Boston Marathon Hopefuls and Hoka Team Naz Elite with Coach Ben Rosario

Boston Marathon Hopefuls

On today’s episode we are talking with Ben Rosario coach of the Hoka NAZ Elite Team in Flagstaff, Arizona. We discuss the upcoming 2019 Boston Marathon and who Ben believes are the top contenders, from his own team and the overall field. He shares with us how he finds and works with his elite athletes and how he approaches training and competitions.

Coach Ben is well rounded in the running field

Ben Rosario was a Division II All American at Truman State University, before landing a spot on the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project team in 2003. There he became the youngest qualifier for the 2004 Olympic Trials in the Marathon. In 2005 Ben finished second at the U.S. Marathon Championships at the Twin Cities Marathon and ended his competitive career with personal bests of 4:03 in the mile and 2:18 in the marathon.

Hoka Team NAZ and the competitive side of things

Ben has been just about everything in the running industry; elite athlete, special events director for a big city marathon, running store owner, marketing director, elite athlete coordinator and of course…coach. His number one passion though, has always been the competitive side of the sport and he brings a healthy obsession for success to his role as coach/president of Hoka Northern Arizona Elite.

Questions Ben is asked:

2:32 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

3:26 What got you into coaching and what were some of your early successes in St. Louis?

5:37 What is your history with the Hoka NAZ Elites and what successes have you had?

8:40 Who is on the current team and how many will be running Boston this year?

11:02 What emphasis do you put on placing vs. finishing time?

14:22 How far out do you plan athletes’ races and how do you strategize races and race selection?

18:02 What runners do you think could win Boston this year and who else might be competition for your athletes?

20:03 What’s your weather prediction for Boston?

20:33 What are the training conditions for your athletes and how do they benefit your athletes?

22:13 What do you see for female contenders in Boston this year?

23:15 Who do you like for international runners in Boston?

26:05 How do athletes get onto your Hoka NAZ team?

28:18 How and when does recruiting take place for your team?

30:20 What’s the breakdown of males and females on your team currently?

31:15 How are contracts structured for duration and what determines length of contract?

33:22 What do you think is the ideal age for marathoners and what other distances do you coach?

36:29 Do women peak later or earlier for the marathon?

38:14 Which of your athletes are heading to the 2020 Olympic marathon trials and what are your hopes for them?

41:52 What can you tell us about your book: Inside A Marathon?

43:54 Where can we get your book?

44:56 What else would you like to share with us?

48:35 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s), video or resource?
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Ben:

“I just caution against attaching your self-worth to one certain time in one certain event. I would much more focus on just getting better and believing that if you do so, those big days are going to come.”

“In the case of Boston, that race has some very specific demands. Obviously, you need to be ready for the downhills; there’s a lot of downhills from 0-15 (miles). Obviously, you have to be ready to handle uphills from 16-21 (miles). And then you have to be ready after all that to somehow come home strong because so many places can be gained or lost in that race over the last 4 miles.”

“ If you’ve proven that you can win on the Boston course, then you’ve proven that you’re a factor every time you step to the line there because there’s a lot of multiple time Boston Marathon Champions and I think it’s that way for a reason, and that’s because the course is so unique.”

“If we think, and you think, that the marathon is your best event physically, then I think you’re making an enormous mistake to wait to do it until your 30’s. I think you should be running your best event, whatever it may be, in your late 20’s.”

“There’s no bigger marathon than the (Olympic) trials and I think we’ll be very confident in our ability to get ready and we won’t really talk or think about the trials much until basically November of this year.”

“Runners build a bond when they train together that’s very unlike anything in any other sport or workplace.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Blinkist Homepage

NAZ Website

Book: Inside A Marathon by Scott Fauble and Ben Rosario

Kellyn Taylor

Stephanie Bruce

Scott Fauble

Aliphine Tuliamuk

Alice Wright

Erin Clark

Danielle Shanahan

Grayson Murphy

Scott Smith

Nick Hilton

Sid Vaughan

Ben Bruce

Rotterdam Marathon

Boston Marathon

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket

Geoffrey Kirui wins 2017 Boston Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi’s surprise win in Boston 2018

Olympian Jared Ward Battles Injury to Finish as Top American Male in NYC Marathon

Dathan Ritzenhein takes positive step toward Boston Marathon

Boston 2019 Elite Field

Desiree Linden Wins Boston Marathon

Edna Kiplagat wins 2017 Boston Marathon women’s race

Caroline Rotich is the 2015 Boston Marathon Champion

Mary Wacera

Sharon Cherop

Worknesh Degefa

Meskerem Assefa

Beaver Creek, Arizona

Book: Running With the Buffaloes by Chris Lear

Running Coach, Kevin Hanson


Follow Ben on:

NAZ Elites on Instagram

NAZ Elites on Twitter

NAZ Elites on Soundcloud

NAZ Elites on Facebook

Ben’s Twitter

Ben’s Instagram


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