Why You Don’t Have to be the Best or the Fastest to be Inspiring- Julie Benson

Such an inspirational podcast! Must listen! Julie Benson shares her heart wrenching story of the Boston Marathon bombings (while racing for Sandy Hook children!), and how she overcame her eating disorder to find comfort in running.
Three years ago on April 15th, two pressure cooker bombs were exploded by terrorists during the Boston Marathon.

Today I got the chance to have a really amazing, intimate and eye opening interview with one of the survivors. She has overcome that obstacle and so many more in her life, and she’s just a brave and wonderful person.

Julie Benson’s story is truly incredible. She’s a mother of two, an elementary school guidance counselor, and was stopped at mile 25.8, just 4 minutes from the finish line. This is a unique opportunity to hear about how she and her husband were closely involved in the bombing and the capture of the terrorists.

She dealt with a lot of emotions after the fact, like the guilt of not crossing the finish line and the fear of running again. But she tells us how she got through it by connecting with people who hadn’t crossed the finish line in a Facebook support group. It helped her a lot to cope and get past the sensation of fear to run again. She’s kept inspiring other people and moving forward ever since.

Today’s topics include:

  • Julie’s experience in the Boston Marathon (Twice!)
  • Making sure you’re setting yourself up for success
  • How she manages to fit her training in with her busy schedule
  • The funny story about how she started running
  • Her involvement in the “Never Stop” campaign
  • How she keeps her family a top priority while juggling with her love of running
  • Safety tips for running in the dark
  • How she overcame an eating disorder and what clicked for her

Around the age of 10, Julie began to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and a poor self image. It was around 11 or 12 was when she began engaging in particularly dangerous behaviors.  Unfortunately it’s much more complicated than the other person feeling like they’re fat; it lies at a deep, emotional level.

“It’’s really not about the food; it’s about the emotions behind it and what drives someone to feel like they have to do that.”  ‒ Julie

She went to therapy and was hospitalized, and it’s truly been a battle to get back on track; there’s a residue of disordered thinking when it comes to food. However, she’s grown to truly love and appreciate her body, and tells us how developing a competitive edge kept her healthy and strong to really change and do her best. Running became Julie’s new therapist; if it worked for her, it could work for you!

She shares several of her best recommendations with me, like what she would say to a new runner, and tips for encouraging someone to seek help if they’re having a difficult time with something, such as an eating disorder like she has.

You need to learn to be patient and kind with yourself, and compare yourself fairly with how far you’ve come. It’s about consciously deciding you want to live your life, stay healthy and stay happy.

Both Julie and I would be happy to talk to you about any of the topics we discussed today. If you would like to contact us, please email me tina@runnersconnect.net and I can put you in touch with Julie.

I also want to thank you for all your emails about the 2016 Update episode. It was such a surprise to receive the great feedback, and you’ve made me so happy, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Next week, I’ll be talking to Ben Greenfield, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top. Please consider giving us a review on iTunes by clicking THIS link. You can follow this YouTube Video of a Demonstration of How to Leave a Review. Thank you in advance.


“I think once I got past it, I really found a lot of comfort in running.” – Julie

“Try to reach the person inside because that’s where the driving force behind those unhealthy behaviors come from.” – Julie

“I’m in a place where I’m so grateful and fortunate and that’s part of the healing; I’m so grateful that those are my coping skills; I have resilience, I have strength, and running is my power. I don’t have to be the best or the fastest, but it inspires me and it fuels me.” – Julie

[bctt tweet=”One of the best @Runners_Connect episodes yet! Julie Benson is so inspiring! #bqchat” via=”no”]

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