Molly Seidel Kicks Ass 

“(Except, uh, then she set the American course record, so…)”

Yesterday, all-around bad-ass Molly Seidel toed the line for her first marathon in a year and a half. She had an impressive race, finishing in 8th place among women, and setting a new personal best of 2:23:07.1 That’s 5:28 per mile, for over 26 straight miles.

In February 2020, just before the pandemic, Seidel ran her very first marathon. It just so happened to be the US Olympics Trials, and her stunning second-place finish netted her a spot on the US Olympic team. A year later, when the COVID-delayed Olympics were finally held in Tokyo, Seidel again shocked the world by taking home the bronze medal. Since she literally roared across that finish line, Molly Seidel has found herself in the spotlight, amassing hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and a place in the hearts of countless runners.2

That’s all incredible, and yet these exceptional results are not the reason Seidel kicks ass. She should be feted instead for her willingness to bare herself before the world. Shortly before her Chicago race, Runner’s World published a tremendous profile on Molly Seidel. She’s been open about her substantial mental health struggles, which she delved into in that piece.

“I’m this incredibly flawed person who struggles so much. I think: How could I have won this thing when I’m so flawed? I look at all the people around me, all these accomplished people who have their shit together, and I’m like, ‘one of these things is not like the other,’” she says, taking a sip of her flat white. “I was literally in the Olympic Village thinking: Everybody is probably looking at me wondering: Why the hell is she here?”

They weren’t. They don’t. She knows that.

And yet her mind races as fast as she does. It takes up So. Much. Space. When she’s running, though, the noise disappears. She’s not Olympic Molly or Eating Disorder Molly, she’s not even, really, Runner Molly. “When I’m running,” she says, “I’m the most authentic version of myself.”

I’ve felt fortunate to see Seidel as we both ran around Boston, and to share a few words with her at the Falmouth Road Race. She’s an incredible inspiration, and as the wise folks at Puma know, that will remain true even if she never places again. Do yourself a favor, and read Rachel Levin’s article.


  1. It was a hell of a day in Chicago, with records falling across multiple categories. Most notably, the new men’s marathon world record belongs to Kelvin Kiptum, whose blazing fast 2:00:35 cut 34 seconds off Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record. That’s 4:36s. Someone’s going to break 2 hours in an official race soon, and it’s going to be incredible.↩︎

  2. That inspiring video is archived here. ↩︎