547. Emma Bates, Team USA Marathoner


“That’s what I want — that’s the only thing that drives me as much as it does. I just want to inspire the next generation. And I feel like we did that. You would’ve sworn we won the entire race. You would’ve sworn we swept the podium! But, you know, fifth, seventh, eighth, and for people to be that proud and excited for us? It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The World Athletics Championships conversations continue! Last week, we heard from Team USA’s Keira D’Amato, and today, fellow Team USA marathoner Emma Bates is up! Emma says the World Athletics Championships marathon was the most fun she has ever had running a race, and in this episode, she talks about why it tops her list. Emma finished seventh (in the world!) in that race, running 2:23:18 and taking more than a minute off her personal best time. And here, we’re breaking it all down. Emma talks about getting Covid in December, and talks about how that impacted and derailed her training. She talks about the comeback, about how she was feeling heading into the biggest race of her life, and about the pre-race pep talk from her coach, Joe Bosshard. Plus, all about the race itself: the party in the hotel lobby at 3 AM, the quiet bus ride to the start, the questionable warm-up routine, and the unexpected offer from teammate Sara Hall. Emma talks about how she stayed tough when her legs started to hurt, she explains what the crowds felt like along the way, and she breaks down that magical finish line moment. (Also, a LOL-worthy story about Ryan Hall and…Emma’s urine.)


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How Emma recovers from a race like World Championships (2:50)
  • What it was like getting Covid in December, and how it derailed Emma’s training (6:00)
  • How Emma found out she made Team USA (10:40)
  • How Emma celebrated her 30th birthday before leaving for Eugene (16:10)
  • Red vs. white: How Emma decided which Team USA kit to wear for the marathon (18:00)
  • What race morning was like (19:50)
  • How the race played out (29:00)
  • What the crowds and fans were like along the course (34:00)
  • When it started to hurt (36:45)
  • That finish line feeling (42:00)
  • Emma’s post-race drug testing story (48:50)
  • All about Emma’s Instagram race recaps (54:45)
  • How Emma spent the rest of her time in Eugene (59:40)
  • Emma’s advice to fellow marathoners (1:03:30)

For more, check out:

Emma Bates on Episode 527 of the Ali on the Run Show

Emma Bates on Episode 490 of the Ali on the Run Show

Emma Bates on Episode 444 of the Ali on the Run Show

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