On Signs Andy Bayer After Remarkable Comeback From Retirement

By Chris Chavez

July 24, 2023

Andy Bayer has signed a professional contract with On after finishing ninth in the men’s steeplechase final at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. This was the 33-year-old’s first season back after retiring in 2020.

“I’m really excited to join the On running family,” Bayer told CITIUS MAG. “On has been incredibly supportive and gracious as I have been navigating this comeback. It's refreshing to be a part of a brand that genuinely cares about their athletes. Plus the On roster is crushing from top to bottom which gives me extra motivation to be the best athlete I can be!”

Here’s what you need to know:

– Bayer, the 2012 NCAA 1500m champion, was a world championship finalist in the steeplechase in 2019 and owned a personal best of ​​8:12.47, which puts him at No. 7 on the U.S. all-time list. In 2021, he decided to retire after he was dropped by Nike.

– After retiring, he started working as a full stack engineer for Demand Jump, a digital media marketing company based in Indianapolis.

– Last November, he announced he was coming out of retirement in an interview with The Lap Count.

– He ran a season’s best of 8:25.18 in this year’s U.S. Championships semifinal.

Here’s what he said at the U.S. Championships:

Why he returned to the sport:

“I just missed it. I felt like I didn’t have anything to lose. I’ve been playing a bunch of pickup soccer. It’s not as fulfilling as running – actually, it was great. I was on a run with my wife in Maine last summer while on family vacation and I said, ‘I kind of want to see if I can get fit.’ I work a job that’s remote and is flexible. I wanted to see what happens. I took the fall to try and get fit and it was going OK. I jumped headfirst right in. It’s hard at times and different. I have two kids that are 14 and 11. They’re out here with me and my wife. I’m working full-time but my company has been super supportive.”

What’s it like being the oldest guy in the steeplechase field:

“It is weird. Everyone I know from the sport is either mostly an agent or a coach, becoming a coach or becoming an agent or working for CITIUS MAG. As I was walking out, some fan said, ‘Andy Bayer back from the dead!’ It’s a nice feeling. Everyone’s really supportive. That’s why I love the running community in general. I was a little bitter when I left before. I was frustrated with Nike at the time. I was a little burned out. COVID was hard. Running through all of that was hard. But then running was starting to feel fun again. I’m glad I’m back because I feel like I’m going to leave this time around being joyful. Whether I make another team or not, it’s fun to be back training and working hard. That’s a much healthier place to be at.”

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.