Elly Henes On Taking Big Risks To Belong And Race Among The Best Runners In America

""Among the lessons learned last year was that there are going to be a lot of times when we're not in control and when I'm around people who can just drop me. I just want to be able to go into those high-level meets and know that I belong there.""

Elly Henes is a professional runner for Adidas who trains in Flagstaff, Arizona under coach Mike Smith. She was a star at NC State, where she won the NCAA 5000m title in 2021. It was a beautiful moment since the victory came 30 years after her mother and coach Laurie Henes won the same title for the same school.

Last year was a breakout year for Elly as a pro, which was capped by a 14:52 personal best for 5000m. She’s carried that momentum into 2023 and just ran a personal best of 30 minutes and 48 seconds for 10,000 meters, which puts her at No. 6 on the all-time list. We talk all about her rookie season, what it’s been like being coached by Mike Smith, her hopes and expectations for her sophomore season, what it was like growing up in a running family – plus: a little Taylor Swift talk.

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.

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