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District Track Club’s Edose Ibadin: Where Your Story Starts Isn’t Where It Ends

“With track, it’s definitely a lot different than your basketball and football. With track, you’re always going to be able to compete against those mid-major schools and Power 5 schools no matter what school you’re at. For example, North Carolina A&T is an HBCU and they’re doing phenomenally well in the NCAA. Seeing that is going to get a lot of kids to want to go to those schools. Seeing some of the alums that came from HBCUs like Kellie Wells or Francena McCorory is going to draw other athletes to HBCUs as well. You can say, ‘Oh if I go to an HBCU and make an Olympic team, I can still achieve my Olympic dream all while still being among the Black community.’ I think conversations like that are being had and a lot of people are considering HBCUs now more than ever. In the track world, it was always kind of popular to go to HBCUs but now it’s more than ever it’s definitely a thing.”

Edose Ibadin a pro runner with the District Track Club in Washington D.C. I decided to get him on the show after he went viral over the weekend with a cool tweet that said: “Dang I really ran 1:44 on Friday. This the same guy who never made an NCAA final. Only made NCAA in the 800 one time. Only had one scholarship offer out of high school. Wasn’t All-American in HS. Where your story starts isn’t where it ends”

That’s just awesome. I wanted to know a little bit more about his story and how he’s gotten to this point, plus what it was like to run at a HBCU.

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SHOW NOTES

– Growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which is known mostly as a pipeline of NBA and NFL talent.

– How he ended up running the 800 in high school

– “Here’s the crazy part, I had no intentions of running in college until maybe my senior year of high school. Initially, I was afraid to run in college because I heard of how hard it was. Throughout my junior year, I thought I’d just do this through high school. There was a guy who graduated before me and his PR was my PR during junior year. We both ran 1:56 and he got a full scholarship to Howard. I’m like, ‘Hold up. I just ran 1:56 as well so if he can get a scholarship, I can get a scholarship.’ That’s what motivated me to want to run in college.”

– How much of a big deal it was for his family when he earned an athletic scholarship to college

– The decision to run at Hampton

“Initially, I didn’t want to go to an HBCU because growing up in Prince George’s County a lot of kids are already Black and I wanted a little bit more diversity in college. I visited George Mason but they didn’t offer me a scholarship at the time because they wanted me to retake my SAT or something like that. A week later, that’s when Hampton offered me. I put it into consideration. My high school coaches at the time we’re all for it. They wanted me to sign. They only gave me two weeks to sign. The coach was really quick to send the letter of intent to my house as an overnight-express type of thing. I was like, ‘Wait…I’m not ready to sign anything yet.’ (Laughs) I hadn’t even visited the school yet. That was the only scholarship offer I had at the time so I ended up signing with them in May. Right after I signed, I went from 1:55 to 1:53.”

– Taking a risk on himself and enjoying feeling wanted by the university and the program

– The unity and bond of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the NCAA

– The unlucky draw of never making an NCAA outdoor national championship

– Despite the shortcomings, why did he want to continue pursuing the sport?

“I love the sport in general. I wasn’t quite sure whether or not I wanted to continue and pursue it. For me, it was a matter of knowing I am faster than 1:48. I know what I’ve done in practice in college and know I could run at least 1:47. It’s just a matter of how do I find a coach and go about this pro career? How do I do it? Luckily at the time, District Track Club was first forming that year. They reached out to me and said, ‘We saw what you did in your career and think you’d be a good fit for our club. Would you like to join?’ Initially, I was a little bit hesitant because they were more of an 800/1500 type of group. In college, I trained more for the 400/800. Our coach Tom Brumlik really worked with me and worked to your strengths and the best of your abilities.”

– The decision to compete for Nigeria

– The experience of competing at the 2017 and 2019 world championships

– How do you beat Donavan Brazier?

– The first injury that he suffered in his career happened in January 2020

– How the pandemic and Olympic postponement has helped him buy some time for 2021

“One thing that I did learn is that sometimes you have to just focus on your process and let go of the outcome because we can’t control the outcome at the end of the day. Yeah, we have all these goals and all these dreams but you have to be willing to let go of that outcome and just focus on the actual process to get to that outcome.”

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