Mar 1, 2021
There are few in the sport that have so selflessly given back to it as Kevin Hanson, and he's been doing it for the last 40+ years. He has coached at every level from high school to community college to the pros. He and his brother started and continue to run the Hanson's Running Shops near Detroit, Michigan, and of course, they are also the co-founders and coaches of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, the program that produced Olympian and Boston Marathon Champion Desiree Linden.
In this episode, Chris and Shanna talk to Kevin about his journey from growing up near Detroit, Michigan in a lower-middle-class family to now giving back to the sport and to his home city as a coach, race director, and store owner.
Kevin tells the hilarious story of his introduction to the marathon via his brother Keith boldly deciding to run one at the age of 13. He shares how his high school coach inspired him to get into coaching himself and to dream big, which ultimately led to the formation of the Hansons-Brooks team even though everyone told them it was a foolish idea. He talks about the evolution of the team from bringing Brooks on as a sponsor to producing their first Olympian in Brian Sell in 2008 and ultimately to the big win for Des Linden in Boston in 2018.
Getting to the issues of clean sport, we discuss the zero-tolerance policy for doping on his team, the suspension of Alberto Salazar, the impact of super shoes on the roads and track, and the need for the re-allocation of funds from enriching the leaders in sports governance to more money for drug testing to catch the cheats.
Kevin is a no-nonsense kind of guy that operates with integrity, who will always speak the truth about any topic. This conversation with us was no exception. Thank you Kevin for all that you do for our sport and for clean sport.