650. Run Your Way with Nikki Hiltz


“I’m really confident in myself and I believe I can do it. But it’s not gonna be easy. That’s why I love this sport. I love racing.”

What a treat to get to catch up with fan-favorite Nikki Hiltz in the middle of their first-ever European racing circuit and ongoing hot streak. We talked the day before Nikki made their Diamond League debut at a meet in Oslo. (In case you missed it, Nikki finished fourth in the mile, running 4:18, a personal best!) In this conversation, Nikki talks about what’s fueling their racing these days — including how they stay mentally strong when feeling physically terrible during a race. Nikki is a lululemon-sponsored professional athlete who identifies as transgender nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. Nikki also talks about what Pride Month means to them, what it’s like coaching girlfriend Emma Gee, and so much more.

SPONSOR: New Balance. Click here to shop New Balance’s latest releases for the season. (The SuperComp Trainer is my favorite shoe!)

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Why it’s a big deal for Nikki to be racing in Europe for the first time (2:00)
  • On being on a hot streak (6:10)
  • How Nikki handles racing when it all feels terrible (8:15)
  • Broadcasts, pronouns, and how it all affects Nikki’s racing (10:20)
  • On LGBTQ+ representation in professional running (16:00)
  • What Pride Month means to Nikki (19:00)
  • What Nikki’s partnership is like with lululemon, one year into their sponsorship — and which shoes Nikki is racing in these days (24:30)
  • Nikki’s decision to donate their prize money at the USATF Road Mile Championships to the Iowa Trans Mutual Aid Fund (32:00)
  • What it’s been like coaching girlfriend Emma Gee in the steeplechase (35:00)
  • How Nikki is feeling about the 1500m talent pool in the U.S. right now (38:15)
  • What does it mean to run the Nikki Hiltz way? (42:20)

For more, check out:

Nikki Hiltz, lululemon Athlete, May 2022

Love on the Run with Nikki Hiltz & Emma Gee, February 2022

The Latest From Nikki Hiltz, October 2020

Catching Up With Nikki Hiltz, November 2019

LIVE at RunnerCon with Nikki Hiltz & Allie Ostrander, September 2019

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