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Episode Notes

When it comes to the sport of running, every sprint, every breath, and every challenge is a testament to the resilience and spirit of an athlete. Today on the RunnersTribe podcast, I dive into the remarkable journey of a good friend of mine, Will Leer, a former professional American middle-distance star renowned for his dedication and achievements on the track. As a two-time indoor national champion in 2013, a world relays silver medalist in 2014, and a top 8 finisher in the 1500 meters at the World Indoor Championships in 2014, Will’s career epitomizes the relentless pursuit of excellence.

But there’s more to Will than just his accolades. Beyond the track, he has embraced new passions, finding as much joy in the tranquility of nature as in the adrenaline of competition. This conversation isn’t just about running; it’s a deeper exploration of life after the finish line, the pursuit of new challenges, and the enduring spirit that defines a true athlete.

Join us as we uncover the layers of Will Leer’s journey, from the peaks of his racing career to the new adventures that keep the essence of his athletic spirit alive. Lace up for an inspiring episode that goes beyond the track, right here on the RunnersTribe podcast.


In this conversation, Jon Rankin and Will Leer discuss their experiences in running and the state of Track and Field. The conversation covers various topics related to track and field, including athletes’ showmanship and storytelling, standout American athletes, field events, the Prefontaine Classic, and the mental side of running. They also dive into the role of storytelling in sports marketing and the impact of shoe technology on performance. They highlight the importance of creating visibility for athletes and celebrating their achievements. The conversation concludes with a discussion on standout athletes in track and field and the highly anticipated race between Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Josh Kerr.


  • Storytelling plays a crucial role in sports marketing, as it helps create a connection between athletes and fans.
  • The evolution of shoe technology, such as carbon plates, has had a significant impact on running performance.
  • Creating a special experience for athletes, both in terms of product quality and support, can enhance their performance and brand loyalty.
  • The sport of track and field faces challenges in gaining popularity, but social media and athlete-driven content can help generate interest and engagement.
  • Standout athletes like Hobbs Kessler are emerging in the sport, bringing excitement and new storylines to watch. Athletes like Noah Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson bring showmanship and storytelling to the sport of track and field.
  • Field event athletes, such as Ryan Krauser, demonstrate incredible athleticism and dominance in their respective events.
  • The upcoming Prefontaine Classic features exciting matchups, including Jakob Ingebrigtsen vs. Josh Kerr.
  • The mental side of running is crucial, and athletes must find motivation and push through challenges to achieve success.
  • The pursuit of excellence in running and life requires dedication, sacrifice, and a supportive community.


00:00: Introduction and Skiing

00:30: Rediscovering Running and Skiing

04:00: Running as a Social Outlet

05:06: Finding New Passions

07:02: Unfinished Business in Running

08:12: The State of the Sport

09:38: Athletes’ Stories and Social Media

11:32: The Power of Storytelling in Sports Marketing

13:05: The Impact of Shoe Technology

14:31: Making Track and Field Entertaining

16:26: Under Armour’s Focus on Running

20:28: The Challenge of Making Track and Field Popular

22:35: Telling Athletes’ Stories

23:34: The Excitement of Fast Running

25:12: The Evolution of Running Shoes

27:07: Elevating Athletes and Celebrating Their Achievements

29:21: Creating a Special Experience for Runners

31:42: Standout Athletes in Track and Field

34:29: Athletes’ Showmanship and Storytelling

36:24: Standout American Athletes

38:21: Field Events: Shot Put and Discus

39:17: Ryan Krauser’s Dominance in Shot Put

40:15: The Athleticism of Field Event Athletes

41:14: Emerging Stars in Field Events

42:21: Yared Nuguse and His Story

47:12: Prefontaine Classic: Ingebrigtsen vs. Kerr

49:18: Yared Nuguse’s Competitiveness

52:29: The Mental Side of Running

55:08: The Pursuit of Excellence in Running and Life

59:09: Question for the Next Guest


Yared Nuguse – @yaredthegoose

Jakob Ingebrigtsen – @jakobing

Josh Keer –  @joshhkerr

2024 Prefontaine Classic – | @preclassic


Will Leer – @williamleer


Jon Rankin – | @chasejonrankin

Learn More:

RunnersTribe – | @runnerstribe