Sally Edwards: The Courage to Finish Last

Fleet Feet, ultra-marathons, Heart Zones, Olympic Trials. All describe Sally Edwards

Sally Edwards’s resume is enviable to say the least: Founder of Fleet Feet Athletic Stores, competed in races ranging from 1 mile to 100 mile races, participated in the 1984 Inaugural Olympic Women’s Marathon trial, has completed 16 Ironman triathlons, Western States 100 and the 360 mile Eco Challenge Adventure race. Oh, and she started the California International Marathon.

Sally Edwards RTTT

Once one of the world’s top-ranked runners, Sally made an interesting choice for the Danskin, Women’s Only Triathlon Series: she pledged to finish last. That’s right. L-A-S-T, Last. Why would such an impressive runner do that? Not just once but again and again? Because through this courageous and selfless act, it gave thousands of women their own courage to race knowing they would never be the last ones across the finish line.

Courage to Finish Last

In this week’s episode, Sally shares with us her running life, her experiences at a pivotal time in the women’s running movement and the important work she is now doing helping children around the world become fitter, healthier, happier and smarter.

She may just inspire you to take an unconventional step to help others who may need a friendly nudge to change their lives.

Questions Sally is asked:

1:56 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?

3:30 What was your life like before, and leading up to, you participated in the inaugural Women’s Marathon Olympic Trials?

7:30 Was the first Fleet Feet store in Sacramento, CA?

7:53 How many Fleet Feet stores are there now and are they global?

8:42 When and how was Fleet Feet started?

9:25 How did you get into the Olympic Trials?

15:15 How did you get involved with competitive snowshoeing and developing snowshoes?

18:15 Do you still snowshoe?

19:01 What triathlon series are you involved in and how did that come about?

20:32 What about your promise to never let another female athlete finish last in your races?

24:14  What about the 360-mile Eco Challenge Adventure Race

26:26 How many people were on each team?

27:32 Any plans for adventure racing in the future?

29:25 What can you tell us about your most recent book?

31:35 What about your book Fit & Fat

33:36 Can you burn fat at any level of heart-zone activity?

36:25 What is Heart Zones?

41:30 What does the Heart Zone program actually look like in a school?

45:38 How important has running been to your life?

47:18 Any other final thoughts?

49:07 Final Kick Round:

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

Quotes by Sally:

“There is no ‘Fat-Burning Zone’, there is no ‘Target Zone’.”

“Developing endurance and cardiovascular fitness is singularly the most important component of our fitness.”

“You can’t simplify weight management into a formula as simple as ‘calories in = calories out’.”

“The game isn’t over until you hit the finish line.”

“The more education, the more knowledge, the more experience we have, the better we will do, the fitter we will be, the happier we’ll be.”

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

Heart Zones Program Homepage

Fleet Feet Homepage

California International Marathon Homepage

Learn more about the Danskin Triathlon Series

Eco Challenge Race

Sally Edwards’ Amazon Author Page

Book: Be a Better Runner by Sally Edwards

Book: Fit Fat by Sally Edwards

Book: Zoning Fitness In a Blank by Sally Edwards

Newsweek article on heart-zone fitness

Sacramento Running Routes

Book: The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes

Email Sally

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