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617. Cory McGee, Rabbiting 101

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“I’m better when I know that people are counting on me.”

Ever watched a professional track race and wondered why there were certain runners out front controlling the pace and then dropping out (intentionally) around the halfway mark? Pacers — or rabbits — have a very important job on race day, even if it means finishing the event with a “DNF” (Did Not Finish) next to their results. In this conversation, professional New Balance athlete, Olympian, and 1500m specialist Cory McGee returns to the Ali on the Run Show for a Rabbiting 101 lesson. After dealing with both illness and injury at the end of last year, Cory — who lives in Boulder, CO, where she trains with Team Boss — decided to spend her indoor season focusing on helping others achieve their dreams on the track. Today, she explains how pacers get their jobs, whether they are paid positions, and what the rules are for rabbits. (And answers the often-asked question: Can a rabbit go on to win a race?) Plus, she shares what’s on her 2023 racing calendar, how becoming an Olympian changed her life, and how wedding planning is going.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Cory happy today (2:10)
  • Rabbiting 101: What it means to be a pacer in a race (4:10)
  • Cory’s approach to this indoor season, and why she chose to pace vs. race (10:50)
  • How you get hired as a pacer (14:50)
  • How Cory trained and prepared for her pacing duties (17:40)
  • OK, so you’re a pacer: What happens next? (22:25)
  • The rules and expectations of pacing (28:15)
  • What Cory is like before pacing a race (32:00)
  • What Cory says is her favorite part of pacing, and how the rest of Team Boss feels about Cory pacing their races (33:25)
  • Cory’s pacing strategies (40:00)
  • The racing moment that made Cory feel “like a pinball” (42:35)
  • Why Cory doesn’t consider races “breakout races” (48:30)
  • How becoming an Olympian changed Cory’s life (52:15)
  • The rules of rabbit enthusiasm (55:20)
  • Cory shares her 2023 racing plans (1:04:50)
  • Adventures in wedding planning (1:06:35)

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