Episode 418: Alicia Vargo – Running, Relationships, Grief, and Motherhood

I have wanted to interview Alicia Vargo for years now! So I am very excited about this conversation.

Alicia Vargo ran for Stanford University. She is a two-time NCAA 10,000m champion and she finished 5th in the 2004 Olympic Trials in the 10,000m. More recently, she has transitioned to trail and mountain running. After the birth of her first daughter, she ran the Fastest Known Women’s Time for the Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon.

Alicia was married to Ryan Shay who tragically lost his life at the 2007 Olympic Trials in the marathon. We talk about that part of her life quite a bit in this episode. We also talk about her life now. She is married to a wonderful man, Chris Vargo, and they have four children. There is heartache in that story too that Alicia shares in this episode. 

I have watched her from afar walk through some really difficult things and I have always been super intrigued by her resilience and I’ve always wanted to know more about her. I am so grateful that she shared her story so openly and honestly in this episode.

Alicia is also a coach and she’ll share in this episode that she is excited about what might be around the corner for her own running once she is done with this baby phase of her life. 

What we talked about:

6:40- Moving from Flagstaff to Breckenridge

11:50- The loss of her child

13:10- Coaching

14:30- What her personal running looks like right now

21:50- How she got started in running

28:10- Having fun and finding purpose in your running

30:10- Opening up her home to other runners after her husband, Ryan Shay, passed

35:45- What she learned from Ryan

47:00- How Chris and Alicia met and experiencing loss together

55:30- Chris’ sobriety

59:10- Advice to her younger self

1:03:50- End of podcast questions

Show notes:

Alicia on Instagram

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