From Basketball to Running and Coaching; An Interview with Bryan Botma (@thepacepusher)


AER: First things first, how did you make the Mic Ultra beer grab during the NYC Marathon happen? It was the most epic thing we've witnessed in a while (kind of upset didn't see it in person!). See it: HERE

BRYAN: Oh man, well when you are there representing Team Ultra you have to take the time to represent well!  I was walking down that road with my buddy who handed me the beer saying how legendary it would be to slam a beer right there on Columbus Circle and finish with it taking all the finisher photos with the best running beer out there. So I snagged a couple of them, told him to push his way through the crowd when I turned onto Central Park South and just hold it out and video.  I ran along that whole fence giving out hundred of high fives and fist bumps until I saw it sticking out like that.  From there it history.  Slammed about half, spilled a little more, then was giving cheers to the cameras and fans as I crossed the finish line.



AER: Do you find balance through running? If so, how? 

BRYAN: 100% I find a balance.  I am not a professional runner by any stretch.  I am just an average amateur athlete.  I do endurance sports to keep my mind right.  I love to see how far and hard I can push myself.  Therefore it makes the true difficult circumstances in life seem a lot more manageable.  The way I find a balance is making sure my wife and I are on the same page with my racing goals.  If we do not think it is a good idea together, we make adjustments.  We have run 2 NYC and Chicago together which makes training so much fun and racing too!  I also am a huge advocate for running super early in the dark before any cell phone is ringing. I can get my run done and still make it to where I need to be.


AER: Can you tell us a little bit about your coaching?

BRYAN: The whole coaching thing started when a couple of friends started asking me to advice on marathons and triathlons.  I had a coach for the majority of my Ironman and early marathon career.  It helped me so much in just learning about workout structure, understanding how to do a proper build and taper, etc.  So when I had a couple friends ask and set their PR, they suggest I do it for more people. They absolutely love the way I look at endurance sports to structure workouts, help them understand how to balance life and workouts, and to maintain the joy of the sport throughout.  So that is how Pace Pushers was born.  I only take on 5-7 athletes at a time to maintain life balance for myself and give them the attention a paying athlete deserves.  I have stuff on or just send me a DM on @thepacepusher on instagram.


AER: How long have you been running? Most proud accomplishment?  

BRYAN: I grew up a basketball player all the way until my sophomore year in college when I sustained a back injury that ended my hoops day.  I jumped on the track team to rehab and was allowed to since my last name had some solid athletes in the background (older and younger brother were All Americans in the 800m).  So I have been running since 2006.  As far as endurance sports, I did my first triathlon in 2008 and it has been growing since.  First 13.1 in 2010, half Ironman in 2011, first marathon in 2012, first ironman in 2013.  I am proud of my marathon PR of 2:44, a top 10 finish in my first 50 miler, and proud of going through my career virtually injury free!


AER: Favorite Alter Ego Running product? 

BRYAN: Any and all of the hats.  Not only is the style on point and right up my ally, but they are comfortable and wash super easy!! I have several of them.


AER: What are some of your immediate running goals right now? Ultimate long term goal?  

BRYAN: Right now my goals for 2020 is to start building my Badwater 135 resume by running the Key 100 in May (Key Largo to Key West run), attempt to set a new PR in Chicago, and run NYC for the 6th straight time enjoying ever step like I have the other 5.  I have a couple long term goals: complete Badwater 135, race Western States, and do Swissman Triathlon (an iron distance triathlon in my in my Michelles home country)


AER: Last words to leave our audience with? 

BRYAN: Do not lose sight of why you run. We are all amateurs. So many times we (yes including myself) get caught up in doing what we love for others.  The moment the entire journey becomes not fun, it is time to reassess.