All about running. By runners, for runners.

Episode 122 - Toni Reavis

Released: Wednesday 9th May 2012

The original running commentator Toni Reavis joins Martin, Tom speaks to Jerry Rothwell, producer of the film about Ethiopian running – ‘Town of Runners’. Olympic Games marathon team selection shenanigans in Ireland and Canada. There’s rate your run and who will be top of this week's Marathon Talk podium.


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Show Notes

00:00 - Intro

- Martin's been hanging out on the beach getting over his cold, and running 28 minute parkruns

- Tom's been Geneva half marathoning with his Dad and starting his mile training

- The Shapwick Mile (link)

- Great article on Coe v Ovett (Guardian)

- Check out our Facebook page for mansuit definitions and goody bag blunders

- find out more about Town of Runners here

31:26 - News

- Bradford parkrun legend Arthur James passes away :( 

- Celebrate Arthur's life this Saturday at Bradford parkrun (find out more)

- Claire Lomas complete's London Marathon (Telegraph)

- Schoolboy error by Patrick Makau (Eurosport)

- Hannover Marathon - Bekele jnr and two photo finishes (IAAF

- New 25km WR (IAAF)

- Athletics Ireland take their time (

- Yuki finishes 8th in Dusseldorf (Japan Running News)

44:54 - Tony's Trials

48:26 - Interview - Toni Reavis

 - Read Toni's great blog here

1:30:54 - Rant / Rave etc.

- Sean Clipston asked... "Here in Canada we have 2 women that have run under the ‘IOC’ Olympic standard in Rotterdam finishing 5 and 6 but missing the Canadian standard by less than 2 minutes. Athletics Canada has decided not to send anyone to London rather than send these 2 athletes. What are your thoughts?"

1:35:20 - Close

- Martin will be hanging with Tom in London and focusing on the short stuff

- Tom will be hangin with Martin in London and focussing on the short stuff

  1. Jeanette Haas
    Posts: 5

    Another great interview, what an interesting guy and lovely voice to listen to. No wonder he is a commentator. I really enjoyed hearing Tony's ideas about running and his obvious passion for what he does.

    Avatar 26th June 2012 04:55:18    
    Julia Thorn Says:

    I only just listened to this interview. I think the distinction between the marathons that we, as mass participants, are running and the marathons the elite runners are competing at is often overlooked. Ok, many of us have run at the same marathon as the world's fastest, in my case I was lucky enough to run with Paula in London in 2003 and with Patrick in Berlin in 2011, but I never kid myself that I am in the same race. There are two races run contemporaneously. Eventually I can see a situation like the US Olympic marathon trials where the elite race is held separately for all of the huge marathons.
    As I see it the mass race is currently the more interesting. I get more pleasure from watching the wedding at Mile 8 that Reavis mentioned than seeing a carefully worded sound bite from the winner as he warms up.

    10th May 2012 23:22:31
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  2. Ben Heller
    Posts: 36

    Tom, please keep us posted on bringing town of runners to Leeds, my family will definitely be up for seeing it, so there's an audience of 4 already...

    Avatar 13th May 2012 19:07:48    
    Tom Williams Says:

    Will do, stay tuned to the show and our Facebook page...

    Avatar 17th May 2012 12:40:13    
    Ben Heller Says:


    I just noticed that town of runners is showing as part of the Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 14th.

    As I live in Sheffield we'll be going there. If you don't have any luck with a Leeds screening then it's not too big a trip down the M1.

    11th May 2012 13:36:21
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  3. Lukas Lee
    Posts: 26

    Yes, we're also interested in watching the film. Although we might also try and organise a viewing in Keighley.

    I'm told people used to call this part of Airedale 'The Rift Valley' because of the all the great distance runners who have grown-up here over the years.

    What a textbook anchorman voice Toni Reavis has :) and incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about his sport. Phenomenomenal.

    Another great show chaps.

    Avatar 11th May 2012 19:38:12    
    John Jaap Says:

    Excellent interview, nice to hear someone saying what they think and not pussyfooting around the point! Also was last weeks interview with Nell McA was v interesting.

    Keep up the good work, wonderful show!

    Avatar 13th May 2012 19:08:12    
    Tom Williams Says:

    Thanks all :-)

    11th May 2012 14:48:47
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  4. Anthony Williams
    Posts: 1

    Great show. I have been listening from the US (Arkansas) for about 3-4 months. I have never been an follower of marathon racing (elites) until I started listening to your show. I am now very interested in how the elites did at various races around the world because you guys report and discuss it on your show.

    Mr. Reavis has some valid points about the running community especially in the U.S. The community seems very uninterested in how the world class marathon runners perform and really concentrate on the events they attend or would like to attend. They enjoy the experience of marathon, not the wonderful physical abilities of athletes who can do it almost twice as fast as the average person. Getting everyone involved is not a bad thing but I do wish there would be a way to market those elites to the general public runners.

    Love all aspects of your show!! Tony's Trials are great and the Marathon Prayer is now up on my wall in my office. He should get done in calligraphy and put it on antique parchment paper then sell it on your web-site. Could raise money for a worthy cause.

    15th May 2012 14:33:46
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  5. Dan Afshar
    Posts: 17

    Just caught up with this one. Toni Reavis, along with Steve Cram, are just about the best two running interviewees out there. Nice work getting him on.

    I agree that despite the brilliant job of organisers & event people in putting on so many wonderful mass participation events all over the world, the people who run the sport have done an awful job in selling their prize assets.

    There is some responsibility for sure on the individuals, but with so many amazing athletes from Africa and beyond, who but the small minority of aficionados could name a single Marathon Major winner from the past 10 years? How many of the 36,000 finishers at this year's VLM could name the race winner? Less than a thousand I reckon.

    Ask a casual sports fan if they could name a current famous long distance runner, and they won't get past Haile and Paula. Can you think of any other sport in which the top performers are virtually unknown to the public?

    Tim Hutchings (ep 58) makes the same point. Athletics must do a better job of marketing itself if it is not to remain a minority sport in the UK, beneath the tidal wave of embarrassing media obsession with football. Anyone over the age of 35 will remember the "golden days" of athletics in the 80's and before, when it was covered weekly on BBC and in the papers, with the personalities to go with it. How wonderful it would be if it could be like that again?

    22nd May 2012 19:35:11
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