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648. Mary Kate Shea, Director of Professional Athletes and Technical Support/Events at the B.A.A.

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“The marathon is so humbling. Anything can happen, and it usually does — even for the best in the world.”

We’re going back to Boston today, with returning Ali on the Run Show guest Mary Kate Shea. The fastest runners in the world call her “MK,” and she’s the director of professional athletes and technical support/events at the Boston Athletic Association. Every year, MK is responsible for bringing more than 300 professional athletes to Boston for races including the Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. 5K, the B.A.A. 10K, and more. And the big question everyone was asking this year: How did she get Eliud Kipchoge to finally come and run the Boston Marathon? In this conversation, MK answers that, and shares her favorite stories and memories from Boston 2023. Plus, she talks about what it was like reading good friend Des Linden’s book, Choosing to Run, and about who’s still on her Boston Marathon wish list. (Listen all the way to the end for a cute Annie cameo!)

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • MK explains what her job entails, and how she’s learned to be so good at it (3:00)
  • How MK got Eliud Kipchoge to come and run the 2023 Boston Marathon (8:35)
  • What it was actually like having Kipchoge in the city of Boston (17:00)
  • How MK made sure every pro athlete felt supported in Boston this year (20:10)
  • What it’s like being at the Boston Marathon finish line with MK (22:50)
  • How MK was able to get eventual winner Hellen Obiri into the 2023 Boston field (26:45)
  • Who’s still on MK’s Boston Marathon wish list? (33:00)
  • MK’s stories from the 2023 start line — including a worm or two (35:40)
  • Life after 25 consecutive Boston Marathons (41:30)
  • MK’s most memorable moment from Boston 2023 (43:35)
  • MK talks about her — and Boston’s — special relationship with Des Linden (48:30)
  • What to expect at the 2023 B.A.A. 10K next weekend (58:15)

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