321 GO!

Chris Chavez: Citius Mag Founder - Olympic Marathon Trials Preview 2024

January 30, 2024 Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey Season 1 Episode 35
Chris Chavez: Citius Mag Founder - Olympic Marathon Trials Preview 2024
321 GO!
More Info
321 GO!
Chris Chavez: Citius Mag Founder - Olympic Marathon Trials Preview 2024
Jan 30, 2024 Season 1 Episode 35
Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey

We are joined by Citius Mag's Chris Chavez, as we celebrate his sub-three-hour marathon and discuss the upcoming Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Orlando. 

The Olympic Marathon Team Trials are more than just races; they're the culmination of dreams, determination, and sometimes, heart-wrenching decisions. We dive deep into some of the athletes facing these choices, understanding the fine balance between the lure of high-profile marathons and the honor of representing their country at the Olympics. It's not all strategy and speed, though. We highlight the human interest stories that dot the marathon landscape, celebrating the powerful narratives of female runners smashing new qualifying standards and the unyielding spirit of competitors who race for love, not just glory.

 Whether it's your feet or your heart pounding, this episode is a reminder of the joy, the pain, and the potatoes – yes, those spuds are more than just a runner's fuel. Fasten your seatbelts, and let's embark on a track and field journey that celebrates every runner's stride, from professional athletes to those of us who embrace the marathon of life.

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Let Registered Dietitian Carissa Galloway lead you through a science-backed plan to transform the way you think about your diet.
Visit www.GallowayCourse.com and use the code PODCAST at checkout for a great discount!

Become a 321 Go! Supporter. Help us continue to create! HERE

Join Customized + over a $500 discount! HERE you get-

  • 6 Months of Customized Training
  • 6 Months of Healthier U chats
  • 30-day Summer Nutrition Shake Up


Follow us! @321GoPodcast @carissa_gway @pelkman19

Email us 321GoPodcast@gmail.com

Order Carissa's New Book - Run Walk Eat

Improve sleep, boost recovery and perform at your best with PILLAR’s range of magnesium recovery supplements.
Use code 321GO at www.theFeed.com to get 15% off

Let Sara Akers with RunsOnMagic plan your next runDisney weekend!
IG @runsonmagic or you can go to www.RUNSONMAGIC.com or email her ...

321 GO! +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We are joined by Citius Mag's Chris Chavez, as we celebrate his sub-three-hour marathon and discuss the upcoming Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Orlando. 

The Olympic Marathon Team Trials are more than just races; they're the culmination of dreams, determination, and sometimes, heart-wrenching decisions. We dive deep into some of the athletes facing these choices, understanding the fine balance between the lure of high-profile marathons and the honor of representing their country at the Olympics. It's not all strategy and speed, though. We highlight the human interest stories that dot the marathon landscape, celebrating the powerful narratives of female runners smashing new qualifying standards and the unyielding spirit of competitors who race for love, not just glory.

 Whether it's your feet or your heart pounding, this episode is a reminder of the joy, the pain, and the potatoes – yes, those spuds are more than just a runner's fuel. Fasten your seatbelts, and let's embark on a track and field journey that celebrates every runner's stride, from professional athletes to those of us who embrace the marathon of life.

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Let Registered Dietitian Carissa Galloway lead you through a science-backed plan to transform the way you think about your diet.
Visit www.GallowayCourse.com and use the code PODCAST at checkout for a great discount!

Become a 321 Go! Supporter. Help us continue to create! HERE

Join Customized + over a $500 discount! HERE you get-

  • 6 Months of Customized Training
  • 6 Months of Healthier U chats
  • 30-day Summer Nutrition Shake Up


Follow us! @321GoPodcast @carissa_gway @pelkman19

Email us 321GoPodcast@gmail.com

Order Carissa's New Book - Run Walk Eat

Improve sleep, boost recovery and perform at your best with PILLAR’s range of magnesium recovery supplements.
Use code 321GO at www.theFeed.com to get 15% off

Let Sara Akers with RunsOnMagic plan your next runDisney weekend!
IG @runsonmagic or you can go to www.RUNSONMAGIC.com or email her ...

John Pelkey:

Welcome to 321 Go the Podcast. I'm John Pelkey.

Carissa Galloway:

And I'm Carissa Galloway, and we're bringing you stories from start to finish to keep the everyday athlete motivated to keep moving towards the next finish.

John Pelkey:

Alright, Carissa, today we're chatting with Chris Chavez as we get ready to welcome America's best marathoners to the Olympic Marathon Team Trials here in Orlando, which you'll be announcing Woo-woo. Chris is the founder of Citius Magazine and he's written for Sports Illustrated, espn Sporting News and Flow Track and just knocked off an impressive wait for it sub three hour marathon.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, we talked to him right after that amazing performance at the Houston Marathon and I'm a huge Sidious fan. I've kind of always been a huge fan because they helped me keep up with the latest track and field news. It's so impressive how he has grown this team and really brought people into the fun of what is, I think, what are the greatest but underrated sports out there at track and field. Thank you, sidious, for making me smarter. Today in Healthier, you were going to talk about potatoes. I don't know, did they make you smarter? We certainly love them and we're going to open the mail bag to answer a question about the women entertaining you at mile 21 of the 2024 Disney Marathon. Thank you, guys for listening.

Carissa Galloway:

If you're new, we would love for you to subscribe. Just hit that button when you're listening Follow. You'll get all of our episodes because we do not put them out on any regular schedule. We do what we want and we want you to subscribe. Rate us, be social, let's do this. All right, john, you had an exciting week weekend, four days. You did two things this weekend that I don't even know what you did this weekend, but I'm assuming one you went to a little podcast convention and you watched football. Which one do you want to talk about?

John Pelkey:

Well, first of all, I will shout out to Podfest 2024. I did have an opportunity to go over there for a bit and met some really really great people doing a lot of really diverse podcasts. Actually ran into a guy who's doing a podcast about he's running like steeple chase races like amateur steeple chase races which I thought was really, really interesting, and so that was great. Got to talk to a lot of different creators, some folks from some of the good folks from Buzzsprout I'm wearing the t-shirt as we speak that I got for free, free stuff.

Carissa Galloway:

John, I have a question and it makes me laugh while some of my kept acting this out and it's probably not funny. It's making me laugh Like you're at Podfest and they're like what's your podcast about?

John Pelkey:

And you're like running and like excuse me, Like no, you would be running, you would be surprised. I ran into a woman whose husband actually puts on races and I never did hook up with him. He wasn't there at that point in time and I was there for a while on Friday and then I went back on Saturday morning. But it was a really, really great experience. And I ran into a friend that used to do some stuff with me over at ESPN Wide World of Sports, colleen, who was kind of hosting you know, colleen, she was hosting some stuff over there. She does a podcast as well. So it was really interesting.

John Pelkey:

I learned some things. Let's hope that I can put some of those things into play. And then yesterday, yes, I did watch the two, the two football games, and I will just weigh in on this. Baltimore Ravens Just best team all year, lots of talent, mvp at quarterback and I'm just. I'm somewhat parroting some other things I've heard today, but you're the number one rushing team in football and I think you're running backs got like six touches to run the football.

Carissa Galloway:

They seem to have a flawed plan, meaning you're blaming the play calling, not necessarily the team you're blaming the play calling. Not that the Casey's defense stepped up, you're saying the play calling, which you could also blame play calling in Detroit or for Detroit as well, a little bit.

John Pelkey:

Well, sticking with Baltimore for just a second I just thought it seemed as though they just got away from who they were, and every now and then that happens to teams in the playoffs, notoriously Bill Cower, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The year the San Diego upset them to go to the Super Bowl. That's right, your charge against the?

Carissa Galloway:

49ers also.

John Pelkey:

That's right. That's right. That was. That was fun, because you, if you didn't like the halftime performer, you really couldn't turn the game off in the second quarter anyway. So it really didn't matter at that point. But yeah, so it was really disappointing for a Baltimore team that I would love to see Lamar in the Super Bowl. I think he's a great talent, but they, you know and I think part of it too, you're right Can't see his defense play very well. I think Kansas City was kind of tired to hear about oh, first time on the road, oh, they're in the transitional phase from their first couple of Super Bowls.

Carissa Galloway:

Now they're back First couple. Isn't it crazy?

John Pelkey:

It's just crazy and you never bet against Patrick.

Carissa Galloway:

Mahomes.

John Pelkey:

And in the second game oh my goodness, what an entertaining football game. I could not feel worse for all the good people in Detroit, Rock City.

Chris Chavez:

Oh yeah.

John Pelkey:

I thought they made some, I thought there were some coaching errors in the second half. I thought not taking the field goal. I mean again not telling anybody anything new, but there is something to be said and, chris, you know this as a competitive runner. There is something to be said for experience and I think what you saw from Detroit is they're a team that kind of mirrors San Francisco a little bit in their talent and where they have their talent and they're just younger and I think we saw that, that the moment got a little too big for them at a point, once things started momentum is a weird thing.

Carissa Galloway:

Well, there was, just so I will say this and I'll interrupt you. There was on the Today Show, because I'm a huge Today Show fan. Craig Melvin was kind of going through it in the Today Show way of going through football, and he's like if you were putting your kid to sleep and you came back downstairs. That is exactly what happened to Weston. So, like Weston you know we had Weston and Claire Claire will fall asleep like this and then Elliot's more of like let's talk about clouds, like he's just all over the place.

Carissa Galloway:

So I came down and I'm cleaning up the kitchen and it was the catch off the helmet, and then I turn around and then it was the fumble, and so I come down and I'm trying to explain it to him and apparently I didn't do a very good job, because the next day is like he's like oh wow, that really was a quick turnaround. I'm like I just, but he literally, you know he'd been watching the game and he was maybe 10 minutes and then he came back and it never, you know, never the ship, never, never, never, right?

John Pelkey:

Well, talk about just the tale of two halves. I mean really, really, and you know you do see that. But I think what we saw was Detroit's youth kind of betrayed them in the second half. I hope they can get back there.

Carissa Galloway:

They haven't been to an NSC championship game so hard to get back. You know that, even for the Ravens too, since January of 92.

John Pelkey:

So.

Carissa Galloway:

So hard to get back? I mean, isn't that where the Cowboys are with the NSC championship games too? Talk about that error.

John Pelkey:

Well they Cowboys went to the Super Bowl in 95. But, since then, the final, last Super Bowl. You know how long it's been for Detroit. You know who they played in the 19,. There's 91 season, January of 92, NFC championship game. The Washington football team coached by Joe Gibbs in his first go around. That was his final Super Bowl year. Was that 91 year?

Carissa Galloway:

And now. This is your history moment Only only NFC championship.

John Pelkey:

I don't know why you're snake bit Detroit, I don't. I have no idea. But fingers crossed that they can put it together and come back again, because they are a really fun team to watch. And, man, it looked like they were going to run away with that thing early in that second half. I mean, you know, turnovers are what they were at the helmet catch. I mean that's just, that's great wide receiver play. And this coming from a horrible ex high school wide receiver.

John Pelkey:

You're supposed to keep your eyes on the ball, but a lot of guys in that situation wouldn't have done that. But I believe it was Brandon I. You did such a phenomenal job with that. But they got. They got a little tentative in the second half and that's what happened to Atlanta when New England came back on them. So very disappointing because it would have been fun to see a different team. We're going to get a repeat of a of a Super Bowl should be, should be an interesting game and, as Colin Cowherd, who show I listen to almost every day, says, you have the team with the best roster probably in football, in the San Francisco 49ers, if not the top roster, top one or two rosters, and then on the other side you have Patrick Mahomes. So I don't. I don't know where that scale tips, but I again I'd be loath to bet against Patrick.

John Pelkey:

I know, I know, oh well, I know that we're not, even they didn't put up a lot of points, but they just they did they, you know again, they've been there so many times at this point and I interviewed a number of times. I've interviewed Andy Reid back in the day at the ESPN club and he's really, really good guy. So I love that he's moving up the list now and people considering him and maybe the top five six coaches of all time. I think he deserves it.

Carissa Galloway:

We'll have to see. We'll stay tuned. I will be on a flight to Dubai, so I will actually, unless they're half live TV, I will miss the entire Super Bowl. And, more importantly, usher. Somebody was like is Taylor Swift going to perform? She has to perform now. I'm like no, why are you to know people spin. I'm not saying she should never perform the Super Bowl. She will Like that's fine, but like can you just let us sure have this moment, because the work that goes into a Super Bowl halftime show, people, is insane. I mean, you've watched the Gaga special, you've watched JLo special. Let's, let us sure he's going to nail it. It's going to be amazing.

John Pelkey:

My old producer, one of the guys who hired me at the ESPN club. He worked for Disney and helped produce the Super Bowl halftime show of the game that was in Atlanta. I believe that was the Rams and the Titans Super Bowl, that great game, and he talked about everything that went into it and had a lot of discussions about it. So looking forward to looking forward to usher, not looking forward to my social media feeds the next day where all the people of my age and ilk complain about the fact that nobody's singing. It's not really music. Shut up the halftime, you out. I'm 59 years old. They're no longer targeting the halftime to me.

John Pelkey:

No, they're talking to me now, you're right Now I'm the old person that they're talking to Younger, hipper people. I'm sorry. No, I would get on with it.

Carissa Galloway:

I think no, I should worry that I should feel like I'm getting old if they're targeting it towards me.

John Pelkey:

Nope, no, they just figure you have more earning potential than I do, and they're right, because I'm spending a lot of my earning potential now on putting cucumbers and bingo. Is it camera lean?

Carissa Galloway:

Good If you need a gift for John putting cucumbers.

John Pelkey:

Now let me ask you a question.

Carissa Galloway:

Yep.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, I understand that you possibly you're looking like something physically is going on no offense, possibly in an accident at Disney, that's true. All right, let's hear about it.

Carissa Galloway:

I went to Disney. I started with the family. It was a beautiful day, we had the time to go, we wanted to go. We got some lightning lanes, some genie plus, went on Tron and then we decided to go to the Tomorrowland Motor Speedway because we just needed one more ride that we could do. You know, get the feel like the kids feel like they did some stuff. Elliot always wants to ride with Weston, he wanted to ride with me. Okay, they go in the first you know the cars, right I hate this.

Carissa Galloway:

I know what it is. I hate this. It smells. The driving isn't great, but it was such a nice day. The kids want to go. Great, I said, elliot, you want to drive. He says no, I'm driving, claire's driving in front of me and Claire's going quite slow because those pedals I've thought of since I was a kid take a lot to push.

John Pelkey:

It's been a long time since I've been on it, Maybe since I'm a kid.

Carissa Galloway:

I remember that it's a weird angle, I don't know what it is. So at one point I look back and the girl behind me is like right on my butt and she's like angry that we're going so slow. But eventually she moves back when we go to park. She runs full speed into the back of me and it was like, oh, I'm going to the park and so now it feels like I've whiplashed, because I've been in a car accident and I got whiplashed and I had a herniated disc and it feels very similar to that, like I can't work out today, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. So it's kind of a bummer because I hope that it's not one of those things where, like, this stupid ride gave me like a herniated disc or something.

John Pelkey:

I think you're going to probably get some response from that from people, because I've heard numerous stories about people getting smacked into the back of there a lot of times because it's just some little kid driving that again can't quite reach the pedal.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, well, I mean, it was hard.

John Pelkey:

Did she curse you out afterwards or their angry words exchange?

Carissa Galloway:

I don't know, but I'm fairly certain she did on purpose and I don't know why they have no other better failsafe or like a person there to like help remind me to slow down. I hope it's not anything bad. Like I said, I'm taking it easy today. I've been using my hyper eyes Pete a lot, but it's like all up to my shoulders. It's literally like the entire spine just aches. So I hope it goes away because not being active makes me crazy. So yeah, but yes I am a little stiff today. Hopefully we usually do with the back problem. We're going to three, two, one go. I have a back problem podcast.

John Pelkey:

Well, I see I have a great deal of empathy for that, and I too have been hit from behind in a car not not so bad that I truly got whiplash, but even if you don't just that that sort of motion. Getting it is really yeah, you're gonna be in pain for a little bit and I'm sorry to hear that, so let's turn to happier things. Do you possibly have some vacation plans coming?

Carissa Galloway:

up? I sure do. So I was supposed to have a girls weekend coming up, because I don't have a lot of free weekends. It's really pathetic when people are like and I'm sorry to my friends listening they're like, can we go out to dinner? And I'm like, yes, in April, and it's only because I reserve like Tuesday to Thursday for family time, so if I'm out of rate anyway.

Carissa Galloway:

So I had a weekend we were going to go visit my friend Angela, who you know in Shreveport, and then one of our girlfriends couldn't go. So I was like, oh well, then we're not going to go. I was like, well, but I had this weekend and Western goes to play golf and I had my weekend. What happened to my time? So I said to Angela I was like can we just go on a cruise instead? And she was on a flight back from Columbia and I said I asked her several times are you sure you're not drinking? And she was like yes, let's just go on a cruise.

Carissa Galloway:

So I hit up Sarah A Krz with the runs on magic. I was like and I have a travel agent. And she's like no, you don't. And I'm like I do watch this. So we are going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, just one of the three nighters, because when you live in Orlando, 45 minute drive it ends up being like $300 a night, yeah, for the food and everything, and it's the one that goes to the private island. So we are going to be taking a little three day cruise and myself.

Carissa Galloway:

Thanks, sarah. I think that's great. You always say and the cruise, and doesn't that sound great? It does sound great. So, yeah, thank you, sarah. So if this is something you want to do, I mean if she got this all worked out in the course of like 30 minutes. So if you want to give her more time, you can, but she doesn't need it. She's Johnny on the spot. She can help you experience extra special magic during those run Disney weekends.

Carissa Galloway:

Or if you do want to get away on a cruise, sarah Akers, with runs on magic, can help planning that perfect experience for you. Compliment or travel planning services, personalized itineraries. We looked at different rooms. I wanted the balcony. We were figuring it all out. She got it figured out for us. We even did got a little $150 booking credit, which I have already spent. But she can do that all for you. And if you use the code three, two one go or say you heard about her here. You can possibly win a $200 Disney gift card or a booking credit yourself. So to find her on Instagram at runs on magic, or email her runs are you an S on magic travel? At gmailcom.

Carissa Galloway:

Okay, civilians, it's time for the goods. Let's get on to the interview.

John Pelkey:

All right, chris Chavez, welcome to three, two, one go the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. This is going to be such a great discussion, but we'll start this the way we start all of our podcasts how are you and where?

Chris Chavez:

are you? Oh, thanks for having me Now I'm excited to join you guys and talk, you know, a little bit of US Olympic marathon trials. I'm in New York City right now. We've got some snow flurries outside, so Orlando will be a little bit of an escape from the cold, hopefully. But no, I'm doing great. I just got back from Houston a couple of days ago, ran the Houston marathon, went super well and so I'm a little bit, you know, on cloud nine ever since then. So it was a nice big PR for me. But yeah, it was a special day.

Carissa Galloway:

I'm gonna do two things now. I'm gonna tell John we're gonna ask him about the New York City marathon. Okay, john, you're gonna have to wait. He is a rabid fan.

John Pelkey:

I'm obsessed with what it takes to put it on. I'm obsessed with it, I admit it.

Carissa Galloway:

We're gonna get to it. But, chris, that is my first question because huge milestone for you personally sub three marathon and we are just, as we're taping this, less than a week away from your 259-12, I think, finished in Houston, which was a long time coming for you and, as a wife of a fellow sub three year that worked really hard for it, I get the stress and the sacrifice that goes into it. So I wanted to know when is the race? Did you ever feel like I got this? Did you get that moment?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, I guess it wasn't until the final maybe 400 meters or so when I could finally start to see the clock.

Chris Chavez:

I was doing some mental math all throughout the race, banked enough time through the halfway point, but as you start to get tired you start slipping into those reserves and so in the closing miles I'm just trying my best I was never the best at math to see all right, like if I slow down this much, am I still gonna get under my goal?

Chris Chavez:

And thankfully enough, I think we had at the end 40 plus seconds to spare, but it was. I was definitely getting a little bit tired in the final four miles, but that is the marathon, like it's all these small decisions that you make throughout the race. So, whether that was picking it up at mile eight or 10 or whatever it might have been, I did get back sort of like that extra time that came in handy at the end. So it wasn't until I saw the clock and thankfully I was under even the gun time of three hours, so like I could see the clock ticking and I knew I was safe. And so that's kind of why, like I had this huge emotional outbreak at the finish line where I was like screaming and pumping my arms, and so no, it was surreal.

Carissa Galloway:

It was awesome to see your celebration. I think we love seeing humans achieve something great. But I also wanna know how did this pacing and how you approach this race compared to your other attempts? Did you try to be more even? Did you start slower? Did you start faster? How did it compare?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah. So my coach, kate Gussison, and I kind of like devised a pretty detailed plan for New York because I was sort of I did the New York City Marathon in November and that was sort of supposed to be like a sub three attempt and it's just so different just because of the five bridges along the course and so playing it a bit more conservative. But I took a big swing for it. I went through in like 129 and kind of held it together for the first 16 or 18 miles and then from there the wheels did start to come off. Once, coming off the Queensborough Bridge in New York, like it just zapped my legs and so the last 10 miles weren't as pleasant.

Chris Chavez:

But we kind of regrouped after that race and she said I believe the fitness is there and I felt like I worked pretty hard all throughout the summer and fall to build up and have some confidence to go after three hours that we decided that we would extend the training block about nine more weeks and yes, it was hard because that puts you through Thanksgiving and through Christmas and New Year's but ultimately did make it the last two weeks of training. You start to get a little bit tired of it. You're like I can't believe I have to go out for this eight mile or whatever it is. It's like can it just be race day. But all the work paid off and I was super happy. I guess, like in the end I really did just need a flat course to get it done.

Carissa Galloway:

I will say my husband, who finally did his sub three Disney two years ago, had a New York effort, was in perfect shape. Might have been 2016-17 and it was a super windy year and it didn't happen and so I haven't seen firsthand health pressure starting. That is to be like, but I did. I like no, it was supposed to. So, yeah, it just made me so happy to just see your emotion as you, as you finished that race.

Chris Chavez:

Oh, thank you.

John Pelkey:

All right, yes, you had the great emotion at the end of the race, but what I want to know is how did you celebrate after that, once you got over, obviously, the fatigue and the adrenaline, and now it's time to go have a great meal, do whatever. How did you celebrate this milestone?

Chris Chavez:

At first there were lots of tears, just sort of happy tears. I had my phone on me throughout the race and so I just kind of like pulled it out of my back pocket when I was after walking past the finish line and I immediately FaceTime my fiance and she was out on the course, just kind of running toward the finish, and so we were going to meet up very soon. And then, kind of while she was making her way there, I FaceTimed my or called my coach and there were more sort of happy tears there just because we did. It is kind of like all I kept saying and it really is interesting, just sort of, when you have these moments after a marathon because you use the phrase we. It's not like I did it, it does take a whole team, whether that is your coach, your significant other. There's a lot of sacrifices and attention to detail for the whole training block, and so that was the emotion.

Chris Chavez:

And then, just sort of immediately after, got back to the hotel room, shower change, I was even like had a little pep in my step, just sort of, from all the happiness. I was dancing in the hotel room because I was so happy and then immediately went to just like a bar with some friends who were in town and I got on a flight a couple of hours later. I definitely flew back. It was first time ever flown back on the same day but ended up working out.

Chris Chavez:

I think Houston got hit with a pretty bad cold front that following Monday, and so a lot of flights and travel was disrupted, but luckily made it home and then the following day I met up with some of my teammates from the Central Park Track Club here in New York City to kind of catch up and talk about the race, and so everyone was pretty happy for me, made an Instagram post and that led to just sort of like a lot of great reception from the running community, whether that and it was funny because it was everything from friends, family, professional runners, olympians, and so it was a great mix of just a lot of happiness, I think, over the last couple of days.

John Pelkey:

Well, and it's the type of goal that I think deserves a long celebration, in several waves, clearly, and I'm just trying to picture now getting on a flight after going through all of that and what that must have been like.

Carissa Galloway:

When pressure and socks were on for sure. I thought you were going to say that you went to the bar and then you were like really buzz getting on the flight, because that could happen too because of dehydration.

Chris Chavez:

So it's true, yeah.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, we see that a lot at the run Disney races. People finish their marathon two-fisted drinking at the finish line and frozen margaritas, and I think they probably pay a little bit of a price for that a little later. But what the heck, why not celebrate? All right, let's talk about because you mentioned this a little bit in your training, when you have one of these big goals sub three, sub four, five, six, whatever that goal is when you're focusing on that, obviously physically you're training in that way, but mental we pointed out, mentally it may be even a larger carry. Mentally, how do you prepare for that when you're going through your training? I mean, do you use visualization? Do you? What do you do? You mentioned, you know you take things in small increments and so many athletes talk about that. I was. You can't look at it as 26.2. You look at it as you know the next mile. So how do you prepare mentally?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, so all throughout the training, you know, I think having a coach is important who can structure some workouts for you that are a little bit faster than what you can expect to see on race day. And so, like I remember, just during this training block I'd be doing stuff where we tap into 615s and 630 per mile for some long stretches and I kind of would get through the workout. I'd be tired, but, you know, I'd remind myself like you're not even touching that pace during the actual marathon, and so you can take some confidence in the fact that you'll be running 40 seconds slower or whatever it might be, and so that kind of helps ease your mind to be like, oh well, I did something harder, for even if it was for a shorter stretch of time, you're capable of that. And so during the actual marathon, you remind yourself about, just you know, those long hard tempo runs and those workouts that you were doing in Central Park in the cold, or a West Side Highway run with the headwind and all that stuff. And so that's how I kind of, you know, really took confidence from my training. And then on during the actual sort of race, you find a way to mentally block it off into different segments.

Chris Chavez:

I remember finding people during the race to just tuck into and I looked it kind of kept looking at my watch a bit to make sure that they were on pace, and it looked like, oh, these people appear to be on a sub three, you know pacing attempt. And so I was like just follow them, take your mind off things and relax. And so, you know I had I followed these people for like 14, 15 miles and then from there, you know, you start to tell yourself, can I make this into a 10 mile race? That's how I kind of approach a marathon. Get to 16 and you're like only 10 to go. Hopefully you haven't, you know, really started, you know, feeling it at that point.

Chris Chavez:

And so then, from 10, I was like, you know, I was lucky to have a conversation with Kira D'Amato beforehand, the American record holder in the marathon, or former American record holder in the marathon and just a phenomenal runner who did it in Houston a couple of years ago, and she told me that there was a point after six miles that you can really open up.

Chris Chavez:

And so I was like, okay, now, once you're past 16, let's get to 20. And the final six miles is where she said you can go. So you know, I kind of chose these different points to focus on throughout the race. And then you know, once you get to 5K or two miles to go, you're just sort of like all right, I know how many laps this is on a track, and that's how I start to mentally countdown and I get to two miles, I'm like eight more laps on a track, and then you slowly start to click off those quarter miles and I'm like seven, six, five, four, and then eventually you get to the finish, and so that's how I mentally operate during the race.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, I just, you know, and somebody who's not gone that distance I just did. The extra added stress of having to check your watch and then mentally doing well, mentally doing any sort of math for me is just puts me into a large amount of stress. But that again, I'm just in awe of being able to do that and trying to find a target time that fast. And still I'm doing the math and checking this, but I also have to listen to my body. Let's just say I'm overly impressed by all of this, and maybe not overly impressed, incredibly impressed. All right, I want to talk about city of smag, because you, you guys founded that because you wanted to make it easier and more fun to be a track fan, and you guys do such a great job. I've had such a good time just diving into that. What are that inspiration come from? When did you?

Chris Chavez:

you know you have a journalism background, obviously when did you say, hey, this is really really something I think that the people want and they need yeah, so I started cities in 2017 when I was a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated and if we, for you know a couple years, it was just kind of like a little passion project on the side, a blog or that I would just geek out on running with with a couple friends, started doing a podcast there weekly very, very early on. So Going on now like seven years of doing just interviews weekly with athletes, coaches, anyone really who is notable within the running community, and Sometime around 2021, at this point, like the podcast, started making money through Add sponsorships and then we started doing some events partnerships. In late 2021, I started to have this kind of realization is post Tokyo Olympics that I was like oh, you know, we're on the precipice of track and field being. You know it's seeing a big moment in America.

Chris Chavez:

The world championships are going to be hosted in Eugene, oregon, in 2022 and then from there, you know, another Olympics was on the horizon and so we're at this really good point in in track where, outside of the Olympics, we've got like world championships every year through 2025. And so you know I'd been at SI for a bit. There were a lot of different changes and so over time, you know kind of I had built up, sidious is a little bit more than just a passion project. At this point now it started to be a little bit of a business and so you know, kind of taking a little bit of a leap of faith Myself and and Kyle Murber, who used to be a professional runner for for 10 years and started a newsletter of his own, that's got you know, 15,000 plus subscribers.

Chris Chavez:

It's called the lap count and tries to make it easy for people to get their fix of track and field weekly. We decided, you know, let's take a gamble on this and see what 2022 can hold, and so that's when I kind of made the jump to go all in on Sidious. And basically where we've established ourselves in the in the Track and field and running media landscape is, you know, we're the ultimate, I think, hype people for the sport, where we get excited about these big performances and who these athletes are, and we want that to be contagious for people so that they can also get excited and want to start following along. You know, I think that there's a massive population of people that we've kind of referred to already, you know, who are chasing four or five hour marathons and they may not be attentive as to what's happening at the front end of the sport, and so it's helping educate those people. But then, at the same time, we see a big opportunity Within, like the younger ranks for sure, these kids who are actively participating in track and field in high school, and those numbers are always thrown out there as, like it's, you know, the biggest participation sport in in high school.

Chris Chavez:

Well, so many of those kids don't know that there is a professional ranks to Track and field. So how can we educate them and get them excited about? You know what's happening, and so, for us, we see ourselves as the place to Learn. You know, especially ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer, who the key athletes are going to be, what are the events I should be watching in the lead up to it, and so, whether it is through podcasts, newsletters, videos, we try and you know, yes, hype up you know all the big events and and the athletes and tell their stories, but the same time, educate. You know a big fan base that may have fallen off at some point in, like, hey, I stop paying attention to track after College or whatever it might be. Now you can pick it up and we try and have that entry point and meet that person, wherever they may be at, in their own personal running or their own personal sort of exposure to track.

John Pelkey:

That's what I really appreciated about it too is I could see that if you were a veteran runner, there was a lot you could take, and if you were a novice, somebody who just dials in during Olympic years we know those people are very interested in the Olympic years.

John Pelkey:

But one of the things I have to follow up on this because one of the things that I found most interesting Recently was there's now NIL money going to track and field athletes going to college, and you covered some of that. I just have to ask you, as somebody who's been in this sport for a very, very long time, the introduction of this NIL money, which I people think what they want. I'm in favor of athletes being rewarded for what they they do, and I think college athletes have sometimes been exploited. What are your feelings on that? I just I find that fascinating and I'm so happy for these kids who you know the third backup punter for Alabama is on scholarship and doing well in these Track and field athletes really how it hasn't paid off for them monetarily and now they can actually get something back For their effort outside of a college education, which we're all in favor of yeah, I think it's.

Chris Chavez:

It's.

Chris Chavez:

It's great and I think what we see it the numbers aren't public out there yet, just to know exactly how much these NIL deals with Nididus or a new balance or Nike actually are for some of these track and field athletes who are signing them.

Chris Chavez:

But it is cool because you we've heard the horror stories about just starting salaries for some of these Professional runners and it could be twenty thousand dollars for the year and like that's not really all that sustainable. And so I think it's nice that the college athletes are being rewarded for their talent and and yes, it's not for for their performance, but in a way their performance does bolster their likeness, name and image. And so what we see is these athletes are more incentivized to keep at it and you know, if they're finding success in college, they'll stay in college and in that system and continue to develop Athletically. So yeah, it's, it's the Wild, wild West right now, I think in college athletics, where some of these rules aren't really all that regulated, it's it's tough to see where the you know, the gray area is on uncertain things. But I'm sure just as much as we're learning about it, you know, the athletic departments are still kind of trying to get their bearings with everything. But it is good that you know I'm in favor of the athletes getting paid.

John Pelkey:

So you're right about it being the Wild West, and it again we always seem to overcorrect a little bit and I think I think we have. But but again, just I want to be on the record of saying I'm in favor of athletes, whatever their sport is, you know, getting getting some Some payback for the amount of time they put in, because that track athletes putting in an equal amount of time to an athlete in a More money-generating sport, and I think this is perfect because the shoe companies, the athletic wear companies, are perfect for this NIL for track athletes.

Carissa Galloway:

And I want to point out, john I'm not sure why you had to call me Alabama plunder of all the teams out there. You went with Alabama, which you know well, because we know they've been paying their they've been paying their players for years.

John Pelkey:

That's just. As a University of Florida guy, I wish to tell you they've been, you know, they've been making NIL money for years. It's just fair enough.

Carissa Galloway:

All right, let's talk a little bit about the city team. You guys have made a huge impact on track and field. I remember what's and I were at the world championships in Oregon. I was one of your group runs Mac was there, I think but I also remember looking at what you guys were doing, the shows you guys were doing, and I was like Wow, like I am so impressed by this. This is what we need, not people covering it because they have to cover, but people Passionately sharing stories that, like you said, get people into the sport. Have you had that sort of Ferris Bueller moment where you look around and you're just kind of like wow.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, it has been really cool. I think those group runs definitely Were a you know wow moment for me because, you know, while it's easy for Me to get excited about track and I've got a group chat with, you know, some of the fellow members of the city is mag team and we geek out over every little Performance that's out there and every you know tidbit of news that you know, at something like the world championships we put this call out like, hey, we're gonna go for, you know, a nice, you know three to five mile easy run in the morning To kick off the day and then everyone can go off to to watch the races. That we had, like you know, a hundred plus people every single day showing up on our front line of our Airbnb. We ultimately had to move the runs to a park because our Airbnb host wasn't too happy about it. But you know that was a cool moment because it's sort of like, oh, there are other you know track nerds like like us out there, and so you know that that that's been a lot of fun and I think just sort of like the general reception to some of that stuff that we do, especially around major events like the world championships, where we do shows in our backyard, basically, and we invite the athletes to come and Chat with us, and it's more laid-back and we get, you know, some of the fastest people in the world to slow down and sit down for a whole hour. And I think that's important because you know, yes, you know, a track broadcast is so different from, you know, even a marathon broadcast where you have two plus hours to tell a whole story.

Chris Chavez:

In track. It's event after event after event, and maybe you get that athlete for two minutes after afterwards, when they're still out of breath, to respond to one or two questions, and then we move on to the next thing, and so I don't think it's adequate Storytelling for them and I think, like so much goes into just those big moments that we love to be the ones to have, to provide the athletes with that opportunity to hey, sit down with us for 30 minutes to an hour and tell us Everything it took to get to this point, and so that's been a lot of fun and the athletes are super receptive to it. You know, we thought that. You know, we ran back sort of a very similar show in Budapest and we did it from our hotel room suite and we thought the challenge was going to be Getting athletes to leave, you know, the team USA hotel to come on over and navigate the streets of Budapest to get to us, but they still came through and every single day we had three or four people coming by, and so that that's the part that's Validating, you know, of the work and what we've kind of built up to.

Chris Chavez:

You know, create this sort of safe space for the athletes to feel comfortable telling their stories, because once they do that, I think hopefully it gets other people invested in, sort of like, their journey and the mission there is.

Chris Chavez:

Hey, we just had a, you know, rye Benjamin, the Olympic silver medalist in the 400 meter hurdle, sit down with us and then all of a sudden, like I'm a big Rye Benjamin fan because that interview was really cool or whatever it was, or he was really funny.

Chris Chavez:

That's the hope that we hope that people take away from you know, when we do some of that longer form content and then from there, you know, we try our best to distribute and package it across all of our different channels, whether that is Instagram clips or Twitter clips, and you know transcriptions on the website and you know the full video being up on YouTube, like we don't try and Just keep ourselves to to one platform. We, you know we may not be big enough yet to be pumping out 50 pieces of content every day, but we're gonna focus our efforts on doing four, three or four things really good in a day and then just blasting it across all the different channels and hopefully getting people wherever they see their news or get their Entertainment. So that's how we view kind of what we do on a day-to-day.

Carissa Galloway:

When you guys work so hard at all those, all the major events, and it's great to see you guys out there. I do have to say that when there's a big event, I have to unfollow you because you're so good at breaking news, so please don't ever be upset. If you like curse, I know you're checking a curse that has unfollowed you because Weston and I will record everything and we have kids, so we will stay up and John knows I don't stay up, but I have to see every pre-live, like if I don't see the freedom, then I get to the final. I've missed some, some nuance. So I do have to unfollow you for those big events because you guys are, you're on it. But when I'm not able to watch something, you are the best coverage out there and I absolutely love it.

Chris Chavez:

No, I appreciate it and it's really funny because there are two people who are kind of like those two sides of the coin where it's sort of like no spoilers, I'm gonna unfollow, don't take offense, I'll come back in two weeks. And then there's other people who will watch the race and then, you know, be following in real time and Immediately go to our Instagram because they don't know where to find the results to things or they may have missed something. And We've got a pretty good streamlined social media. You know kind of strategy with our team that you know within you know, three, five minutes of a race finishing.

Chris Chavez:

We've got a nice high quality photo that just came from that moment. It's up on Instagram with a detailed caption and, you know, maybe there's a result flashing on the, on the graphic, and so it is cool because, you know, for me I've had to delegate, so you know, and hand off some of those responsibilities and it's fun for me at the end of a night, of a big track meet or whatever it might be, I go on Instagram and I refresh and I see, oh man, like you know the team, whether that's, you know, david Mellay running the social media channels, or Johnny Zang, who's the photographer? Or Justin, britain? I was like, wow, they crushed it, like this stuff looks amazing, and so that's cool for me. On my side of things that, like I used to be the one having to do every single one, and now you know we've got people who understand both our tone and voice and just kind of how we want to present, you know, this news or result to people, and it's cool.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, and I encourage anybody who goes on your site to check out your Mousetet and the people you have working for you because they have just such really diverse and impressive credentials that they bring. And since we're talking about storytelling and you know you're making a great point and one of the things we found over the years at Run Disney is that when we started interviewing people and getting their stories of why they were there and what they'd overcome to get there, it garnered really a lot of interest. One of the reasons that we started this podcast and you mentioned the work for sports illustrated and for people who maybe are of a younger generation, sports illustrated the media landscape is obviously changing greatly, but for many, many years and still, to an extent, one of the bell cows of the media landscape for sports. So what I want to know is a guy who got his first sports illustrated subscription, I think for my eighth birthday. So I go back. That's over 50 years, I hate to admit 1930s yeah.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, okay, so I think that's a great microphone. Perhaps Aren't you still tired from mile three at Disneyland? No, I do. Do you have a favorite story from there? Because, while I certainly appreciated sports, illustrated highlight stuff and everything long form journalism they really, really set the standard for long form journalism. Any specific story that you remember from there that was inspiring to you, or just a favorite athlete that you covered event?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, I mean I guess my favorite event was the 2016 Olympics in Rio. That was a dream come true for me. I got my start in covering track with Flow Track in 2012 and at that point I really didn't know a whole lot. I ran high school track. I wasn't like this distance running nerd or anything like that who was a fan of the whole entire sport. I was a sprinter, I ran the 200.

Chris Chavez:

And so in college I just kind of started running five Ks for fun and actually, funny enough, like, one of my first half marathons was with a Disney half in 2014 or 13 or something like that, and so I sports illustrated does play a pivotal role in sort of my own development as both a track fan and my involvement within the media, because very early on, once I recognized that like, oh, track is pretty cool, like on the professional side of things, and learning that there was one, I was like this is ahead of the 2012 Olympics, I wanted to be excited and learn more about who the key athletes were going to be, who are going to be competing in London outside of Usain Bolt, I think. Like for a long pattern of time, that was what people associated with track, and now over the last couple of years since he retired in 2017, the sport has found itself in a place where it's sort of like, oh, what one a casual fan is, like where's Usain Bolt or two, it's like what you know, kind of who's the next guy? And so from that period of time in 2012, I wanted to learn more about who the people were in the five K, in the shot put in the 10 K, the 1500. So I had to reverse engineer myself as a fan. So that went meant going back and on YouTube and watching old races. And then at the same time, I went back and read old sports illustrated stories that Tim Layden, who's arguably the best you know track and field writer ever, you know, had written. David Epstein, who's the author of the sports gene, is actually my favorite writer at SI at the time and he wrote some some really great stories as well. And so you know, going back to the days of Kenny Moore and you know just some old school writers, I was really educating myself on who the athletes were, what the history was behind, you know certain events and places, and so that's kind of like how important SI was and then part of the decision why I chose to work there right after graduating from college.

Chris Chavez:

You know, I did have like another offer to potentially go and contribute and write for ESPNcom, but I chose SI because they had this very rich tradition of covering track and field and the Olympics and I kind of wanted to see if I could bring that to them and really bolster that for them in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. And it was a dream come true, I would say. When I got the email saying, like you're going to the Olympics and joining sort of like this you know long line of storied, you know writers who had covered the games for them. And you know, even when I got there, some of the other writers were like well, now, like you're in the club, like you get to do this and I was, you know, in my early twenties at the time, I may have been like 22 in Rio and it was this eyeopening experience.

Chris Chavez:

And so for me, like I'll never forget walking into, like the opening ceremonies I even, you know, I cried a lot during this marathon. I cried during, you know, walk the opening ceremonies as well just kind of like realizing like everything I'd worked towards from 2012 to 2016 of trying to be this person who tells you know track and field athlete stories and you know who knows the coaches and the athletes all paid off. And so from there, I guess, like 2016, I'll never forget. And now you know I didn't get to go to the 2020 or 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, but I'm super excited to go this summer to Paris and it's another sort of really cool moment where my credential is going to say city is MAG and it's something that I built up myself, you know, in the last couple of years.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, that has to be such a cool feeling. When you get there There'll be tears. I love how you're open about your, about your crying. I did hear about the crying to my tears, ricochet. I don't know if we have time for that, but I really, jonathan knew at Chief's Liston we'll talk about that, so let's skip tears. I'm talking about Orlando. Pretty soon, the US Olympic marathon team trials there. I said the whole thing once, I don't have to say it again Orlando what are your thoughts on Orlando as the trials destination? And it's okay, we will still let you, no matter what you say.

Chris Chavez:

No, I mean Orlando, I'm excited for it's. I got the chance to meet John and Betsy Hughes and you know I even chatted with them after they won the bid to host the trials. I remember, just even in the lead up to 20, the 2020 marathon trials, we had, you know, a couple blog posts at the time on City of Smag where it was making the case for all these various different cities Chattanooga, orlando, austin and Atlanta, I think were the four articles I think at the time that we'd published and I remember just kind of Orlando being on my radar in the four years since Atlanta, that they would be, you know, pretty good hosts for the marathon trials and so I'm sure you know, with all the events and experience that they have, you know, with hosting events for Track Shack, that you know they, they are in good position to put on a great race. You know, for the marathon trials and, yeah, it's going to be fast, I think you know it's flat. The course is flat, which is a stark difference from what the athletes are going to get in Paris, like the vertical climbing and the incline that they're going to see on that course is pretty crazy, much worse than New York, is kind of like what the reports and how some of the athletes have described it. So it's interesting that you know we are not, you know, having a race that will lead to the best suited team for the Paris Olympics, but we're in a position where, you know, everyone wants to go fast and, you know, maybe sometimes the fastest athletes are also our strongest athletes for some of those other courses. So I'm excited to see how that plays out.

Chris Chavez:

And you know, my first marathon trials was Atlanta and that weekend was incredible. There were so many people there. So I'm looking forward to that from like a spectator and fan standpoint, because there's just nothing like the buzz of a weekend like that, where you can pop I feel like you can pop into any bar or into any shop and you'll hear someone talking about, you know, the race that's coming up on Sunday. You'll have people debating who's their top three in each race, and so that's what I'm really looking forward to is that for one weekend, this major city becomes this little running hub with just a lot of diehard you know. You know track nerds or running nerds of the sport who are interested in having sort of that banter of like, who's your top three oh, I've got this person because you know I like this one, so that's what I'm looking forward to the most.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, and I want to shout out you guys did a little preview of the course and it's for folks who might not know and it's probably most people it's like there's like an eight mile loop that people are going to run three times in the course.

John Pelkey:

So for spectators standpoint, it is really great because you're going to be able to see these athletes as they're jockeying for position, and so, shout out, lake Eola, the Dr Philip Center, among the places where you can get a great position to watch this event and it's so very exciting. Now I'm going to talk about what you and I talked about before we came on the air, and that is the qualifying process, because I read the story on Sidious on the qualifying process and you guys do a great job covering it, but it is not as simple as most people coming in layman or thinking top three people who finish right, that's your team. It's not that simple. Yeah, in a in a more Hemingway than Dickens way, can you explain to us how the qualifying works, because we may not have a team unnecessarily a three person team at the end of the qualifying.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah. So this is definitely sort of like the the biggest hubbub over the last few years. The last couple of weeks, once we got past the start time controversy, I think that the athletes were up in arms over. Now the race starts at 10 am. It was a good compromise. Some athletes wanted it at 6 am. I thought that was crazy. Noon was, was was going to be hot, so 10 am it is. But now the big controversy is how many people are going.

Chris Chavez:

So for the people who may not be as familiar with the qualifying process, there's a qualifying standard for a time standard for people to qualify for the Olympic Games, and I believe that's 2, 29 on the women's side and 208, 10 on the men's side. And so if you get under that standard, it doesn't assure that you're 100 percent set for the Olympic Games. What it does is it unlocks a spot for your country, and so on the women's side, we don't have anything really to worry about here, because they've done their part. They're great. The women are crushing it. So the US women's marathoning is, at a whole, another level that they've made it easy that the top three finishers in the women's race, as long as they've run under that time barrier will go to the Olympics. So that side of it is super simple. Now on the men's side it gets a little bit complicated. So going into the fall and even into the late summer there was a little bit of a panic because it's we hadn't had any American run under 208 10. And there's kind of like the B standard is 211 30. And there were a few guys who had done that but we still had no spots unlocked because no one had run under 208 10. Then at the Chicago Marathon, connor Manson, clayton Young, two former BYU runners who were phenomenal. They ran under that standard. So now we unlock two spots. So we know for certain that the top two finishers at the US Olympic Marathon trials will go to Paris as long as they've run under 211 30. And the expectation here is also that the marathon trials is likely going to be fast. So I think to I think the race will be faster than 211 30. So I'm fairly confident in saying that the top two guys will definitely be going to Paris. Now the third spot is what's up for grabs, because we haven't unlocked it yet. No third guy ran to under 208.10.

Chris Chavez:

And there's a whole thing called the world rankings where sort of it factors in road performances in both like the half marathon and the marathon over the course of the last year, and you earn points based on how fast you ran and how high you place at these races. And every race is tiered for kind of there's gold label races, there's platinum label races, bronze, silver. It's really complex. If we had an American man ranked within the top 64 by the end of January, it would unlock that third spot. Now the problem is everyone in the world is running faster right now. You can credit these super shoes and you know the flat, fast races like a Valencia or the Houston Marathon, that we're seeing these performances from other countries that have bumped up other athletes ranking. So right now the third best American marathoner is ranked outside of that top 64. He's looking at you know kind of 68th place right now.

Chris Chavez:

But so that means that we have to wait until late, until early May, or I'm not entirely sure, but we have to wait until May to know whether that third spot is going to be unlocked.

Chris Chavez:

Now the good thing is that our third American, scott Fawble, is pretty high up in that quota.

Chris Chavez:

That by the time that the next couple spots open up, I think they're going to take the top 80 from the world rankings to qualify for the Olympics. Now the good thing is that I think you can subtract more. Every athlete is allowed three runners per country for the Olympics, and so once you subtract countries like in Ethiopia or Kenya that have all these runners who have run under you know the Olympic standard you can start to move people up in that quota. So Scott Fawble and a couple other athletes are on the bubble, but good enough to open up that third spot. So the best thing that could happen is if at the marathon trials, the top three guys are all under 20810, to know 100% for certain that like hey, we're sending a full team to the Olympics. But we do feel good about where the rankings are right now, that by the end of May that guy who finishes third will go to the Olympics as well. So good luck to the NBC announcers who will have to explain all of this during their broadcast.

Carissa Galloway:

And I have to explain it, carrie, and I have to explain it to the people watching.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, so good luck on that because it is a whole lot to process. But you know the athletes themselves are not stressing over it too much. You know I have a podcast episode out with Scott Fawble who is in that bubble position right now and he's not too stressed. Historically, the US Olympic marathon trials are fast and people will have the race of their lives there. So hopefully it all works out that we do send a full team, both three men and three women, to the Olympic Games in Paris.

Carissa Galloway:

So theoretically, scott could unlock the spot but not get the spot.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, see, that's a whole other thing too. Is that you could unlock a spot like the same way?

Carissa Galloway:

that Connor.

Chris Chavez:

Manson, clayton Young finished in the top two in Chicago and it'll unlock the spots. It doesn't guarantee them a spot at the Olympics. So now they've just kind of got to back up that performance at the marathon trials and finish in the top three, or else they just did. You know the US. It's a nice little patriotic duty that they did unlock the spot for us to have people at the Olympics, but it's not guaranteed that it's gonna be that.

Carissa Galloway:

Crazy. Well, hopefully it goes well, and because of this, we expect the men's race to be fast, knowing that those guys you know that's the safest way to ensure you know go into that to a late time. For the women's race, though, how do you expect that to play out? Do you expect it to be as fast or more tactical? Because, at the end of the day, for a lot of the women on our radar, you just got to get in and you go.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, so that's where sort of I think the women's race could end up being a bit more tactical. I like to think that right now there's maybe like six or so top contenders on the women's side. You know, unfortunately we've started to see some injuries popping up for people, and that's the challenge of the marathon, Like you got to get to the starting line healthy and you know it's so unfortunate and heartbreaking because this is the race that everyone kind of plans their whole life around for the last four years and you want to go in as best as you can. So that makes it challenging. But yeah, I could see it being tactical because they've checked the box already in terms of qualifying standard. Now it's just about getting in the top three.

Carissa Galloway:

Can you talk about injuries? One of the ones is Emma Bates. She's a huge fan favorite, but then she's going to run in Boston. So from your insight into these athletes, you said the Olympics is the thing you want to go to, but you don't make as much money necessarily go into the Olympics. It's not the same as when you go to Boston. You're probably getting a parent's fee. You can get a performance fee. So how do you weigh that choice as you're training yeah.

Chris Chavez:

So in the unfortunate case for Emma, like you know, she had to scratch from the marathon trials and maybe just didn't have enough time to get back from this injury but buys herself an extra, you know, two months to get ready for Boston. But you know, sort of. I think the reason why the Olympics are played up so highly is because it's life changing. That's a title for life and I think while you may think of, hey, you know you're getting X amount of dollars to run Boston and have this appearance fee, that's great. But also there's marketing dollars in the Olympics.

Chris Chavez:

Like after the marathon trials, if you made that top three and you're qualified, you might get the Toyota sponsorship or the Coca-Cola sponsorship or whatever it might be. And you know that doesn't just extend itself to that. You know those the months leading up to Paris, like beyond that, you perform well in Paris and you have a moly-sidal like bronze medal performance. That's when you get, you know, the bigger deals afterwards. So you're really just, it's a big investment in yourself to just kind of. You know you're weighing the pros and cons of longer-term sort of marketing for yourself, because at the end of the day all these athletes are independent contractors and you know they are their own. You know marketing vehicle.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, depends on where you are.

John Pelkey:

Do you play the long game or do you or do you need that influx right now of finances? I think all of us who are independent contractors can certainly understand that. I was gonna ask you if you have any favorites, but in lieu of that, what I wanna ask you is there anybody maybe off the radar? We should be watching for.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, that's an interesting question. Yeah, so I mean like there are favorites and I'm okay sharing sort of who my favorites are. On both the men's side the favorites are Connor Mans, clayton Young I would put Scott Fawble in that category as well Galen Rupp, who has made the last two Olympic marathon teams and you know he maybe had a little bit of an off performance in Houston, but you know a guy so experienced like that I don't totally discount. I'm trying to think there's CJ Albertson who's the 50 K world record holder and does all these crazy races and training. So that's the men's side.

Chris Chavez:

On the outside, kinda looking in, this one is, I think the dark horse ends up being Paul Chalimo, who may be making his marathon debut in Orlando, so his first time ever contesting the distance, but he's one of the best US 5,000 meter runners in the country and so over the last couple of years and he managed to get a half marathon qualifying mark and that's how he got his ticket into Orlando. I don't I haven't heard for 100% certain if he's gonna go all out on this and even show up in Orlando, but he's entered, I think. And I think like someone like that adds so much intrigue because, one, he needs the qualifying time and, two, he's got the speed and chops you know from the track. So he's been training in Kenya this whole time. I'd be interested to see how he plays out. So he's the one sort of like interesting dark horse. And Moly Cytal, in 2020, taught us that you can make your marathon debut at the trials and make the team.

Chris Chavez:

And then, on the women's side, I think the heavy hitters are, you know, moly Cytal, emily Sisson, who holds the American record, cure DiMotto, who held the American record before that, abetsi Seina, who ran 221 in Tokyo last year and this is her first marathon trials since switching allegiance and she was an Olympian for Kenya in 2016. And who else am I throwing in that category? Sarah Hall, just a veteran and has run super fast. So, like that, you know, the top end of the women's race is also really good. There's Gabby Rooker seems to be the popular name for the dark horse candidate on the women's side. She, you know, ran really well at the Chicago marathon. She was a former gymnast who found running pretty late and has really taken well to it. So, you know, I think there's gonna be just interesting races on both sides and the drama. I mean, there's nothing like it at a marathon trials, because you know for us like it's cruel. Some people's dreams are shattering in the moment, but there are people's dreams who will be coming true as well.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, I'm watching Sarah Hall. I haven't worked for ASIC since I was watching Sarah Hall on Atlanta, which just talks about crashing Cause, like it's like any of us in a race, when you're tracking someone and you see like it's there's nothing you can do and you know it's gotta go the rest You've got to finish the race with this, this goal, that kind of flipped away. You didn't mention Danny Simpson and she has a huge Orlando connection.

Chris Chavez:

That's right.

Carissa Galloway:

It will be her first marathon, so I far in San Antonio. How are you feeling about Danny Simpson?

Chris Chavez:

Again, I think one of the more interesting stories going into this one. I don't know if it was a hundred percent plan that this would be her debut or if she'd planned to do a fall marathon before this, but yeah, again once. One of the more most accomplished US distance runners on the track has only taken to the roads in the last two years and so it's gone well. Nothing flashy, I would say, in terms of times just yet, and the marathon's a whole nother beast to try and nail. But maybe there's kind of the home field advantage and also just sort of like the excitement of it being her first time and at the same time, the intrigue. I'm sure that there's a level of respect among her competitors that they know Jenny has wheels and they're not gonna let her get away, and I think Jenny is gonna be one to stick her nose in it for sure.

John Pelkey:

How about from a human interest perspective? Anybody that you know overcomes something, somebody that you'd like to shine a spotlight on, that you're going to be interested in see how they do I think, for the most part, it is inspiring in general, on the women's side, how many women were formed from.

Chris Chavez:

So, for reference, they changed the Olympic trials qualifying standard, you know, for this go around within the last you know, four years, where the former standard used to be 245. And what happened in Atlanta was there were 500 plus women, you know, who hit that qualifying standard. So, and there was a stark difference between the women's qualifying standard and the men's one. The men's field was the qualifying standard is 219 and there were only like 200 guys, I think, in that field. Um, and so it was kind of evident that like we need to move the goalpost a little bit for for the women and make this one a little bit tougher. So they moved it to 237, which was, you know, that's a big jump from 245.

Chris Chavez:

And I think it, you know, definitely hurt some people's feelings. You know for sure that like hey, oh man, like I'm not going to, I don't have that Like after running 244, whatever it might have been, to qualify for 2020. But at the same time, there were a ton of women who were just like you know what, I'm up for the challenge Like 245 to 237, that's a big jump, but I've got the time I've, you know, can put in the training. I did it once, let's do it again, and we've seen just so many people chasing after the mark that, uh, and you know a lot of women got it, um, so I think we're we're more, I think it's closer to now to 250, maybe a little bit less than that on both sides, um, which is sort of like what the Olympic marathon trials, I think, should feel like it is the race to determine the U S Olympic team, um, and whereas, like, we have other races, like Boston, where you know that there is qualifying marks and there's an honor in hitting that time and going there and, and you know, making that like your goal.

Chris Chavez:

So the marathon trials has always felt like the citizen runners, like Olympics, where sort of like it it's, it's, it's a little, it's higher up than Boston, not quite the Olympics and so there will be some women who hit that standard and maybe they did it last minute at the California international marathon in December, and that's not a whole ton of time to train for another marathon this time around. They know they're not going to make the team but they're going to make the most of that moment. So I looked to that sort of crowd for like inspiration, for like all right, yeah, you know you can raise the bar, but they're going to meet those expectations, yeah, and I think I was really cool in Atlanta.

Carissa Galloway:

I think maybe we had two women that were pregnant, yeah, had qualified, and then, you know, running pregnant, which was just really cool to see, and there are let's be generous 20 people that have a chance to make this team. For the rest of them, on the men's and women's side, this is their Olympics. This is the thing they're going to tell everybody about and, as John and I always do, we want to celebrate every single person. Now you guys, the city's team, will be down in Orlando. Do you have anything cool going on? What are you explaining?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, so we're actually we partnered with Hoka for the weekend in Orlando and so we're going to have a bunch of events. I believe it's 151 East Washington street, that might be it. That is where we're going to be posted up. We are going to have the city's cafe, so a little pop up coffee shop. We're going to be handing up coffee, ollie pop, some Jenny's ice cream to people.

Chris Chavez:

We're going to do a group run, I think Friday, the second at 5pm out of that space, and we're going to just, you know, run easy miles and then afterwards we're going to do our final prediction show, where we give our final predictions out, based off, maybe some of the last minute conversations we had at the press conference, who we saw on the shakeout run that looked good to us, or anything like that, and so we're super excited for that, because you know again, like we love hanging out with other people who are as passionate about it, and so you know, I think there's going to be tons of people who are there for their loved ones and their family members are competing in the race and so they might have some extra time to kill and they want to run on the course or around it, so we'll be there for them.

Chris Chavez:

So I'm stoked to get down to Orlando. So we'll have all that going from Thursday through Sunday. On Sunday we'll be doing a little alternate watch party on YouTube where, on the City of Mag YouTube channel, me and the City of Mag team will be sitting on couches from the Hoka space with our own laptops on our on our laps and just kind of watching splits and watching the broadcast, giving our instant reactions and giving people updates on some other people. So we love providing that to people at major marathons. We've done it for Chicago and New York, and so the reception's that's been amazing and so we're going to be doing that. So you can watch me lose my mind in real time. As you know, someone makes a big move or if a favorite falls in the middle of the race, so that makes it exciting for sure.

Carissa Galloway:

Well, if I don't have a meeting, I'm going to come to that take out run. We'll be down there, so I'll drag everybody. I won't drag John, but John is a one time five K finisher who, as we alluded to, obsessed with the New York City marathon, and I know that is a marathon close to your heart. Do you have any like a little insight? I just need one nugget you can tell him to like hold him over until the next podcast where someone says New York and he, like jumps all over them and wants to know everything. So anything, any little New York City nugget, and can I?

John Pelkey:

qualify that? Can I qualify that by saying I grew up in the Washington DC area, spent a lot of time going to New York. I was a theater actor, never had a theater career in New York and I love New York and just the, the largeness of the city and the idea that someone can put a marathon on there, all of the boroughs, everything that comes into that. As a guy who works a lot of events, running events and other events I'm just obsessed with that, with them being able to pull off this world class event and even all the hurdles you have to leap to put on any event in New York.

Carissa Galloway:

And the major irony is that John and I will never be there because we have a run Disney race the same weekend so like there's maybe like one year every, like seven to eight years. Not that John's going to come and run, but he could just come and be like a creepy guy on the side.

John Pelkey:

I actually had somebody who works it who was like hey, well, you know, you're a race announcer, you know, sometimes are you available.

Chris Chavez:

I don't like I'm never available on that weekend and and and Disney pays me more it is this grandiose thing and it's so impressive, just like all the single logistics, I mean, I guess it's. It's so extra Like when it comes to just like getting even to the starting line. Like I have to leave my apartment at 4am, get on a ferry or bus by five and then once you get to Staten Island, like you're just hanging out there and you're looking at all these people laying on cardboard boxes and all bundled up in blankets Really interesting thing to start your day and then eventually you have to get moving and you get on the bridge and cannon goes off. New York, new York by Frank Sinatra starts playing and you're off and running.

Chris Chavez:

I guess the one interesting thing to me that I learned about not that long ago from running it that it may not be as commonly well known is that you can get to apparently get disqualified from the race for peeing off the Verrazano Bridge, because the race starts on the Verrazano and at that point, like you've been in your starting chorale for a bit, you have to use the restroom, potentially if there was a too long of a line for the porta potties, but the race is about to start.

Chris Chavez:

That I like. I've run the Chicago marathon a couple of times where, like in that first mile, you're under like an, there's an underpass and you're there's this wall, and apparently you just watch all these guys just peeing on the side before carrying on with the rest of their race. And apparently I may be New York Roadrunners, or the NYPD, or whoever might be, doesn't want that to happen at the New York City Marathon, especially because you start on a bridge, peeing off of the Verrazano Bridge. Bold choice could get you disqualified from the race. I don't know how they would figure out that it was you and that, like I'd line up a bib number of sorts, but that was what I heard. I don't know 100%, sure if it's, if it's a fact, but I, you know, will follow the rules, not pee off the Verrazano Bridge.

John Pelkey:

I like to think there are urination marshals whose job it is to prevent urination. I believe the Verrazano and Arrows Bridge was at one time may still be the longest suspension bridge in the world, so I could see why it might be a bucket list for somebody to do that, but we're going to go with urination marshals. I'm keeping from doing that, thank you. That is among many things that I question about it. You know, does somebody run into a restaurant to use the restroom if they have to at some point? Just so many things come to my mind when I think about how, just walking through New York and what, what you know, thousands of runners running through there, it always this is take nothing away from Boston because it is, you know, the most recognized, but the visuals from the New York City Marathon are astonishing.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, no, that's Start Line Bridge and the photos that you know people capture from there are phenomenal. Yeah, and my other thing too that's super windy on that thing, like I don't know how that would work.

Carissa Galloway:

That is true. I love that. We for years at Disney we had a director, by the way, we were there in 2014. It seems we made a big impact on you when you ran Disney, but we had a director that put animal sounds in the woods at the start to discourage men from going in there, so they'd be like a little bit scared. I asked people a lot this question about New York. Maybe I do like it as well. Do you get like a cool bus to the start now? Have you elevated to cool bus status? We asked space cadet that and she said she did, because the Today Show. Are you okay? You can tell us you can like wink.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, I was. This year. I did get VIP, so I was on the VIP bus and then there was a tent that I got to hang out in, and so it's funny because, you see your ears, I'm just sitting there and I'm looking around and I see these famous Peloton instructors and I think there was a couple of actors in there as well and I'm like I'm just a running podcaster. What am I doing here?

John Pelkey:

You belong. You belong, chris, you belong.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, all right, we have had a great time chatting with you. We have some closing questions that we asked everybody, so this might be hard to answer given the breadth of everything you have experienced. But what is the most inspiring moment you've seen on the run, whether at a finish, whether someone training for something, whether a story you heard at one of your interviews? I'm going to talk a little bit so you can think about it. What would you say?

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, no, this is a tough one.

Chris Chavez:

I mean, I guess, like just after this New York City marathon, I was scrolling through Instagram and there were these two guys who ran the marathon with a friend of theirs, singlet, who had just recently, I think, passed away and his dream was to run the New York City marathon.

Chris Chavez:

And they ran the whole race, just kind of like holding the Singlet up with the bib. And yeah, I mean, there's videos of the two guys embracing at the finish line and that was super moving. I think the kid was in his 20s and so you know, it's things like that that are just like so like it's sad but at the same time inspiring, and I think running does so much of that. I think, like there are many moments where it's sad and but at the same time, you can think about it next time you got to really dig deep or you're looking for that bit of inspiration. But yeah, it's interesting, because I've been to so many races and covered so many track meets or someone falls and gets back up and wins the race, but it's still sort of like just some of those more emotional moments I think would still get me.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And there are, you know million stories in the Naked City. And how many stories are there at a starting line for a New York City marathon or any you know largely attended marathon. All right, we could touch down a little bit of this, but since I know nothing about social media, if people want to follow Sidious, there are several different venues to do that. You mentioned the YouTube channel. I know there's TikTok. Let people know where they can go to follow you guys.

Chris Chavez:

Yeah, so Sidious Mag. We're at Sidious Mag it's CITI, us MAG on Instagram, twitter, reds, youtube. Sidiousmagcom is where we try and house all of our best content, so there's articles on there, there's videos, there's interviews, podcasts, links to our newsletter. The Lab Count newsletter is one of my favorites that Kyle puts together every Wednesday, and so, yeah, the mission is always try and make it as easy as possible for people to follow track and field, and so if you want to get into it ahead of the Paris Olympics, sidious is the place for it.

Carissa Galloway:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Chris, for taking this time. I know it is a busy time for you guys stepping for Orlando. Congratulations once again for the Sidious Mag 25912 Marathon.

Chris Chavez:

Thanks so much, Chris, and thanks John.

Carissa Galloway:

All right, athletes, here's the drill Time to shape up your diet. Carissa, give them the goods. All right, john. I just want to talk more about potatoes. I can't stop, won't stop.

John Pelkey:

I always want to talk about potatoes.

Carissa Galloway:

But we're not talking about sweet potatoes. Sorry, sweet potatoes. Maybe we'll get to them on another podcast, but we teased a little bit in our Disneyland recap episode about why potatoes are good for runners. But I really want to break down four reasons why most of you are like man. You don't need to sell me on potatoes. But let's tell you on potatoes. First of all, this isn't the reason that I wrote they're affordable, right? Not?

John Pelkey:

always the case when you're at the market these days.

Carissa Galloway:

But yes, I think they're like cheaper than an apple.

John Pelkey:

I feel like I think you're right.

Carissa Galloway:

A hashkai potatoes cheaper than an apple.

John Pelkey:

We need marketing dollars for this people. Come on potatoes, we're the great. Idaho potato people to sponsor us.

Carissa Galloway:

Four reasons. Potatoes are great for runners Energy boots. They are rich in these complex carbohydrates and that really gives you a steady release of energy, making them a great source of fuel for athletes to sustain their performance. So if you're thinking, western loves the Olive Garden, pre-race, the breadsticks, good potatoes better. Also, potassium we know the benefits of it for runners. It's crucial for maintaining proper muscle function and preventing cramps. So the potatoes are going to be good for that Great post-recovery. And they've got essential vitamins and minerals. So vitamin C, which helps support the immune system, iron, magnesium. All of that supports your muscle function. And then they actually are great for recovery. So if you can finish up, let's not shake a stick at Wendy's. They've got great baked potatoes If you need a quick. You know you've gone for a long run and you're driving home Swing by Wendy's, also accepting Wendy's sponsorships. That's going to help replenish your glycogen stores and muscle faster recovery, intense exercise, and I mean I'm impressed that Wendy still has the baked potatoes. John, if we think about the arc of fast food, I'm impressed.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, absolutely, and you know I don't eat a lot of fast food. But I will dive into Wendy's for a potato and I appreciate that they have them, because generally the healthier options kind of go along the wayside. But kudos to Wendy's Dave Thomas' daughter Wendy, who is named after University of Florida graduate. Just point that out there you go.

Carissa Galloway:

My grandpa my granddad, as we called him loved the Wendy's baked potatoes. I have a fondness for them. If you have a fondness for potatoes or shaping up your diet and your nutrition, this year we have a 12-week course called Healthier you. You can follow that, you can join and you can use the code podcast to save $150,. Get on the potato bandwagon and kind of overhaul your diet to feel your best. Athletes, listen up. It's mail call time. An announcer free present.

John Pelkey:

All right. Thank you, Sarge. Today's question comes from KSRO48, who both of you and I agree, Karissa, sounds more like an MI6 name than an Instagram handle. Here's the question who were the two women performers at the mile 21 hill? They were amazing.

Carissa Galloway:

And John. So before we did this, you were like you know the answer to this.

Chris Chavez:

And.

Carissa Galloway:

I like pause. You know the answer to this.

Chris Chavez:

Oh, okay, you know in all, honesty, all right.

John Pelkey:

In all honesty, I thought this question was referring to something else. I do know those two.

Carissa Galloway:

Yes, I don't want to say anything, because I wanted you to have this realization here.

John Pelkey:

The John's a moron. You want to have the John as an idiot? Yes, those two performers were formerly citizens of Hollywood and one of them was my lovely and more talented wife, jody, and the other was a compatriot of hers. I don't know if you should say her name on the on the pod, you don't need to say her name.

Carissa Galloway:

I don't know, I don't know, chamomile, what's that. Chamomile, I don't know.

John Pelkey:

Let's just stay away from any case that anybody has an issue with it. But anyway, yeah, they were terrific and you will probably see them, or some combination of them, depending on where they are. For, princess, those performers out there just to give a shout out, because there are a lot of different places where they're performers on the course I want to give a shout out to those are. Those are all members of the and I should. I should say it's our friend, Angie, who was with Jody now and, like Angie would be upset if I didn't say it, but those are generally Disney performers from a lot of different locations. I know the people were there from the Adventurers Club, but the mile 21 ladies were Jody and Angie. They had a great time. They wanted to shout out to all the runners and it's very fun because you know again, we see the start line and then we're helicoptered in our spacious, run Disney helicopter to the finish line, which is odd because it's really only about a half mile away, but we get a helicopter.

Carissa Galloway:

It's not even that far.

John Pelkey:

It's probably.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, I don't know how far. I don't know how far. I would be interested to know how far that is, but it's fun to hear from those folks are out there at mile 21 what they're seeing and the people they remember. And it's amazing how many people they recognize that we've recognized somewhere because of their costumes or a sign that they have that you know, pointing out what they're doing. So, yeah, shout out to all the performers on the coast on the course, particularly to Jody and Angie who were at mile 21 and were fabulous and heartbreak.

Carissa Galloway:

Thank you for remembering what your wife did. I know it was several weeks ago, but I just you know thank you, it's okay, it was good, it was fun, it was a great question, so thanks for it. You created a nice moment.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, for me. For a moment I thought, are they talking about Disneyland? And I was like, no, that was a half. There was not a 21 mile. What am I thinking? What's happening here?

Carissa Galloway:

so you know you know an old man who's easily confused. Well, thank you guys for the questions. We love answering them, they bring us great joy and it's better than the ones that we make up sometimes, which we've only done, like once. So keep sending in your question.

John Pelkey:

Yes, and once again we've seen some amazing stories come across the finish line for the first two weeks of 2024 at run Disney, as we get closer to our third event of the season. If you want to share your story on three two, one go, we want to hear from you email your story to three two, one go podcast. That's one word at gmailcom and you may hear it on a future episode and it may confuse John, which I think is something to shoot for.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, but tell us your stories. We want to tell them because it keeps people inspired and make sure you are tuning into those us olympic marathon team trials. I will be on stage with Kerry Tolson, dj. Dj will be on stage with me to at the finish, so we will be celebrating those athletes bringing them in. We hope to see you there and after that.

John Pelkey:

Three, two, one go.

Podfest, Football, and Disappointing Playoff Games
Dubai, Super Bowl, Usher, Disney Accident
Celebrating a Sub-3 Marathon Achievement
Excitement and Education in Track and Field
Group Runs and Athlete Interviews
Track Coverage and Olympic Dreams
Qualifying Process for Olympic Marathon Trials
Injury Setbacks and Olympic Aspirations
Human Interest and Marathon Events
Potatoes' Health Benefits for Emotional Runners
Highlights From Run Disney 2024