"I think our running community is made of the absolute best people in the world. They're always trying to do something good for their own health, their community, great causes. And it is a tremendous luxury for me to have the opportunity to make sure everybody feels welcome, wanted, calmed, excited," Fitz Koehler tells me at the start of our interview. "And then I want every finisher to feel like they won the race. And while I completely respect the speedsters up in front, I'm going to claim favorites. My favorite people in the course of the back of the packers. I think they're the grittiest, the most surprising... you know, when you look at someone and think how the heck did they get to the start line? And then all of a sudden they're at the finish line. I just, I love them so much. And I'm so blessed to do what I do."
We talked about what it was like to travel the US announcing races while enduring the biggest battle of her life. She is able to find the humor in her breast cancer story, telling the story as if she's the star of your favorite sitcom:
"On Sunday when I got to my finish line stage, right in front of Santa Monica Pier, on a very tall tower, on a very windy day, my black stage was covered with long blonde hair. It was. It was just Twilight zone," she says. "And my announcing partner, Rudy Novotny, thankfully is also one of my best friends. He worked so hard to try and brush the hair off the stage so I wouldn't see it."
"So many people who would have been diagnosed with stage one or two cancer are now being diagnosed with stage four nightmares, which they will not survive. And so when people say the cure should not be worse than the disease or issue, I believe this cure of shutting down society and limiting freedoms of people to take good care of themselves. I think it's infuriating, and I'm really excited that races are starting to pop back up and people are getting back to their annual exams and their gyms, I think it matters. Health matters."
Listen to the full episode anywhere you listen to podcasts--or via the player above. I know you'll be inspired by Fitz!
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