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Sam Parsons on Getting Serious In The Sport, Tinman Elite

In this episode, Adidas’s Sam Parsons came in the studio for a very special crossover podcast with Run Your Mouth and the Citius Mag podcast. We dug into mindfulness, swagger, and college shenanigans, and Sam introduced us to the inner workings of Tinman Elite, a new elite training group based out of Boulder, CO.

Sam is a 13:40 5k runner and Delaware native (with German citizenship) who competed collegiately at North Carolina State University. He was in town to race the BAA Invitational Road Mile, where he finished 5th behind teammate Drew Hunter’s victory.

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Highlights of our colorful conversation include:

On Tinman Elite’s attitude:

“We have so much swagger and confidence that gets exuded, which starts with Drew to be quite honest. And we just have so much faith in each other.

“We have so much confidence in ourselves, and it’s such an important thing in this sport. We just went into Club XC Nationals without a shred of doubt that we were going to win that race. We were just like, ‘we’re gonna get in there, we’re gonna get to the front and stay there. And we did.’”

On self-inflicted wounds:

“The guys started setting off fireworks outside my room […] then they eventually got onto the roof of my house and started banging on the roof of my house, and benging on the windows of my room, and the window shattered. I jumped out of bed; I don’t think I had any clothes on. I stuck my entire body out of the window yelling at them like ‘get out of here!’ But as I went back through the window I sliced my arm open […] my entire arm was red and streaming blood.”

On fanboying over Parker Stinson:

“[My freshman summer] I crushed this long run with Parker… And I just like, picked his brain and asked for a picture afterwards. ‘Cause he was like, the best 10k runner in the NCAA at the time, and I was like, ‘this is so sick that I just crushed this long run with him for this whole time at 10,000 feet.’ And I posted a picture to instagram, like ‘rave run with P-Stinny’ […] and I got so much shit for it from the NC State guys for fanboying, that I eventually deleted it. And when I came back to Colorado [4 years later], he was like, ‘dude, where’s the picture bro?’”

On choosing to run post-collegiately:

“I remember when I got back to Germany, and just thinking, ‘I don’t want to start working now.’ This is my rebellion of sorts. I grew up in a very conservative place where it’s like, you do this, you go to a good college and work hard, and then you get a job. I spend a lot of time meditating and reflecting and stuff like that, and I just really figured out a lot. People today, millennials in general, don’t spend a lot of time reflecting. And that’s why running is a beautiful thing. We do get time to reflect; we get to talk to someone one-on-one without distractions. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

“I remember going on a run after not running for months, and if there’s anything close to a running high, I found it that day. I’d been goofing off for months and then I went for a run, and I was just smiling ear to ear. I was like, ‘holy crap, there’s something here. This brings me genuine happiness, and that’s the most important thing in life. And if I have an opportunity to do this, I’m gonna go for it.’”

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