Abdihamid Nur’s Journey From Somalia To Kenya To Egypt To America

The CITIUS MAG Podcast

September 6, 2022

“My goal for this sport is to be remembered as someone that gave it their all on the track and never left anything. I want to be remembered for inspiring the next generation. I want to set American records. I want to set world records and just strive for the best Abdihamid can do.”

Abdihamid Nur is a professional runner for Nike after a remarkable breakout year with Northern Arizona University. He was part of their NCAA cross country winning team but excelled on the track to the NCAA indoor 5000m and 3000m titles. He finished third in the NCAA outdoor 10,000m final but rebounded with a third-place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Championships to qualify for his first World Championship team. It marked the first time he got to rock the Team USA kit and that’s truly special since representation matters and his story begins in Somalia and makes stops along the way in Kenya and Egypt before he finally arrived in the United States as a kid. You’ll hear all about that, his incredible season and his hunger for more after finishing 11th at the World Championships. Abdihamid is truly someone you’re gonna want to support for many years to come.

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Notable Quotes

– “My mom is the strongest person I know. Her resilience. Her hard work. Her love for her family. Her kids. Those are things I look up to. The person I am and the good things about me that people love, I get that from my mom and my family. For her to be a single mom and to come to the States with eight kids, not know English and make sure that all your kids eat, make sure all your kids find a place to sleep and be immigrants here – man, that’s the hardest thing. And being a Muslim woman on top of that. Every time I think about that I’m like, ‘How did she do that?’ I never once felt like I was poor or had less than anybody else because my mom gave me all I wanted. I never felt like I was missing anything: the love, the clothing, the warm food and everything. We never felt like we were broke. We never felt like we were missing anything. I didn’t have everything…she just made it happen with what she had. My mom will forever be my No. 1 to this day.”

– “Indoors I was really motivated just because I was really disappointed with my cross country season. I finished seventh and we won the team title but I wasn’t satisfied with that. I felt like I could’ve given my team more. Indoor season I was just really determined to win. I was tired of getting fifth, third, seventh. I want to win, man. I feel like we all do this to win. My biggest motivation indoors was to win. It’s one thing when you know you can do it. It’s another thing to do it. I knew I could do it so when I did it, it just took my confidence to the sky. I’m like, ‘Bro, I can run with anybody. I have so much respect for guys in the NCAA because I know how hard each one of them works. Those NCAA guys, they don’t give up. They don’t let up. I could be winning all season but then I get beat at the outdoor 10K. You can’t afford a bad day. These guys are on top of you.”

– “We crossed the line and I give (Luis) a hug. We were both looking at the screen waiting for the results to come and when it came it said Luis’ name in fourth place. I looked at him and he looked at me and said, ‘I finished 4th!’ He didn’t even know he finished fourth because he was closing so fast. He didn’t realize how many people he was passing. It really hit me. ‘My God. Luis really finished fourth. That’s crazy!’ It’s amazing because we always watch these big races. We always watch World Champs and Olympics all the time together. We always used to think, ‘Man, what are they doing that we’re not doing? What does it take to be that?’ We just realized that we have it here. Literally, we have the trails. We have the coach. We have the system. Now, him doing it too means that it’s doable. We really got what everyone else is showing off. It’s just working harder now at the next level.”

– “That’s going to be a picture that we’re going to have for the rest of our lives. That was really special. What are the odds of us standing next to each other at the World Championship final? Being teammates. Being roommates. Being best friends. That’s crazy.”

– “I just don’t want to be chasing times and thinking that PRs look cool. PRs can look cool. Some people can have really cool PRs but never won anything. I want to be remembered for what I won. My times are going to be my times but winning is way cooler than running fast.”


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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.