Molly Huddle, American Record Holder, 5,000 meters, the RBR Interview, by Larry Eder

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Molly Huddle, Brussels 2010, 5,000m AR, photo by

It was mid-August of 2010, on windy walk in London, I believe, that I met Molly Huddle. I had seen her at many events over the years, but, with an introduction from Mark Bossardet, VP of Sports Marketing at Saucony, I met Molly after her race at the AVIVA London meet. She was a little frustrated, knowing that she could run fast, but things just had not been working out. So, she decided to spend another two weeks in Europe to get in a fast 5,000 meters. 

I had noted that Molly Huddle would be a good interview, but left it at that. Less than two weeks later, Molly Huddle, finishing ninth in a very fast 5,000 meters, broke the American record, with her time of 14:44.76. Victah Sailer, of PhotoRun, our key photographer, had gotten pictures of her mid-race, which is what we show above. He also told Molly, as she was standing in line at the bus to take her back to her hotel, that she had, in fact, broken the AR. 

For three years now, her record has held. Shalane Flanagan has come very close to getting the record. As we have said before, an American record or world record is the perfect storm. All must be great: athlete, athlete's mind, athlete's form, athlete's fitness, plus a good competition, and a supportive crowd. All were there for Molly Huddle on August 27, 2010 . 

I have spent time with Molly since then. Specifically, in Daegu, Korea, on her birthday, where I joined her and some friends for a Korean barbeque dinner. With the end of the season that year, she showed us a wry sense of humor. 

I like the picture above. It captures Molly in mid race in her AR race. Remember those races where you ran a personal best. There is always the point, mid-race for some, where you either commit or slowly admit defeat. On this wonderful evening in Brussels, nearly three years ago, Molly Huddle committed, and ran the AR of 14:44:76, gutting it out, in a very fast race.

A few weeks ago, I sent these questions, seventeen in all, to a group of athletes. Molly Huddle was the first to respond. Here is how Molly answered the seventeen questions supplied her. 


Molly Huddle, NCAA Cross country, 2010, 

photo by


RBR, #1: How did you get started in the sport?  

Molly Huddle: I started in junior high track - also my dad ran marathons while I was young and I always thought he was cool!


Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan, USA XC, 2010, 

photo by

RBR, # 2. What was your high school experience in sports like? 

Molly Huddle: I did a variety of sports including basketball, soccer, track and one season of cross country. I wasn't meant to be a baller and basically just didn't get tired easily so running won out in the end. 


Molly Huddle, 2010 AVIVA London, 

photo by

RBR, # 3. What were your best marks in high school? 

Molly Huddle: I ran 4:46 for the mile and 10: 01 for the 2 mile in high school. (Molly Huddles' 10:01.08 for two miles, set on June 14, 2002, still a high school AR). 


Molly Huddle, Aviva London 2010, 

photo by

RBR, # 4. If you could do anything over in college experience, what would that be? 

Molly Huddle: I would have been a bit smarter about recovering between workouts with easy runs and sleeping more and tried to recognizing injuries before they got worse.


Molly Huddle, 2010 Belgacom Brussels, 

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RBR, # 5. What were differences between high school and college track for you? 

Molly Huddle: I gradually ran more mileage and slightly longer workouts in college, plus some weight lifting . Also although I raced less, the races were deeper and faster than high school. 


Molly Huddle, 2011 Payton Jordan 10,000m, 

photo by

RBR, # 6. What were your biggest experiences in college track? 

Molly Huddle: One of my favorite memories was finishing third as a team at ncaa cross country. Also getting to run the Olympic Trials as a sophomore was really cool!


Molly Huddle, 2011 USA Champs, 5,000m, 

photo by

RBR, #7. How did you go pro? 

Molly Huddle: I signed with my agent Ray Flynn and was fortunate that Saucony sponsored me right out of college.



                       Molly Huddle, 2011 USA Champs, 5,000m, 
photo by

RBR, # 8. What is biggest differences between pro and elite amateur?

Molly Huddle: I would say the expectations are bigger for someone getting paid to run. Although both may train hard, the pro views running as a career as well as a passion. So, there is pressure to perform and maybe, the pro trains and prepares with a little more seriousness and specificity and does more long term planning because of it. 


Molly Huddle, Sara Hall, 2012 USA XC, 

photo by

RBR, # 9. What are your goals for 2013? 

Molly Huddle: To make the world championship team, make the final, finish higher than 10th and run a fast time at some point.


Molly Huddle, 2012 USA XC Press Conference, 


RBR, # 10. If you had a high school track team in front of you, what  main point would you want to get across about our sport? 

Molly Huddle: I'd say that it usually takes a long time to realize your potential in this sport, but even if you don't run as fast as you wanted to there are a lot of experiences to be had, confidence to be gained and doors opened by running at the college level alone so it's worth striving for.


Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan, 2011 USA XC, 

photo by

RBR, # 11. What do you train in, and what do you race in? 

Molly Huddle: I train in Kinvara, race in Endorphin LD.


Molly Huddle, Sara Hall, 2012 USA XC, 

photo by

RBR, # 12. What does a typical day of build up training look like? 

Molly Huddle: Coffee, watch Live with Kelly and Michael, Run or tempo or track workout in am, nap or massage or  Physio in pm then easy shorter run before dinner and maybe lifting or rehab exercises.

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Molly Huddle, 2012 US Olympic Trials, 5,000m, 

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RBR, # 13. What does a typical day of training look like during season? 

Molly Huddle: Similar just no weight lifting and workouts are at night instead of morning.


Molly Huddle, 2012 Nike Pre Classic, 

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RBR, # 14. Your favorite track athlete, past or present? 

Molly Huddle: Always amazed by Deena/Shalane/Kara as they've won medals ! 


Tara Erdmann, Molly Huddle, Amy Hastings, 

5,000m heats, 2012 USA Olympic Trials, 

photo by

RBR, # 15. If you were not doing your event, what other event in  track and field would you do? 

Molly Huddle: I Would love to be able to sprint, especially the 400. Sanya Richards makes it look cool!


Molly Huddle, 2010 AVIVA London, 

photo by

16. What is your favorite event to compete at? 

Molly Huddle: The 5000m - it's what I'm used to.

17. Do you have an inspirational quote? None supplied.

We've supplied one for Molly Huddle. It is from 1960 Olympic great, Herb Elliott: 

"It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete, but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication." 


Molly Huddle, AR, 5,000 meters, 14:44.76, August 27, 2010, 
photo by

Special thanks to Sharon Barbano, VP, Public Relations, Saucony,  and most of all, Molly Huddle, who answered the questions as I gave them to her; with honesty and thoughtfulness. 

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