Recently in Interviews Category

Tom Grilk, Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association, Meb Keflezighi, Jim Gallagher, Chief Administrative Officer, John Hancock, photo by

Jim Gallagher is the Chief Administrative Officer of John Hancock Financial Services. John Hancock has been the partner and sponsor of the Boston Marathon and the BAA since 1986. 

In 1986, I went to a press conference featuring David D'Alessandro, then CEO of John Hancock. D'Alessandro who was a PR person's nightmare and a journalist dream, was eminently quotable. He could play chicken, so to speak, capturing the interest of media, and then provide them a captivating quote, while staying within the framework of a corporate public relations policy. Case in point: in 1986 Mr. D'Alessandro said, " for three million dollars, I own the city of Boston for one day a year." I asked him to repeat it, wanting to get the quote just right. 

In the thirty years that John Hancock Financial Services has been title sponsor of the Boston Marathon, they have provided a model for other companies on how to take a sport that was mostly amateur and bring it, kicking and still screaming, into the world of sports entertainment. 

I was fortunate enough to get five minutes with Mr. Gallagher and ask him a few questions on brand marketing and John Hancock's relationship with the BAA and Boston Marathon...
This press conference took place on the Friday before the marathon, April 17, 2015. The presser was run by Marc Davis, and Chris O'Hare, Morgan Uceny of the BAA Mile, and Ben True and Molly Huddle  for the 5k. A fun, light presser, this is the way press conferences need to be. 

Enjoy the interview. 

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Patrick Makau sets WR in September 2011 at Berlin, photo by

Patrick Makau is a former world record holder in the marathon. He is also one of the toughest marathoners of all times. 

In this film, developed by adidas partners Vector, Patrick Makau gives you an intimate view of his life, his focus on running a great marathon and his country. 

What do we learn? A brilliant runner, with a wonderful talent, who wants that next big race. For that, and for Patrick Makau, our sport is a better place. 

Nic Arcianaga, photo by

Nic Arcianaga is one of our most promising marathoners. As a brand ambassador for Under Armour, Nic wants to continue to run well in Boston and NYC. He gets that UA is using his image to promote the brand and Nic, as other athletes would react, wants to do well. 

This interview was done on Friday at the BAA press conference. Special thanks to Nic Arcianaga, and Under Armour. 

Nic Arcianaga could do well on Monday as the weather looks pretty strange: rain, big winds, should slow down the first half. 

Ben True setting AR for 5k, photo by

Ben True just set the AR at the BAA 5k with his 13:22! The Shoe Addicts and RunBlogRun interviewed a thoughtful Ben True the day before the race, at the BAA 5k and One Mile presser. 

Ben True is a 13:02 5000m guy who can run 12:55. He is in a quandary: should he run the 5000m or 10,000m at Payton Jordan. I think he is in 27:15-20 shape for 10,000m. 

Ben True is training on his own, an adjustment when his buddy, Sam Chelanga moved to Coach Li. But, he looked great and his interview showed some confidence. 

The BAA 5k should give him some confidence as he looks to Payton Jordan the first weekend of May. 

Lisa Nemec, Prague Half, photo by

I watched Lisa Nemec take fourth in the European Championships marathon last August. She was quite impressive as she ran on the five laps of a circuit in Zurich that had a god awful hill that was well covered by European television. 

Lisa Nemec was interviewed by this writer on Friday at the Boston press conferences. Watch for Nemec to make the top ten in Boston, in a race that will require strength and focus. Nemec is one tough runner. 

Zersenay Tadese, photo by

So, I asked Cathal Dennehy to write about some of the stories that might not be considered an obvious feature. Zersenay Tadese is one of those fine athletes at Boston who possesses much talent, but who, has not been fortunate with Lady Luck. 

Will it happen on Monday, April 20, 2015? 

Molly Huddle, March 15, 2015, United NYC Half, photo by

Molly Huddle is the American record holder in the 5,000 meters. She first set the AR in 2010, and broke in once again in July 2014 at the Herculis GP, while holding off Shannon Rowbury near the finish.  

Molly Huddle's strength is her tenacity and her, well, strength. Huddle is charming in an interview. She is also a ferocious competitor, who will probe and test, probe and test, and then, kick her way to victory. 

This interview was done on Friday, April 17, after the BAA 5k press conference. Special thanks to the Shoe Addicts for shooting and producing this video and to Molly Huddle, one of our favorite athletes. 

Molly Huddle will be defending her title at the BAA 5k on Saturday morning, April 18. Her next race after that will the the Pre Classic 5,000 meters. 

Lelisa Desisa, Boston 2013 Marathon, photo by

Sabrina Yohannes wrote this piece on Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon winner.  Desisa had a rough 2014, and told Sabrina that he is ready to race! 
On April 3, Shalane Flanagan battled Gelete Burka for 24.5 of the 25 laps of the 400 meter track at Stanford University. Burka defeated Flanagan in the 10,000m race, but Flanagan was chipper and relaxed within five to ten minutes of her race finish. 

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Shalane Flanagan, 2014 Boston marathon, photo by

Shalane Flanagan had run a 10,000m in 31:09, a very fast time, on a day where she was quite tired. 

The interview that follows was Shalane Flanagan chatting about the upcoming Boston marathon this weekend. 

Mark my word, Shalane Flanagan is her to race, and she wants to improve her time, but most importantly, Flanagan wants the winner's wreath in Boston. 

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