“One of the most important things in inspiring other brown-skinned girls to run or achieve whatever they want, is to do it myself. I get motivation every day in my training from [knowing] the kind of role model I can possibly be.” – Nell Rojas
“New Mexico is a great running community… we all spoke the same language– a running language. No matter what, that was the bond that we had with each other.”- Ric Rojas
Ric and Nell Rojas are a dynamic father-daughter duo in running. Between the two of them, they’ve set numerous records and boasted several big wins from the mile to the marathon distance. Together, they utilize their experience and unique philosophy to coach a variety of athletes (runners, throwers, jumpers, etc.) in the Boulder, Colorado area. In this conversation, Ric and Nell reflect on their biggest career wins, give some coaching advice, and discuss how their community/family has shaped their running.
Ric Rojas originally hails from Los Alamos, NM. In high school, he became a legend when he won four New Mexico high school state titles, as well as setting the prep mile record of 4:12.60 back in 1970. Ric went on to graduate from Harvard University and compete professionally against formidable opponents like Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. He competed in two U.S. Olympic Trials (in the 10,000-meter Run) and won several major road races, including the inaugural BolderBoulder 10k in 1979. He also set the 15K World Record in 1981 with a time of 43:12. As a master’s runner, Ric has won three USATF Age-Group National 5000-meter Track Championships.
Nell Rojas grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She is a triathlete turned marathoner, finishing 9th at the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials in what was only her third marathon ever and winning Grandma’s Marathon in 2019 with a personal best of 2:28:06. Nell ran Division I Track and Cross-Country for The University of Northern Arizona (NAU) where she was a 3-time Big Sky Steeplechase Champion, 5k Big Sky Champion, and All-Conference in Cross-Country. Currently, Nell is a passionate coach and athlete, who takes a very holistic and well-rounded approach to helping others achieve their goals.
My heart goes out to the Boulder, CO community this week. If you would like to support or donate to the families of the victims of the recent tragedy at King Soopers in Boulder, please see the links below.
- Families of Boulder Tragedy Victims GoFundMe Page– donate directly to families of the victims through a verified crowdsource funding channel.
- Colorado Healing Fund– 501©3 non-profit that distributes funds to the organizations and people working on the ground to help and support community members impacted.
In this Episode:
- Nell Rojas BOLDERBoulder10k 2019 Finish
- “Nell Rojas uses dad’s coaching to prepare for U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon” by Michael Sandrock, DailyCamera.com, February 16, 2020.
- “Daughter Wins Bolder Boulder 40 Years After Her Dad Won the Inaugural Race,” by Andrew Dawson, RunnersWorld.com, May 29, 2019.
Follow Ric and Nell Rojas:
- Nell’s Instagram: @nell_rojas_running
- Nell’s Twitter: @nellrojas
- Rojas Running Instagram: @ricrojasrunningtrack
- Rojas Running Website: https://rojasrunning.com/
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Music by Jacob Shije (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM).
This podcast was made possible through the Tracksmith Fellowship Program