Alysia Montaño


Berkeley, CA




Road & Trail, transitioned from Track

Alysia Montaño (née Johnson) is an American Olympian, Athlete, Activist, Author, Podcast Host, and Mother.  

As a Black woman, mother, and athlete, activism took on a natural role. In 2019, Alysia shared a NYT Op-Ed Opinion ‘Dream Maternity’, a piece that revealed discrimination that took place against women athletes that became pregnant. From there, #DreamMaternity became a movement that she has since turned to action with the launch of her non-profit &MOTHER, which aims to break down barriers that limit a woman’s choice to pursue and thrive in career and motherhood.  

In 2020 Alysia released her book “Feel-Good Fitness,” fun workout challenges to inspire your fitness streak inspired by her fighting spirit to get up and keep going after her fall at the 2016 Olympic Trials.  

2019 had proved to be enough of the under-told stories of Women in Sports; In the fall of 2019 Keeping Track podcast launched helping better tell the stories of women in sports. 

Alysia distinguishes herself by wearing a flower in her hair while running, a personal affectation she adopted to assert her strength in femininity noting the two are not mutually exclusive. 

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  • Olympian 

  • 2x World Championship Bronze Medalist  

  • 7-time USA National track and field champion 

  • Arguably gained more publicity for racing at these same championship races in 2014 and 2017 at 8 and 5 months pregnant.

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How fast do you think you could run a backwards mile?
Haha! Is this a challenge?! Accepted.  
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What is one of your most memorable non-competition runs?

My most memorable runs in which I have not been competitive have been the ones I did when I ran at 8 and 5 months pregnant at the USA nationals. I was by no means a competitor in those races but it helped breakdown stigmas for women who were pregnant that wanted to exercise and it helped break down stigmas for athletes continuing their careers and showing up to work. 

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If you had to pick one race or event this year that you anticipate will be your most proud achievement or moment, which one would it be and why? Do you have a special connection?

Is this a trick question! Haha! I don’t believe I can or should anticipate my life’s proud moments, better to have that stuff surprise you, in my opinion. I’m connected to running because of how it helps me gain perspective, instill confidence and strength in my mental toughness and it helps me gain clarity on a larger purpose for my ability to move.  

Anytime I have an opportunity to run for a greater cause is an accomplishment. Anytime I can help move the needle to create positive change I’ll see that as an accomplishment. So, my ability to break down barriers and overcome and use my ability to bring awareness to greater causes is what I look forward to this year!

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What is your favorite event to watch that you don’t participate in?

Professional Soccer! I love soccer! I wish I could participate, but my life had other plans

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Do you have any quirky running habits?

I don’t know if this is quirky, but I looooooove listening to music when I run. I do so 95 percent of the time. I also run and dance and sing veeeeeery often. 



Eat a slice of pizza mid-race or drink a milkshake?

Slice of pizza. 

Run on an empty stomach or a full bladder? 

Full bladder. (Peeing myself isn’t so bad, passing out is!) 

Do a beer mile or a milk mile?


Run in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat?

Sweltering heat. 

Be met at the finish line with your favorite beverage or favorite meal?

Fav meal! 

Come across a snake or a rat on your run?


Run with a blister on your foot or a cramp in your side?

Blister on foot. 

Give up core work or stretching and still stay injury-free?


Run uphill in the first half of your run or the second?

First half.