the line,” Mackey says. “It kind of scratches an itch that keeps me a little bit settled. Coaching helps me because there’s so much going on all the time. It’s intense, and humans are really unpredictable.” Photo: Courtesy of Brooks Running

“For me, I had such interesting jobs that were with great companies, and I was so bored. The one thing that was the key thing—that I like about coaching—is that it’s so hard and there’s so much on the line. It kind of scratches an itch that keeps me a little bit settled. Coaching helps me because there’s so much going on all the time. It’s intense, and humans are really unpredictable. We could do the same workout, the same time of year, three years in a row and then the fourth year it doesn’t get a response. Then you’ve got to figure out why. What caused it to be different? I love that. I love that there’s stuff on the line. That’s why I wanted to coach, so I was able to do a corporate job and carve out some time in the day to do that, and it would keep me going.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.