About six weeks before the Olympic Marathon Trials, Lauren Fleshman called me with some good news. She was receiving an award from Running USA – as a female leader in the sport. The 2016 Trailblazer award! Past winners included some of our heroes, including Mary Wittenberg and Tracey Russell.

My reaction: duh. Such a no brainer. You, me, everyone…we all know how much this woman does for the sport, for athletes, and basically anyone she meets.

Lauren said the awards were happening on Friday before the Marathon Trials in LA – and would I be her plus one? First off, let’s be real: who among us would say no to a Lauren Fleshman plus one? Not me ever. Second, probably free lunch, right?

So even though I was stressed about missing some of the to-do’s of the big weekend, including a Volée team outing to Griffith Observatory, I was like oh yeah – I’m in.

What happened next was not what I expected. 

You’ll have to watch to see it unfold. Best of all, enjoy the clip of Lauren speaking to the Running USA attendees. And her story about how it feels to care for the sport…to want change, even though it might be slow coming. And to blaze trails, even though there are cuts, and scrapes, and snake bites along the way. 



Videography by: The FourFront

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Allyson Ely