Saturday, December 26, 2020

Episode 52: Light Emerges from Darkness, and Our 2020 Run-Down

Episode 52 can be heard on most podcast apps, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor!
Mark and Meghan, in Monorail transit with daughter in Disney Running Volunteer Gear

In our last episode of 2020, we look for the light of hope just around the next bend, amidst great suffering and a year of global reckoning with the pandemic… none of us are immune and we all need an outlet. This has given the outdoor/trail and distance running community a unique perspective, if not a bitter-sweet boost. Today, Meghan and Mark discuss the theme of “emerging light from darkness” (winter solstice) across cultural traditions from around the globe, and throughout history, in the first half of the episode. In the second half of the episode, we interview Fr./Brother Anthony Aarons, a Franciscan by training and dedicated distance runner, who hails from Jamaica and applies his unique insight to his job as a chaplain. We ask him about where his drive and wisdom arise from, and to share some of his go-to sources of inspiration when encountering trials. For example, he posts Bob Marley songs at Thanksgiving and had this to say recently in his Advent message (a season of preparation for Christmas): "Advent is here! One of our Advent hymns reminds us: The Lord will come and not be slow, His footsteps cannot err. This is a good message not only for us runners (as) during Advent we want to make sure that our footsteps do not err and that we keep on the right path. Let us not procrastinate..."
Fr. Anthony Aarons, pictured after his most recent Sunday Long Run
At the Running Anthropologist project and in our 2020 recap specifically, we try to take a reflective look at the cultures and peoples representing the diversity of our human experience, and then hone in on running and what these practices mean to us. Many of us have faced ourselves with a more sobering clarity in 2020, forced to slow down and look deeply at all our practices, often isolated from a community of support- we’ve learned much and have much to learn! We begin by considering ancient Egypt and the Nile River valley, and move to practices in the near east, Persia and Jewish practices such as Yalda and Hanukkah. We then examine the role of light festivals in pushing away darkness or leading us to a good cause, such as remarkably similar Laternfests in Germany and China, which arose completely separately from one another. Lastly, we talk about Diwali on the Indian subcontinent, and the role of a guiding light or "the light of the world" coming to join humanity in our Christmas celebrations prevalent in the West.

Diwali Festival of Lights, National Geographic short: 
Hanukkah Festival of Lights, National Geographic short: Franciscan Friars Christmas, Documentary Film with Carols:
While only a tiny fraction of our communal knowledge, we share our “Top of 2020” from Running Anthropologist by category -- Audio Book: "Sacred Economics" by Charles Eisenstein; Print Book: “Epic Runs of the World” by Lonely Planet (again!); App: Insight Timer (world’s largest free meditation app -- search “Lane Holbert” under teachers to find a few of ours produced this year); Races: X-country Marathon, Half Marathon and Ultra (Alafia State Park, Florida), the Publix Atlanta Marathon (Georgia), and the Princess Challenge weekend at Walt Disney World (Meghan). 
Links to all these can be found on our website, we received no sponsorship or advertising credit for anything, just things we liked and we relied upon in 2020. If you have a favorite you'd like to share out that you've found especially helpful, please do so on our Facebook page @RunningAnthropologist, or write a message in the comments here! 
Credit for info sources in the podcast: "The Long Night" by Elizabeth Dias, New York Times Sunday Edition, December 20, 2020 ;  Jewish Virtual Library, "Jewish Holidays: Chanukah", 
Ancient Egyptian Religion,
One of his most-prized moments, Fr. Anthony Meeting current Pope Francis (aside from everyday service as Chaplain of Catholic Charities)

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Episode 51: Beth Evans, On Wheelchair Racing & The Magic of it All!

Episode 51 can be heard on most podcast apps, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor!
Above: Beth arrives at another victory, Disney confetti greeting as she crosses the tape. Beth is from London, it is hard to race a wheelchair around most streets and even harder during Covid. But she has some wins behind her, and some inspiration in sharing the sport with the next generation. In a few short years, she has made a name for herself in the "most magical of racing locations", that of Disney destination races. For her, it is the entire package and gives her a reason to keep training, something to look forward to around the next bend... Speaking of which, there are many bends on a track when one is training for distance events like the marathon and half marathon, which she has been doing the past year.
Beth shares some of her perspectives on why the sport is growing and so important to people with disabilities and rare diseases like her own that prevent her from running or doing most other sports competitively. She tells the story of her own start, and how others encouraged and inspired her, starting with witness the London 2012 Paralympics which inspired me to get my first racing wheelchair. For Beth, the terms "running", "racing" and "wheeling/wheelchair racing" are interchangeable as she connects with and understands the challenges everyone faces in training for and completing a long distance endurance event. One of her greatest hopes is that she'll be able to help spread awareness and open up events for more young racers on wheels, including smaller and regional races that might not have thought it possible. She consults with many back in Britain and appreciates the opportunity to help, even in small ways.
Above: Showing off recent multiple victories at a Run Disney Weekend She also recalls one of her highlights of being medaled at Buckingham Palace in the interview, as she was born and raised in London. At the age of 16 she started experiencing health problems, and 3 years later was diagnosed with the rare condition of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Since she received her first racing chair, she has faced many struggles with training and anxiety around competitions, but has found her niche and now races all over her home country, but mostly participates in "Run Disney" events. In fact, she has now won half marathon titles in 3 different countries and currently has 16 champion titles at Disney alone. A trip down photo lane reveals more medals than can be held up on one neck at a given time! Most of all, she asserts, "I like to share what I have learnt on Instagram at BethsWheels to help new wheelchair racers get in to the sport at an amateur level... and spreading the joy of running at Disney!"
------Outside Buckingham Palace in her home town of London, with other Champs------ Follow her on Instagram @BethsWheels and find out simple ways to support newcomers to the sport! To support us, you can also subscribe, share the episodes you love and like/visit our Facebook page @RunningAnthropologist

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Episode 50: Running Challenges & Multi-Day Relays, featuring Rush Darwish & RRR Team

This episode is available wherever podcasts are heard, including on apps such as Google, Spotify, Anchor and Apple! Click here to Support the Running Refugees Relay
This episode features the Chairman and Co-Founder of The Refugee Life Foundation Rush Darwish (pictured above), who shares with us how and why The Refugee Life Foundation started, and the Running Refugees Relays shortly thereafter to fill a great need. Rush's calling: "he works to help disenfranchised children from war-torn countries gain access to free medical care. Over the years, he has helped to raise over a million dollars for needy children through the formation of various fundraising efforts focused on 5K races and marathons." He is a natural leader for this cause and serves on the Board of Directors of AMVOTE PAC, an organization dedicated to promoting voter registration, voter information and voter empowerment. Rush is an avid runner, marathoner, and Iron Man Triathlon Finisher, and works especially hard to support refugee families. He hopes to expand the relays to be unique events that partner social justice, advocacy and help of our most vulnerable people in the world. Team celebrates just after completing a marathon each, on Nov.4th: From upper left: Mark, Randa, Steffi Vogel, Alex Vernon, Jorge Garcia, Moody Elbarasi and Matt/Eila.
This episode also featured four of the runners on our Relay team, Matt and Eila Buszco who ran/walked their miles in the mountains of Vietnam, where they do grassroots work supporting local farmers markets and independent farmers. They share their experience in Vietnam and why refugees and other people in movement are important to them. Second, Andrew Frey ran both Running Anthropologist's monthlong "5K A DAY" challenge and the final weekend of the Running Refugees Relay, which finished the challenge just before our US elections. Andrew is a british marathoner who came to the US as a Fulbrighter and stayed with his family to be an infectious disease researcher at the University of South Florida. He shares some of his thoughts on the international refugee crisis and why he joined, as well as differences between a traditional marathon and a 262 mile team relay! Finally, Kristy Powell Wynn joins us to talk about her Runners World Running Streak of just over 170 days, shooting to break 200 before 2020. Kristy is an inspiring member of the running community and shares her experiences in several challenges, running from her home town of Atlanta, GA- and why she believes in this particular cause. She offers some words of wisdom for others setting out on long distance challenges! Pictured Below: Kristy (top), Eila and Matt (middle), Andrew Frey (with son Ryker) finishing their miles in the RRR...
The 5k a Day remembrance gave us a chance to honor those who have passed in 2020, as suggetsed by members of our Running Anthropologist community. These included health care workers and teachers who passed from Covid, along with pastors and distaster relief workers, those who serve the elderly and children, as well as those who serve others in addiction counseling/recovery work. Lastly, we included several individuals (representing many) who died for no good reason whatsoever from police violence or racial profiling in the United States. Finally, our final weekend we took up the Running Refugees Relay to finish with a 262 mile journey across Florida. Due to Covid and travel concerns many ran virtually, but about half of us did our miles on the ground in Flordia, and started on the coast in Tampa Bay, Florida- journeying northeast to our other coast near St. Augustine. We are grateful to all who have supported this fantastic cause, and encourage you to learn more at We will post more updates about upcoming teams and relays in the spring on our facebook page @runninganthropologist! Until then, Happy Running!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Episode 49: Running Refugees Relay across Florida

Running Refugees Relay episode is available on most podcast apps, including Google, Spotify, Anchor and Apple! Support the Running Refugees Relay
Over this long weekend which includes All Saints/All Souls and Dia de Los Muertos remembrance, a group of 10 runners are traversing 262 miles across Florida for those who cannot, and to remember those we've lost in 2020- their joy and spirit to share with the world. The Refugee Life Foundation started the Running Refugee Relays to build awareness and support those in difficult life-threatening circumstances across the globe. Our small group ran and walked (some on the ground in Florida and some virtually) from St.Pete to north of St.Augustine, across Ocala National Forest, backcountry roads and coastal beaches! Below: Running Anthropologist host Mark Lane-Holbert kicking off the run on the West Coast of Florida, running between St. Petersburg Beach and Clearwater Beach.
In this episode we feature 4 of those runners: Alex Vernon (a US Immigration Attourney and human/civil rights activist), Moody Elbarasi (an UNESCO Cultural Ambassador and Chef), Steffi Kauss (an immigrant herself from Germany, and in-house distance relay expert!), and Kristy Powell Wynn (an all around amazing runner who eats miles for breakfast, and is including this challenge as part of her running streak of over 160 days in a row!) PICTURED BELOW: 1st- Moody lost in the Florida swampland, 2nd- Alex and his son in front of their Windsor home leaving for some miles, 3rd- Kristy in the middle of the challenge, and 4th- Steffi doing some spooky miles on Halloween Saturday, about half-way point for the team.
In Episode 50 we will also feature some board members from the organization, along with more runners from our team AFTER the challenge is completed to get some 2020 vision in hindsight. Thank you for joining and supporing our cause, please check out the website at and our fundraiser for them at And "especially for all those who are not free to move", share their cause with as many as possible!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

5K A DAY Dedication to Those We've Lost too soon in 2020

Beginning on Sat. Oct.3rd until Nov.3rd we will be running a "5k a day" for 30 days, each one dedicated to the memory of someone we've lost too soon in 2020- would like your help in adding folks and joining us!

 Started by USF Running Club Folks and members of the
Linguistics and Education Department at USF in Tampa, FL

 What? It's a dedicated walk/run of contemplation: part prayer/meditation, part intention of listening to what these individuals' lives offer to teach us, how we might embody change as a running community. 

Creator Mark Lane-Holbert: "I realize this is A VERY SMALL thing, felt we just needed something to grasp onto, to do, during this divergent and traumatic season."

Do you know someone? Below is our list thus far, far too many of our teachers and health care workers who contracted Covid and passed in the line of service, along with a few (representing many) Black Americans who we've lost for no good reason whatsoever. 

Please add ideas of anyone to remember (and why): You can comment here or DM us @runninganthropologist on our Facebook and Instagram, under the "5K A Day" post.

And most importantly, anyone that would like to join us run/walking in any way for any day, you're more than welcome! 
How to complete: Any time, from anywhere, walk or run.  
How to sign up: Just add your name and who you are dedicating that day's 5K to, in comments here or on our Facebook page. If you send us your email, we'll also send you back a virtual bib to print and wear, so you can write something upon it to remind you and others of your dedication.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Episode 48: Music, Pandemic Running & Celtic Culture, featuring Marc Gunn

 Episode 48 is available wherever podcasts are heard, including Anchor, Google, Spotify and Apple Podcast Apps!

Marc Gunn is an acclaimed musician and storyteller, on the cultural rhythm and lore of history and fantasy, and hosts the most popular Irish and Celtic music podcast out there, performs and produces his own fusion music on the autoharp, as well as hosting cultural tour "invasions" of all places Celtic!

In this episode, we are treated to some of his uniquely Irish-American wit and story of how he began running during the 2020 pandemic, and just kept going! Great for runners of all levels to hear, he recounts why getting started can be difficult, but the joy of discovering newly being able to run and run and run, such as in his favorite running film, "The Gods Must be Crazy". He also treats us to a few of his original songs, and his exploration of albums over time, which also explore how the Irish diaspora has influenced folk, rock, pop and even jazz in the United States.


He calls his unique genre "Sci F'Irish music", which fuses his love of science fiction, fantasy, and comedy with his Scots-Irish heritage. In this episode, we feature songs about elves, hobbits, dragons to cats, all of course mixed with some familiar Irish pub tunes. He's topped the charts on iTunes and Amazon and won numerous awards. He tells us about "Selcouth", which means “when everything is strange and different, yet you find it marvelous anyway.” About the Celtic Invasion Vacations he plans and leads: "These are small groups of people who want to not just see famous sites, but to experience their culture, history and legends".

What is Celtic exactly? We get into the diversity of Celtic culture, from Scotland and Wales to las Celtas in Galacia, Spain to Celts in Brittany, France, and of course the roaming global Irish expats, who have plotted little cultural embassies in every corner of the globe through Irish Pubs. Marc is open and enthusiastic towards discussing a wide range of interpretation of Celtic culture and influence, from Renaissance Festivals to SciFi fantasy conventions, which allow us to again have a sense of wonder and imagination in a world that is too often confined by stark borders of "what is really xyz, and what is not". Indeed, much of the history of Ireland is transmuted through song and lore (oral storytelling and written prose), an artistic view of a world that interweaves the spiritual fabric into everyday life, and interpretations of the natural world.

Songs we feature in this episode, in order of appearance:

1- As Long as I'm Flying (Title Track), 2018 -2- Gypsy Rover (How America Saved Irish Music) -3- Name on My Soul (Title Track, Kilted Kings), 2017 -4- Jedi's Dargle (Sci Fi Drinking Songs), 2014 -5- New Basin Canal (How America Saved Irish Music), 2014 -6- Furrigone's Wake (The Cat Lover's Companion: Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers), 2007 -7- Elves (Don't Go Drinking with Hobbits), 2018

Check out his website and podcast , runs/walks or movement in any form to some beautiful and well curated music from a diverse array of global musicians, there are sure to be some fun times, some energetic times, and some downright enthralling stories in his music as well:

You can also find/follow his music on Youtube and Spotify!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Episode 47: The New Civil Rights Movement & Our Relationships, with Jomil Bell

 Episode 47: "The New Civil Rights Movement and Our Relationships" is available on most podcast Apps, including Apple, Google, Spotify and Anchor, starting on Labor Day Sept. 7th 2020!

"Failure happens. At times, things do not go as planned. But, I’ve learned that even failure offers a road to success. I treat every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow beyond my fear; to live courageously and on purpose."- Jomil Bell

Jomil Bell joins us for a special Labor Day edition of the Running Anthropologist, tells about her work of highlighting American stories within the context of "The New Civil Rights Movement". She also reflects on personal movement of the body-mind-spirit, and creating change from within through relationships- with self and others. Jomil is a Dual Certified Life & Relationship supporting others in building healthy relationships, with self and others. By exploring our individual and collective stories, we can learn much more about what motivates us and how we might "move". Jomil comes from a familial line of social rights activists and organizers, and furthermore believes strongly in the power of movement and connectedness to our natural environments, weather that be from run/walking, swimming or biking. In her life coaching, she shares some great examples of victories brought about by nurturing these connections with body movement and building a positive relationship with oneself, and the stories one tells oneself.

We also discuss Relationship Coaching specifically, an effective system of support that allows many to overcome fear, change habits, and achieve personal goals.  We discuss how life coaching, specifically relationship coaching, provides fuel and tools for the holistic healing of social relationships and the systems that shape our lives. She also discusses her most recent project of telling stories of Black Americans through the Griots Podcast., which has had an amazingly introspective and timely take on what is going on in America.

In terms of healthy relationships, Jomil notes that "by reflecting and re-calibrating the internal relationships we have with the systems that socialize us, we can shift our relationship and the paradigm with those systems".

On a more personal level, Jomil is a wife and mom of two vibrant little girls, the creatress of a women's empowerment movement, a poet, the author of a self-coaching workbook, the creator and content curator for The Griots Podcast. For more information about Jomil, and all the work she does in coaching individuals and teams or holding workshops, please visit: 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Episode 46: Mario Mendoza on Faith, Hope and Mountains

 Episode 46 is available on most podcast apps & players, including Google, Apple, Spotify and Anchor!

Coach Mario on an Ultra Championship Trail (left)
& coaching local team in Bend,Oregon (right)

Ultra running mentor and one of few Latino role models to be seen but growing in the long distance & Ultra world, Mario uses this space he occupies for goals much bigger than himself and his will. With typical Mario humility, he sits down with us to talk about a few of his best race experiences, which helped re-define how he sees himself and the world. Born American, but growing up in a Mexican culture with immigrant parents, his passion to be a bridge between the two cultures shines through projects like: The Beautiful Feet Project. We hear about this in the many relationships he is building locally and internationally with young runners; giving all kids he encounters a better understanding of themselves and their true value, a message filled with hope and faith. Runner or not, his vision and message is inspiring for us in 2020. Could the year of setbacks and stagnation be a year of invitation into deeper relationships and reflection on purpose?

Being a "pastor" (leading others in faith) takes many different forms,
seen above speaking and mentoring others "in the race of life".

A little bit about the platform he has earned and where his works of engaging with the mountains and gratefulness have brought him:
Mario Mendoza was awarded the title of
 Ultra Runner of the Year (USTAF and TrailMag) last year in 2019. He is five time USA Trail National Champion, four time USA Trail Runner of the Year, three time top American runner at Trail World Championships, and ranked number 9 Ultra Runner of the Year. He "feels most alive" and connected to God in mountain running, and loves sharing this vision for the world and our connection with all of creation. He also shares how we are missing these connections in our modern society and why they are so important for our development. A runner, a pastor, a speaker, and husband, he smoothly connects the lessons from endurance racing in the mountains to all aspects of our lives, "to the race that every person is running in life".  You can follow him on Instagram @mendozarunner and link to fundraisers such as the Go Fund Me campaign he hosts for youth running camps every year, granting access to many that do not otherwise have it- to engage in nature and receive outstanding guidance in many facets of life.

Beautiful Feet Project motto:  "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news..." -Isaiah 52:7

Possible follow-up? Daily devotionals, to join a community online: Seedbed Daily: Center for Action and Contemplation Daily Meditation:

Dynamic Running Therapy- Free App, or Book (combat anxiety, depression with a companion for movement run/walk therapy)

Guided Running and Recovery Meditations on Insight Timer: or by searching "Running Anthropologist" or "Lane Holbert"

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Episode 45: Eric Eichinger on Eric Liddell: Chariots of Fire & The Final Race

Episode 45 is available on most podcast platforms, including Apple, Anchor, Google and Spotify!

Author Eric Eichinger and his wife Kara, continuing to learn
about and carry the memory of "Eric Liddell" (background)

is the author of The Final Race, a biography about Eric Liddell (remains famed today through the quintessential running film "Chariots of Fire", based on his appearance in the 1924 Olympic Games), but we learn whose most inspirational accomplishments come after the Olympics. These life stories penned by Eichinger echo Liddell's unwavering commitment to his faith and compassion for others whom he loved and served. Eric Eichinger, our guest for today's podcast, also ran competitively: varsity track and field at his alma mater Michigan State University, before also serving in China for several years, like the Scottish Olympic champion Eric Liddell. Also like Liddell, he worked in youth ministry and was drawn to seminary, and finally ordained into the office of the holy ministry (in 2006).  

Eric shares many more parallels with his own life and Liddell's in this 45 minute interview. What was the life of this introverted humble man, the world's fastest individual in his day who inspired millions roughly a century ago? Eric includes some glimpses into important breakthroughs in theology, and hints at some debates that still persist in Christianity today. However, several things are irrefutable: the overall message and continuous legacy of Liddell's life is that of unmerited grace and receiving the gospel message free of any attachments, never "earning" God's love, even amidst pursuit of perfection that marked earlier years, and with which he struggled. Throughout Eric's new book and multiple projects available for exploration at his website, his voice of compassion shines, an affirmation of human dignity, especially for the marginalized; Relationships are the heart of God's living kingdom, and we are made in His image -- to love. 

The story in a nutshell: Olympian, missionary, and pastor Eric Liddell sacrificed comfort, fame & fortune, and ultimately his life to share this message with those in need in China for almost two decades, during tremendous upheaval during depression and World War II, where he was a internment camp minister and resident.

Eric Eichinger currently serves as pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in the Tampa Bay area of Florida where he continues to work on the "Absolute Surrender" project and to transfer his screenplay and book onto the big screen in the near future. Eric lives with his wife, their three children and a feisty dachshund, Doppelbock.

The book "The Final Race: The Incredible World War II Story of the Olympian Who Inspired Chariots of Fire" is available on Amazon, Kindle and Audible (audio book):

Please visit his website for more (or to purchase a signed copy of the book directly):

About Chariots of Fire & Absolute Surrender (exerpts from Eric Eichinger's projects page)

The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and it won four of them... but Chariots of Fire was just the beginning of Eric Liddell’s emotional heart-wrenching story.  We have come to know him as the Olympian who refused to run on Sunday, switching from the 100m race to the 400m and victoriously winning the gold.  He became Scotland’s hero, and his faith was truly inspirational.


Though his Olympic feats were remarkable, arguably the most emotional and inspirational parts of LIddell’s life didn’t take place until after the Olympics.  His family had worked in China as missionaries during the boxer rebellion, and following the 1924 Olympics, Eric returned to North China. He taught Chemistry and organized sports to Chinese boys until being ordained as a minister in 1932.  In 1934, at the age of 32, Eric married Florence Mackenzie, the daughter of Canadian missionaries in Tientsin, China.  They would have three daughters together.


As World War II was heating up in China, the family faced increasing danger throughout the later part of 1930’s, and Eric’s travels had him crossing the Japanese army lines.  Both the Communist and Nationalist forces in China were quite hostile to missionary work at the time.  Following the Japanese invasion of China in 1940, the British government advised citizens to leave. Liddell arranged for his wife and two children (as well as one on the way) to leave for Canada to stay with her parents, and he stayed behind to continue his much-needed work in the villages who were experiencing so much hardship.


LIddell was soon sent by the Japanese to an internment camp, along with 1800 others.  At the camp, he continued his work much like he did in the villages.  It was clear that LIddell was still a leader and an inspiration to those around him.


By 1944, it was obvious that Liddell’s health was fading.  He himself attributed the cause to a nervous breakdown caused by overwork.  What no one knew is that he had a large brain tumor on the left side of his brain.  On February 21st, 1945, Eric Liddell laid back surrounded by friends at the internment camp, and uttered the words “It is surrender” just before passing away.


Absolute Surrender is the story of Eric LIddell after Chariots of Fire.  It is the remarkable journey of an extraordinary man whose race was just the beginning, and whose end was truly... absolute surrender.

Eric's desk, Avid Spartan fan at work!

Please leave a message here on our blogsite, or visit us on Facebook or Instagram! (#RunningAnthropologist)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Episode 44: Inclusion & Independence, with Marko Cheseto

Episode 44 can be found on Apple, Spotify, Anchor and Google and most podcast apps!

Marko Cheseto in training near his home in Florida

Follow Marko on Instagram @marathonmarko

Have you ever met a person who is so incredibly filled with positivity, you know that they cannot fail no matter what is thrown at them?  That is Marko Cheseto in a nutshell, and in this interview he discusses why this comes naturally to him, based upon growing us with challenge as part of every day in rural Kenya. Yes, Marko is a world record holder, a para-athlete and spokesman for social justice, but he is also an abundantly proud father and husband whose naturalized citizenship is spoken of with honor, but who still clings to and supports rural Kenyan villages that he also calls home. Part of his attitude and willingness to engage in "difficult" things is due to his humble community origins, and lessons learned about success coming from hard work, daily progress. Each time he has put in the work required, things happen. This analogy carries later into the episode about the hard work our nation has ahead of uniting and facing age-old problems. Not only was he a collegiate athlete at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, but he used this experience to learn and travel across the United States, soaking in the diverse cultures of the US and appreciating the opportunity. He was a successful collegiate athlete, but his true successes came amidst one of the greatest challenges to his life and running career: losing both of his feet to frostbite after being stranded in the ice while on a run in Alaska, for 56 hours! It was not until 2018 that he found his stride again in competitive running, this time as a dual prosthetic blade runner in the New York Marathon, finishing in an incredible 2:52:33 in his debut marathon. However, 2019 would be come his record-setting year as he finished Boston in 2:42.24 and went on to set the world record on the Chicago Marathon course in 2:37.23.

Marko has a great deal to share with us in terms of racial and social justice, and how we should look at the concept of independence. He recalls that Kenya won its independence as an entire nation in 1963, but the United States where he is currently a citizen might not consider itself to have full independence until all are free. Indeed, one of our founding principles "Out of many, one" (E pluribus unum) can only be true if all people are free and equal within this system of government.  Reflecting on recent events of unspeakable violence and injustice against people of color in the US, he gives us a challenge as well as some simple steps to do "the next right thing". He also has three beautiful children whom he hopes to raise with his wife in an  era when bi-racial children have nothing to fear, and our institutional systems work for them rather than against them. Sometimes, an outsider's perspective can be just what we need to see ourselves more clearly, and it is definitely clear we are better for having Americans like Marko join our ranks to shed light and positivity in a time when so many are lost, depressed and searching for answers. 

Marko continues to surprise and impress organizations, schools and runners across the country where he speaks and runs, especially in his home state of Florida and at recent Run Disney events. From his website, anyone can look into booking him for speaking tours or supporting his charity of building schools in rural areas of Kenya, please check it out! 

Feel free to message/follow us and share your corner of running culture @runninganthropologist on Facebook or Instagram.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Episode 43: Congrats to and Wisdom from GRADS, featuring Katalina Cunningham & Trey Morris

Episode 43 is available on most podcast Apps, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor...

In this episode we take time to listen to the experiences of two recent high school graduates, who are sure to inspire. You will definitely feel both of our guests' passion to serve in their chosen field and goal-setting vision far beyond this Spring semester, and wisdom far beyond their years, which perhaps has carried their positivity and made them such stellar models for peers during this difficult time.  

Katalina Cunningham has taken part in a 3 year preparatory Biomedical program and enrolled as a full time dual enrollment with Winter Park High School earning college credit the last two years. She is also Salutatorian of her high school and has some advice about finding body-mind-spirit balance and engaging in family time & family fitness during isolation. She also shares a few ways that the Class of 2020 are memorable and unique, a defining gift that will be carried with them throughout life. Rather than seeing Covid19 as being denied things, her attitude is much more about abundance, "How can we creatively change and start new traditions?", which perhaps was so at many other high schools and a good practice for all of our institutions. You will definitely feel her passion for the future and desire to serve in this podcast, including a dream to work with Doctors without Borders. We wish her all the best at Rollins College and beyond!  Listen to her Speech on Youtube

Trey Morris (far left) is also looking forward, to a career of service in the US military as an officer.  Due to enter West Point this fall, his fitness and leadership have ultimately led him towards seeking to share his gifts in this way. Having been an excellent high school runner at Berkeley Prep and finished in the top XC runners in the state of Florida, he knows that endurance and goal setting will transfer to other areas of his collegiate and professional life. He also notes the small window of opportunity and magic that is necessary to pull together diverse individuals, and believes that the energy of a team working towards a goal is one that has the potential to apply to many other areas of life, providing motivation and passion. Overall, Trey offers some wisdom to others treading this path behind him, about the importance of hard work and sticking with it, as well as supporting one another in difficult times. Trey has been both his XC and track teams' captain, and says he "had the privilege of spending four years with an incredibly tight team". We wish him luck at the United States Military Academy (USMA), and in all his future service!


Hope this helps and inspires many going through the same!

Please stay in touch... Subscribe, like & leave us a message on our FB/Instagram page @RunningAnthropologist

Friday, May 22, 2020

Episode 42: Outstanding Coaches & Teachers Tribute, featuring CJ Albertson & Adriane Wunderlich

Episode 42 is available on most podcast Apps, including Apple, Google, Anchor and Spotify!

CJ Albertson, nearing US Olympic Trials Marathon finish...

CJ Albertson has a number of accolades in his personal running career, but perhaps the ones he is proudest of are from his home town in Fresno, where he continues to coach or run almost every distance event available. He is Clovis Community College's head Cross Country and Track coach, and in this episode shares his experience transitioning to coaching and teaching- as well as how current pandemic has effected both and young runners, as well as what we can do. His positive attitude and competitiveness shine through, which is how this Clovis Community College track/cross country coach took 7th place in the US Olympic Trials this past February, and earned him a world record for the indoor marathon. He set the indoor marathon record April 13, 2019 in New York, completing 211 laps around the 200-meter track at The Armory's New Balance Track & Field Center in 2 hours 17 minutes 59.4 seconds.

CJ is a tenacious in all he does, including academics. Not only a trainer and coach, he now dons the title of professor, teaching in his field of Health and Science at the community college level. He shares some of the advice he has gathered about maintaining balance as a student athlete, and finding ones fullest potential as a runner. Lastly, we should note that Albertson has been signed over the past weeks by Brooks Running, which will allow him to continue his training as a professional athlete and Olympic hopeful well into the future!

Another amazing engaged teacher/coach, Adriane Wunderlich continually uses her position as an educator to reach out to potential athletes and educate with body-mind-spirit holistically. Adriane attended Indiana State University as an undergrad, where she ran varsity track and cross country, and went on to obtain her MA in Kinesiology & Exercise Science from Indiana State. She was called to move south, and went on to coach at both St. Leo University and Texas A&M University in assistant coaching roles. Currently she is at Tampa Catholic High School, as head Cross country and Track coach for both men's and women's teams, and has been there for the past 3 years. Overall, she explains how experience is the best teacher, and how suffering can be a great teacher, particularly when distance runners push themselves to serve a higher good, team or reflection.

Why so diversely engaged with students? She wanted this to be a part of her legacy and career. Because of this commitment, she returned to school to obtain her masters degree in theology, hoping to make her impact on youth more than just athletics, and be able to use faith as a jumping off point in both her teaching in the classroom and coaching on the field. Adriane shares why this time is especially difficult for some of her runners and the track team she was rebuilding, but also the creative ways in which students are coping. She also talks about the multitude of ways that the high school is honoring seniors and giving them a place to feel the weight of their accomplishments and culmination of the right of passage to college for so many.  

Links shared for young runners to explore teams, colleges and training:

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Recent Articles on Albertson's US Olympic Trials and World Record:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Episode 41: High School Senior and FL State Champ Ethan Geiger

Episode 41 is available on most podcast Apps, including Google, Apple, Spotify and Anchor

Geiger near the finish line, FLRunners Invitational

This episode is the first in our series listening to the experiences of coaches and high school/collegiate runners across the United States, and exploring how the pandemic has affected their lives, as well as lessons learned and encouragement they have garnered during this difficult time, to share with others.

Ethan Geiger (Robinson High School) had a record setting 2019 cross country season, and was set to have another this Spring in the 3200, aiming to break 9:00. However, Covid19 and the early closing of his Senior season after just 5 meets has left many question marks for him and his teammates, and all Senior athletes hoping to transition to a collegiate career this fall across the US. Additionally, due to the recruitment cycle and importance of accomplishment in Junior year of track and field, many high school athletes have been left in limbo as to what their college prospects will be next year.  Geiger shares in this episode what it is like balancing all of these concerns, encouraging fellow students now but yet looking forward to next year at the University of Florida. He tells us about his expectations for running collegiate track and cross country, which he will be a part of at UF.  

His individual cross country state title time was 15:26.35 on the Apalachee Regional Park course.  He was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Florida,and competed and won many other accolades over the past two years; Race of Champions, FSU Pre-State Invitational winner and setting several other course records in the state of Florida.  However, perhaps his best attribute is his hard working attitude and humble approach to leadership, which comes through in this podcast interview.  We wish him and all his fellow students the best of graduations possible!

Links to further information, articles about Geiger:
Have an inspiring student athlete or coach in your life, perhaps a story to share? 
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