The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-423 – Great Stories with Anne Audain - The first female professional runner

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4423.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-423 of the RunRunLive Podcast.   

For those of you who got a new device for podcast listening over the holidays and are exploring new content, welcome to our tribe.  Or, maybe, you’re embarking on a new year wellness campaign and somehow found it to us.  Welcome.  To my old friends welcome to the new year. 

There are 12 years worth of episodes on our website, with the corresponding blog posts,  The site is searchable. There is an index page that lists all the episodes in one place. 

Every year we have a gathering in northern Idaho at the summer solstice at camp Whatafookie if you’d like to join us.  We get naked, paint ourselves blue, take peyote and dance a shamanistic jig to the Earth Goddess.

But, that’s another story. 

Today I’ve got a great interview with Anne Audain.  She’s a native New Zealander who lives it the US now.  She connected to me on FaceBook and when I started reading her bio I was a bit ashamed to have never met her before.  She competed in the 70’s and 80’s at a very high level as part of that great diaspora of New Zealand runners.  She has a great story.  A real hero’s journey.  You are going to love the stories. It’s a great interview. 

If you know someone I should interview let me know.  The rule is - something interesting.  Something you’re curious about.  Something you want to learn more about.  Famous is not a requirement.  I tend to shy away from famous because they are jaded with interviews and give you the pre-recorded schtick.   I I’ve always liked the person-in-the-trenches interviews because they are relatable and applicable to our tribe. 

In section one I’m going to talk about training your dog to run with you – because I have a dog I am currently training and I had multiple people ask me about this. 

In section two we are going to do some tracking in the New England snow. 

Here we are with the first podcast of 2020.  A new year.  A new decade.  You can thank the Romans for this fascination with increments of 10.  It’s not hard to see how they came up with that system based on counting on your fingers. 

But, before the Greeks and Romans counted on their fingers there were other, earlier cultures that counted on their fingers and the knuckles of their fingers to come up with a 12 based system.  That still lingers in our world as dozens and grosses. 

I’ve started training again.  I don’t have anything specific on the calendar yet.  But it feels good to start getting stronger again after taking a break for the holiday season. I put on about 10 pounds but I’m not worried about it. 

It synchs well with the periodicity of my training cycles.  Now, in the beginning of the cycle we focus on strength and aerobic fitness.  There’s no pace work or specific, goal based workouts – so I can carry a couple extra pounds. As long as I feel healthy and eat clean it’s all good and one less thing to stress about. 

I find that the weight will take care of itself as the training intensifies closer to the goal event and it’s counter productive to stress on that too early in a cycle. 

And what are my events and plans?  We’ll just have to save that for the outro. 

But, it’s a new year.  A time of rebirth. 

I usually don’t like to go to deep into my personal business, but this story fits well with the new year theme.  I start a new job next week. I’m excited and apprehensive.  Looking forward to it.  It’s a bit of a change for me.  It’s a bigger company as opposed to the startups I’ve been working with for the past couple decades.  It’s also a step back from management and a step back from direct sales.

I’m quite proud of myself for making this change relatively proactively.  I sat down with myself and asked what do I really want to do right now?  I heard myself, whatever that inner voice is, say, “Right, you’ve got an opportunity to change.  Don’t let your ego or your environment drive the bus.  Make a proactive change because you’re a different person than you were 15 years ago.”

My point is, and I share this with you, because we are all changing all the time regardless of our position, circumstance or maturity. This is part of the journey.  We tend to think in terms of goals this time of year.  What are goals?  Goals are nothing but destinations. 

In this world of change there are no real destinations.  Those goals are only there as waypoints to guide your journey – to keep you from going in circles. 

Instead of goals why not think in terms of virtues this year?  Those things that are the demonstration of you as your best self.

I didn’t put much thought into mine, not because it’s not important, but because to me they came quickly as soon as I asked the question ‘what are the virtues you want to cultivate this year?’  I’m going to focus of three things this year:

  • Gratitude
  • Kindness
  • And Empathy

As I move into the year this will give me the beginner’s mind I need to enable me to work with change. 

So, I ask you, my friends, old and new; What are the virtues you need to cultivate in this new year.  How will those enliven your training, your health, your career and your relationships with others?

Think about that. 

New year, new changes, new you.

On with the show.

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

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Section one – Running with your dog -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Anne Audain

The first female professional runner

Anne Audain was born in New Zealand, adopted as an infant and suffered through her younger years with bone deformities in both her feet. After successful reconstructive bone surgery at age 13, she joined a local athletic club and a running star was born! Through her career Anne set records and pioneered professional running for women. She has since been inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, the USA Running Hall of Fame, and honored with a Member of the British Empire Medal from Queen Elizabeth II of England for her contributions to her sport worldwide.


  • Qualified for Six Olympic Games –1972 to 1992 in every distance from 800m to marathon.
  • Pioneered professionalism for female track and field competitors by accepting prize money at the first professional event in 1981 which resulted in a “temporary” lifetime ban from the sport.
  • Set a World Record for 5000 meters, Auckland, New Zealand 1982.
  • Honored by Queen Elizabeth II of England with a Member of the British Empire award in 1995.
  • Inducted into the Running USA Hall of Fame, 2008.
  • Inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, 2009.
  • Inducted into the RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame, 2014. 
  • Founded the Idaho Women's Celebration 5K (1993) which now has evolved into


  • Born 1955 in Auckland, New Zealand, with severe bone deformities of both feet. Adopted at birth.
  • Did not walk correctly until re-constructive surgery at age 13.
  • Three years later qualified for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the 1500m.
  • Graduated from Auckland Teachers College with honors (1975).
  • Taught at the elementary level for 4 years before arriving in the USA to further her sporting career (March 1981).
  • Won more USA road races (75) than any other male or female runner in the 1980’s.
  • Won Gold (3000m) and Silver (10,000m) medals at the Commonwealth Games – Australia 1982, Scotland 1986.
  • Founded the Anne Audain Charitable Trust (1991) to support “at risk” youth in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Became USA Citizen, 1995.

Section two – Tracks in the Snow –


Well, my friends, you have told some great stories out on your run, and embraced some change, to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-423.   

I wrapped up the year with the Groton Marathon – my own personal made up series of races on the last Sunday in December each year.  We got about 30 people to show up and run various distances.  5 people ran a marathon.  I woke up a bit under the weather and ended up running the first 12, jumping in a support vehicle to chase down some lost marathoners and then running them in for a total of 22ish miles. 

We got good weather and, as far as I know, no one died. 

I’m starting my strength building for a spring race.  Right now I’m out of qualification and don’t know if I’m running Boston.  You might say, “Chris, that must be a bummer!” but, honestly after 22 Bostons I can take it or leave it. 

If I do get a number, I’ll run for charity.  I’ll train hard enough to respect it.  I’d like to say I won’t race it but you’ve all heard that enough times by now!

(Editors Note:  I just received a waiver bib for Boston so the streak continues to 23)

I’d still like to qualify because it bothers me.  Like an itch I can’t scratch. One of the challenges of being an older athlete is that you can’t go all in on as many races.  You really have to pick your spots.  I feel like I don’t recover fast enough to perform at a high level in that 2nd or 3rd race. 

I’ve got my eyes on the Tunnel marathon in Oregon that Eric qualified at last year.  That seems like a great event for a fast race and it’s out in June so I can get plenty of ramp in my training.  I did sign up to pace a 4:05 at the Marthas Vineyard Marathon May 15th, but I’m wondering if that might not be biting off more than I can chew, even at that easy pace, to recover for an A race 30 days later. 

The last thing I was thinking about after talking Dave at the Groton Marathon was organizing a Rim to Rim to Rim run later in the year.  There’s another weather window in the canyon after Labor Day.  I had so much fun  the last time I ran the canyon.  I’d do it in two days.  Down and out the other side, sleep over, then down and out back to the start. 

Each down and out is less than 20 miles, which should be doable. I think it took Teresa and I about 8 hours to do Bright Angel to Phantom Ranch and back.  Anyhow, let me know if that sounds interesting and we’ll set something up. 

I’ve been working with Ollie on his training.  Since I’m in the non-specific base building part of my training I can take him with me and practice recalls and on-leash behavior.  He’s still a maniac but we’re working on it.  It’s teaching me patience.   I’m super grateful to have this little maniac as a companion on this journey. 

My daughter got me a subscription to Master Class.  If you’re not familiar it’s and app where you can take classes from famous people.  I watched a couple sessions of Malcom Gladwell, which was interesting, but more of a Ted Talk than a class.  It’s all talking head video. 

Another one that I am really getting a lot from is called ‘negotiation skills’ with Chris Voss.  He’s a master negotiator.  I’ve read Herb Cohen.  I have some basic negotiation skills training from Harvard and have been in a lot of negotiations.  But this guy is not so much about the negotiation as he is about the human interaction. 

Very interesting examples of using mirroring and tonality and neurolinguistic programming to get people into a helpful state.  It’s more of a “Pick up artist” type skill set than negotiation tactics. 

I’ll let you get on with your life.  Thank you for sharing this endurance journey with me.  If you need anything let me know.  Reach out and say ‘hey’.

We’ve all got a lot to be thankful for in this new decade, this new year.  What ever happens you will handle it with grace and kindness. 

And Ollie and I will see you out there. 

(Outro bumper)

Like I said last time I’m going to close out episodes with music for the foreseeable future.  This week we are starting a series.  There’s a back story that I need to tell you.  You all know my running buddy Frank.  He is the first guy I interviewed in episode 1 and also in episode 100 and also an episode where we talked about his hip resurfacing. 

I’ve been running with Frank for over 20 years.  Frank is a member of a band called the Nays.  They recently released a rock opera about a friend of the band named Brian Scheff. 

So I give you now, over the next 20 shows, “Brian Scheff, the rock opera”.  And I am eternally grateful for all the miles and hours Frank has spent with me listening to my stories and creating stories of our own.

I don’t know if there’s a way to buy this music, but if you’re interested I can find out. 

Cheers, all.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Rachel ->

Coach Jeff ->


Direct download: epi4423.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT





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