RunBlogRun Interview with Olympian, Kim Conley, on the journey of a distance runner


Kim Conley is a two time Olympian and an athlete, I believe, on the cusp.

Training under Drew Wartenburg, Kim Conley is an athlete who has truly come a long way. In college at U.C. Davis, Kim Conley was competitive from 800 meters to 5000 meters. Kim was the first woman runner from her college to qualify for the NCAA Divison 1 Outdoor Track & Field Champs. Her amazing last meter victory in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials 5000 meters, where she out leant Julia Lucas, winning by 4 hundredths of a second and making the Olympic A Standard by 2 hundredths! I remember writing in my notebook, "Wow."

What did that tell us about Kim Conley? The ability to focus and keep one's cool at the end of such a stressful race is not a talent everyone possesses. Kim Conley showed her talent then.

Conley_KimFV-NBgames16.jpgKim Conley, photo by

In 2014, in Sacramento, we were on the side of the track watching as Jordan Hasay passed Kim with 200 meters to go in the 10,000 meters. Kim Conley focused, and she took one more run at the victory, sprinting by Jordan Hasay to take the win. Again, a note in my notebook on Kim Conley's skill set.

2016 was a quixotic year for Kim Conley. As it is with many distance talents, success and improvement do not come in straight lines. The 10,000 meters at the Trials was compromised, when Kim lost her shoe. Again, Conley came back in the 5,000 meters and made the team to Rio.

Conley_Kim5k-OlyTr16.jpgKim Conley, photo by

Her 2:41:38 marathon debut, finishing 16th at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon was the end of 2016. In our interview, Kim Conley puts this past year in perspective, as she focuses on London 2017 World Championships. The marathon will be put off for a while as she learns more about the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters.

We wish her much luck. This interview was done on December 13, 2016, at the Hotel Del Coronodo, where Kim Conley was staying to encourage the young runners in the FootLocker Cross Country. Her sponsor, New Balance is the title sponsor of the 2016 FootLocker National Cross Country Championships.

Kim Conley was a very relaxed interview. She speaks well, and she is introspective. I enjoyed the intereview immensely. It is always fascinating for me to sit down, one on one with athletes that I admire and see what makes them tick. Kim Conley is a very special athlete. She has many races and medals to podiums to stand on before she considers her next part of this journey we call life.

Thanks once again to Kim Conley. Thanks for listening to this interview. Thanks to my brother, Brian, who manages RunBlogRun and posts and produces our Soundcloud interviews. Your Athletic Pilgrim is off to another event.

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