The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-450 – Tom Grilk CEO BAA  

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4450.mp3

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


Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-450 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Since we, you and I, have arrived at a milestone of sorts, we’ve got an extra special show for you today.  Somehow I got past the rational screeners of the BAA and got Tom Grilk to do an interview with me.  I had not planned for this to coincide with the announcements around this year’s Boston Marathon, but it did. 

I just happened to be talking with Tom while he was being chased by NPR and all the other real news organizations.  He literally hung up with me and then spoke with NPR.  Apparently there was some kerfuffle around letting people run Boston who had not ‘earned’ the right.  You know, all that typical stuff around Boston. 

Anyhow, like I said before I have been an admirer of Tom from afar for a long time.  He grew up with the local marathon royalty and now gets to hang out with the marathon royalty of the world as the CEO of the BAA.  It’s a good chat.  Tom is a well-spoken, thoughtful guy.  And a runner.

Since we were arriving at a milestone episode I figured I’d put his interview in here. 

In section one I’m going to talk about taking some time off the heal.  In section two I’m going to give you a primer on a business bingo term that is all the rage these days. 

I have had a hilarious couple of weeks since we last talked. 

Remember I said I tweaked my knee?  Yeah, so that’s a real thing.  Haven’t run a step since that fateful Friday night hill workout. 

But it’s ok.  I needed the break. 

Also in these two hilarious weeks was my wife’s birthday and our anniversary.  Always a dangerous time.  Fraught with opportunities to make an ass of myself.  But, this year it was hilarious. 

I came down with some sort of plague.  Not sure what it was.  It might have been psychosomatic.  Maybe stress related?  I took a test for the currently popular plague, and it wasn’t that.

But, here are the hilarious symptoms.  I got a horrible rash over some large swaths of my body.  Had to go to the clinic and get some prednisone.  The fake Dr. at the clinic told me I had scabies – which, although matches the symptoms was not entirely possible given that I’ve been locked in my house for 12 months. 

At the same time I had 3-4 days of horrible gas.  Like drive the humans out of the house gas. Like, painful, have to mute the zoom call every three minutes gas. 

Yes, and this is the set of symptoms that my long-suffering wife had to contend with during our anniversary.

You can’t make this stuff up. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be as funny.

I’m out the other end of it, pun not entirely unintended, but I haven’t done a workout in two weeks, and I find myself oddly humbled and sanguine.    

I also drove my mom down to Foxboro to get her second shot of the vaccine which is a load off everyone’s mind.

Poor Ollie is suffering through this as well as he creeps up on his 2nd birthday.  No runs for him.  I did manage to limp in a walk or two. But he doesn’t like to sit around. 

I’m going to give the knee a full 3 weeks off before I test it.  One of the things I’ve learned over the many years is that coming back to early doesn’t pay. 

Tomorrow I’m going to take my old bike Fuji-san out for a roll.  I’ll work in some strengthening yoga this week.  We’ll see if we can’t get back out on the roads next week. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I think I read that I can claim Irish citizenship because my Grandmother was an Irish citizen.  Not sure what that buys me.  I’ve never been to Ireland and would love to visit.  Put that on the bucket list.

Can you believe that it’s been over a year since I’ve gotten on an airplane?  Holy cow!.  Who knew?  The world ahs changed so much in my lifetime. 

Change is where it’s at.  There’s an old joke that everyone should embrace change, except, of course the people who are telling you to embrace change. Change is great, as long as it’s happening to someone else, right?

It’s a journey.  What I like about talking to Tom is that he’s discovering new things and helping the BAA bring change to the Boston Marathon.  It’s a real skill of management to shepherd something with so much history through positive change. 

If you look at happy people, successful people and admired people they haven’t led calm and peaceful lives with no change.  Just the opposite.  Their lives have been filled with rapid and abrupt change.  How they dealt with, or reacted to, or led through that change is what makes them happy and successful. 

So – my friends, don’t ask for a passive life that rolls down a smooth road from cradle to grave.  Lack of change is not peace.  Lack of change is stasis and ennui.  Give a big hug to the bumpy road of life and smile you way through it.

On with the show.


About Zero

ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action.

Link to my ZERO page: (for Donations)

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.


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Section one – Healing time  -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Tom Grilk – CEO BAA

Tom Grilk

Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association

Tom Grilk is the Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, which annually conducts the B.A.A. Boston Marathon as well as a number of other athletic and community service events.

He is a long time member of the Boston Athletic Association, having served on its Board of Governors since 1990 and as its President (outside Board Chair) from 2003-2010. In 2011 he assumed the role of Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the organization. During his tenure he has worked with the B.A.A. Board and staff to strengthen the B.A.A. as an organization, especially from a managerial perspective. He has also worked with the Board in shaping the B.A.A.’s short and long-term development across all areas of the B.A.A.’s activity: the conduct of athletic events, the operation of community service initiatives, and the training and development of athletes.

He practiced corporate and business law over many years in and around Boston, both with the Boston law firm Hale and Dorr and serving as counsel and general counsel to several well-known companies in the information technology and semiconductor fields, including Digital Equipment Corporation, Teradyne, Inc. and Brooks Automation, Inc. As a lawyer he worked in the fields of securities law, M&A transactions, corporate governance, compliance, dispute resolution, competition law, commercial law and intellectual property. He is a graduate of Cornell University and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School

In addition to his duties as Executive Director, Grilk has had his share of hands-on experience with the Boston Marathon, the B.A.A.’s premier event. He has been the marathon’s finish line announcer since 1979 and is a former competitor, having run a personal best marathon time of 2:49:03 in 1978 and a Boston Marathon personal best of 2:54 that same year.



Section two – Digital Transformation -



Ok my friends digitally transformed through to the end of Episode 4-449 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  No algorithm will ever be able to run a marathon, right?

We set the clocks back! One less hour to get stuff done! 

My old man running group went out this morning for 7 miles.  Frank’s coming back up to speed since having his second hip done.  Tim has decided to just ignore the weird feeling in his knee.  Brian is chugging al long at 2 runs a week.  And I rode my bike alongside them. 

The knee feels better. A previous version of Chris probably would have taken it for a test drive today, but I’m going to give it another week to heal before I test it. 

I’m going to start easing back into things this week.  With the longer days I should be able to get out on Fuji-San, my old road bike a few times and I’ll start working in some long yoga sessions for strength and stability.

Then I’ll spin up the running slowly, or not.  I could use a break.  We’ll see.  

I do have an itch to get out and see some new places and maybe that means run some new races now that the pandemic seems to be waning instead of waxing. 

I took my Mom to get her second vaccine shot but I’m still at the back of the line.  Could I claim over-training as a medical condition? 

I am up to 11 episodes of my new apocalypse story podcast project.  I do appreciate any podcast love you can give it.  I have to figure out a way I can get some more eyeballs on it.  I don’t’ have the time or capital for the marketing it needs!

You can search for it on your favorite pod-catcher as After the Apocalypse. 

Is there anyone who Doesn’t have a podcast these days?  It seems like everyone just paired up to interview each other.  

I got a new product to test out.  It’s called Caffeine Bullet.  The owner sent me some to try.  It’s like a caffeine candy with 100mg of caffeine in each candy.  I haven’t tried them yet.  I do like my caffeine though.  I think these might be a good kick in the ass late in a long run.  The timing is poor with me not currently training, but I’ll let you know when I get to them.

I know I’ve been a bit maudlin recently.  The long pandemic, the cold dark days of winter, my training not going great, my work being a pain in the butt… It all weighs in on top of a guy. 

But it’s not a reason to despair.  It’s a reason to celebrate.  We get to do these things.  My life is filled with health and prosperity.  I’ve got things I want to do.  I’ve got things I get to do. 

You do too.  You may feel like you’re shoveling water, but you get to choose.  You could walk away.  You could buy a van and sell your house.  No one is stopping you. 

You, my friend, whether you believe it or not, are in control of your life. 

I always liked asking Dave MacGilvray what his favorite adventure was.  Because he’ll always say “the next one.”  And he’ll say it with conviction. 

I’ve got a lot of things I want to do.  And I’m doing them. 

You’ve got a lot of things you want to do?  You should just start doing them. 

As a crunchy old New Englander said:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  

But I have promises to keep,  

And miles to go before I sleep,  

And miles to go before I sleep


And I’ll see you out there.

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


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Direct download: epi4450.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 7:37pm EDT





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