Bart Yasso – the Mayor of Running – on a Lifetime of Running Bliss

Bart Yasso is a legend in the running community. And as the “Mayor of Running” and Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World, he’s one of the most recognizable faces in the sport.

Jason enjoying a cold one while listening to Bart’s running stories

 If you don’t yet know Bart, here’s a short list of what he’s been up to over the last 30 years:

  • Competed in more than 1,000 races during his 30+ career at Runner’s World
  • Successfully finished the 56-mile Comrades Marathon, the Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon, and the Badwater Ultramarathon
  • Has run races on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica)
  • Inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions
  • Inventor of the “Yasso 800’s” marathon predictor workout
  • Winner of the 1987 U.S. National Biathlon Long Course Championship
  • 1998 winner of the Smoky Mountain Marathon
  • 2:39 marathon PR (like me!)
  • Has cycled twice across the country by himself with no support

He’s also the author of My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon.

In 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting Bart at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival (recap here) where he shared the running stories that have shaped his life.

In particular, how the Comrades Marathon brought South Africa, a country weighed down by the horror of Apartheid, closer together.

And how his favorite running memory is drinking coffee by the Trevi Fountain with his mom during the Rome Marathon.

More importantly, Bart spoke about the people that make the sport of running so incredible. Meeting other runners is what keeps him going – and he meets a lot of people flying to 45 races every year!

Bart remembers:

Many runners tell me quite simply I have the greatest job in the world. I get to travel to races around the world and meet runners of all abilities. Let me reiterate I get to meet thousands of runners with some amazing stories.

Running has also been a vehicle of introduction to people, places, cultures, and animals. I have run on all seven continents, but it’s not the details of the races I recall it’s the people I meet.

I’ve long believed that the running community is one of the most powerful aspects of being a runner.

Running is how I met most of my best friends. It’s how I met my wife. And I write about it frequently:

And today I’m thrilled to bring Bart on The Strength Running Podcast to talk about his life on the run.

Bart Yasso: “I was wiped out after one mile”

Bart Yasso

Photo courtesy of Matt Frazier

Bart started running in his 20’s to lead a healthier lifestyle. And he told me that that first mile felt like a long way to run…

He went on:

If someone came up to me after that first run 40 years ago and said, ‘You’re going to work at Runner’s World Magazine and run all over the world!,’ I would have told them they were crazy. I was just hoping to run another mile a few days later!

Bart did run that mile. And soon, his running would take him to every continent and dramatically change his life.

Indeed, being a new runner is a thrill. The excitement… the progress… the limitless opportunities.

Since this month we’re focusing on fundamentals that new runners should get right at the very beginning, I’m excited to introduce you to Bart Yasso.

And if you’re new to running, don’t miss our free new runner series here!

You can also subscribe to the show directly on iTunes or Stitcher.

Links & Highlights from the Show:

Thanks to Bart Yasso for spending some time with the Strength Running community. Please send him a note on Twitter or Facebook to thank him for the interview!

And if you enjoy the SR Podcast, please consider leaving an honest review on iTunes. The small effort has a big impact

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