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Oct 11, 2020

Lee Troop grew up in Geelong, Australia and started running as an elementary school kid with his dad. His journey from that kid to become a 3-time Olympian and then ultimately to become coach of Olympic marathon team member Jacob Riley is equal parts fascinating and inspiring. 

The journey has been far from easy, however, and Chris and Shanna chat with Lee about it all. He shares the story of the personal transformation of his father that would lead them to start running together. He discusses when he knew running could be career for him in spite of not having formal coaching until he was 18 years old. He talks about his hero Australian marathoner Robert de Castella who inspired him to move up to the marathon and to always compete clean. 

Lee is very open and forthright about his challenges in life including under-performing his own expectations in all three of his Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008 and overcoming periods of time as an athlete and coach when he lost joy in the sport. 

Through difficult times, Lee began working with Jacob Riley which led to a measure of redemption for both of them when Jacob placed 2nd at the Olympic Marathon Trials to earn his trip to the Tokyo Olympics. Lee recounts his emotions embracing Jacob at the finish line in Atlanta, while also being open about "selling his soul" by supporting Jacob's decision to wear the Nike Alphafly in that race.

We ask Lee about that decision and get his perspective on how technology, corruption in sports governance, and doping are affecting the simple beauty of our sport. In spite of all of it, Lee still believes in the power of running to change lives. He is still coaching hard, advocating for clean sport, and giving back to the next generation of athletes. Thank you Lee for staying the course with grit and integrity. You are an inspiration.