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We kick off 2018 on the CITIUS MAG Podcast by chatting at length with two-time Olympian and three-time NCAA champion Andrew Wheating. He announced his retirement from professional running on Thursday afternoon with a letter to professional running. We caught up on Friday morning for a long conversation looking back at his career and what comes next for him.
We discuss Wheating’s magical 2010 season, where he ran 3:30.90 at the Monaco Diamond League. (There’s some good first-person recounting of that race.) The time now ranks as the fifth-fastest by an American of all-time. But we take a look at some of the runners that have run that fast and what happened afterward in their career. Running 3:30 is no joke but does it take a toll on the future?
“I remember telling a friend of mine to respect what you’ve run because it may not happen again,” Wheating says. “To take it for granted, you can really miss out on opportunity. Keep that open-minded spirit. 3:30 is not something to joke about and I kept thinking ‘Eh, it can be something that I can do forever.’ Once you turn it into that, it starts to get a little harder and disappointment starts to creep in. I’m not quite sure why it never happened again. These things just happen. It’s just a day I’ll never forget.”
Of course we discuss the NCAA 1,500 meter sweep and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.
We’ll break out a few more quotes from Wheating in the coming days but that was one that really stood out.
Among the other topics discussed on the podcast:
– Wheating’s relationship with Vin Lananna and how it changed over time
– What it’s like for him to re-watch the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials 800m race and what he prefers instead. (Recommended read: Kevin Sully’s 2008 oral history on that race)
– An attempt to fake a rivalry between him and Matt Centrowitz
– The hardest workout that he’s ever run before that 3:30 in Monaco
– Kobe Bryant at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies
– The pressure that comes with a big contract
– Wheating does race commentary on a hypthetical all-time U.S. 1,500m race between him, Matt Centrowitz, Bernard Lagat, Alan Webb, Sydney Maree and Leo Manzano.
– His Mt. Rushmore of Oregon distance runners
Wheating also takes questions from the listeners including a campaign for us to bring back puka shell necklaces. All that and more on the latest episode of The CITIUS MAG Podcast.
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