Apr 12, 2020
Bob Kennedy is one of the most talented and consistent distance runners in US history. During his career, he was a 2-time Olympian, earned American records in the 3000m, 2 mile, and 5000m races and became the first non-African runner to break 13:00 in the 5000.
As he says himself in this interview, if it wasn't for performance-enhancing drugs (PED), he would probably be an Olympic medalist. Instead, he would "settle" for 6th place in the 5000m at the Olympics in 1996 where he took the lead with 2 laps to go in front of an electric crowd in Atlanta. Is he bitter about how that race ended or does he view it as one of his finest moments?
Find out the answer to that question and so many more in this interview with Chris and guest host Adam Goucher. Bob was precocious performer from an early age winning a national high school cross country (XC) title and then becoming one of only a few men to win NCAA XC as a freshman. After a decorated career running at Indiana University he was one of only a few Americans who could compete well against international fields in the 1990s in what would become an era marked by rampant EPO use before testing for the PED began in 2000.
While competing clean, he pushed himself by training with East African athletes and treating his training and each race "like a business." Chris and Adam dig into all of it with Bob including the mindset that made him one of the best in the world against a playing field that was far from level. Plus, Adam and Bob trade behind-the-scenes stories on 3 consecutive 5000m national championships where they competed head to head in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Spoiler alert: Adam won the first two of those before being outsmarted by Bob in a race for the ages in 2001.
Finally, we end by talking about what Bob hopes for the future of the sport so that his daughter can enjoy it the way he did. Bob inspired a generation of athletes by showing other US runners that they could compete with the best in the world and do it the right way. We are honored to help share his story.