Episode 394: Benita Willis – World Cross Country Champion & Four Time Olympian

Benita Willis is the coach of Lindsay Flanagan who just ran a huge PR at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2:24:43. When I talked to Benita, Lindsay had just run the Paris Marathon where she also had a great race! Benita is an Australian distance running legend herself. She is a 4 time Olympian at the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics. She is a 3 time national champion in the 5000m. She was also the 2004 World Cross Country Champion. She has a marathon PR of 2:22:36 which is the Australian record. She also holds so many other Australian records on the roads and on the track. 

Benita is pregnant with her first child and is the coach for Lace Up Running. She coaches professional runners and every day runners. 

What we talked about:

4:30- Introduction to Benita Willis

6:20- Benita’s pregnancy

8:35- How she met her husband

11:15- The miscarriages that Benita had

15:25- Retiring from her pro running career and seeing women in their 40s competing at a high level

23:00- All of the Australian records that she holds

25:40- Living in America

27:25- 2008 Olympics and what Benita dealt with in her personal life that year

33:30- Benita’s World Cross Country Championship win in 2004

42:50- Running the Australian Record in the marathon

44:15- Thoughts on the change in technology and the fast times being run

45:55- How growing up as a competitive hockey player helped her in her running career

50:40- Specialization in sports

52:15- Benita’s coaching business

56:10- End of podcast questions

Show notes:

Into Thin Air

Benita on Instagram

Lace Up Running Website

Lace Up Running on Instagram

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