Learn more about Neely Spence Gracey, Professional Runner for Adidas, soon-to-be mom and a special guest at our Strong Runner Chick Retreat this summer of 2018!
Neely was born into this sport, literally. Her dad (Steve Spence, 1992 Olympic marathoner and 1991 World Champs Bronze Medalist) was running the Boston Marathon on the day she was born. She grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and in 8th grade set some big goals for herself, which led her to run for Shippensburg University, where she broke several records and was named conference athlete of the year for every season she competed. She is an eight-time NCAA Division II Champion and still holds two NCAA records.
In 2016, Neely debuted at the Boston Marathon and was the first American finisher in 2:35. Later that year, she took it a step further with 2:34 and 8th place finish at the NYC marathon, following up with several 2017 victories. She is excited for what the next year will bring as she pauses her running career to start a family. She ultimately hopes to build towards the 2020 Olympic year.
Today, Neely lives in Boulder, CO with her husband Dillon and their Vizsla, Strider. They are happily entrenched in the running community. Between training, and competing, she enjoys coaching her team of athletes through her Get Running coaching business.
Questions we ask Neely include:
How did you get your start in running?
Your dad was an Olympic Marathoner and World Championship Bronze Medalist...wow!! Since running was such a major part of his life, did you ever feel pressured to continue in his footsteps?
Tell us about your experience running as a girl in Shippensburg, PA. What was it like being homeschooled?
Many teens have the desire to attend university elsewhere, but you decided to stay in your hometown. What was your reasoning behind this?
What was your collegiate running experience like? How could it have been better? What was it like to have your dad as a coach?
We would love to hear about your top American finish and 13th in the World in the 2013 World Cross Country championships in Poland!
Several bouts of illness and injury have kept you from competing in the past (most notably at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials). How did you physically and mentally combat these unfortunate circumstances? What advice do you have for others dealing with injury or illness?
In 2016, you makes your debut at the Boston Marathon coming in as the top American and ninth overall. What was this experience like for you?
Recently you announced that you will be welcoming an addition into your home! Congrats! What does this mean for you, Dillon, and Strider? Do you hope to continue to run?
What is currently making you thrive?
What does being a Strong Runner Chick mean to you?
How can listeners/readers connect with you?
Also: are you currently accepting new running coaching clients?