We sat down with World Record Holder and Elite Runner Calum Neff to talk all things training, running, and AfterShokz. Keep reading to get to know Calum a bit better!
AfterShokz: Give us a quick introduction!
I started running at the age of four, now thirty-one years later I continue to run faster and longer across all disciplines of the sport of running. A typical year for me is racing about 30 times in everything from track to trail, road, ultra, mountain and cross country, in all distances, ranging from 800 meters to 80 miles. I’ve been known to push my daughters in a stroller during some of those races having previously held the Guinness World Record for a half marathon with a stroller at 1:11 and current record holder in the marathon, also with a stroller, with a 2:31.
AfterShokz: Tell us how you got into running?
I started with a kids 1km fun run while my dad was running the 10k at the 1988 Cajun Cup in Lafayette, Louisiana. In 2018, 30 years later, I returned to that very same race and watched my two eldest daughters run (not a mile kids run) while I pushed our baby in the 10k.
AfterShokz: How have you continued to up your game and redefine your possible?
My times continue to get faster including a new 5,000m PR of 14:30 this year on the track racing collegiates, kids 16 years younger than me, and in the 50km (31mi) breaking 3 hours. Despite having a full-time job, a family of five, coaching, and more, I have found balance to train and cash-in on 30 years of aerobic base.
AfterShokz: Alright, let’s talk about stroller running. You own two world records, what made you chase the Half Marathon (1:11) and Marathon (2:31) world records?
Quite simply, I was a runner who became a dad. I started running with my eldest and saw how much she enjoyed it and how much it improved our relationship while also giving my wife some time to herself. Our stroller runs became longer and we started to run, and win, some fun runs together. That’s when we learned of the Guinness World Records.
AfterShokz: You’re about to represent Canada at an upcoming race. Tell us about that.
I have been selected to the Canadian National Ultra Running Team to compete in Romania on September 1st at the World 50k Road Championships. 50k road is my favorite event because I find I am more competitive just beyond the marathon distance when most athletes are done, yet it still has the speed and tactics of road racing. My dream goal is to break the Canadian National 50k record, run under 2 hours 53 minutes, and also place top ten in the world.
AfterShokz: What is your favorite running memory?
The Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2016 will always be a special one to remember. It was one of those performances you always dream of - the pace coming easy, making tactical moves to leave packs and catch runners ahead of you. But more so because I shared the entire experience with my 4-year-old (at the time), Alessandra. Touring Toronto by stroller will surely be one of her earliest memories and we were written into the actual Guinness Book of World Records after that. It was a special day for our whole family, who were there also to watch the race.
AfterShokz: Be honest, have you ever had a stroller running mishap?
Ha, at a local 5km there was a misplaced tripod leg on the finishing clock that caught my wheel as we came blazing in for the win in 15:43. We came to a rather quick halt but all was okay, that’s why we wear our seatbelts! My children's safety is always number one and had anything compromised that in our record attempts it would have been an easy decision to stop. Fortunately no diaper mishaps so far either!
AfterShokz: What is your all-time favorite pump-up jam? What kind of music do you generally listen to during training?
My go-to hammer song, a little out of place for a father of three girls, is Queens of the Stone Age “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire”. I’ve even built a workout around it where I run pace strictly to the song on repeat, it’s a great interval session if anyone wants to give it a go! Otherwise, it's a mix of everything from Rock, to Hip-Hop, to Pop - Kidz Bop if my girls are joining me in the gym (a common occurrence).
AfterShokz: Who inspires you to push your limits?
I draw inspiration from lots of people in this world, from both history and today. Certainly the record holders are always showing the next level of what is possible, and it’s great to live in the era of Eluid Kipchoge who is just phenomenal.
AfterShokz: What’s next for you, Calum?
Following the World 50k Championships, I will be gearing up for the JFK 50 miler in November. It’s a historic race here in the US that combines technical trail and fast road running. I have a big project coming together for 2020 which I will announce soon as well, so stay tuned on my social media @CalNeff!