This summer, Alex Hoyt’s day job converged with his love of running. As a writer and the editor in chief of Amtrak’s The National magazine, he ran the original marathon—from Marathon to Athens—in order to write a story about it for United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine.
“It was two days after a wedding, 85 degrees, and the course turned out to be a highway with very little shoulder,” he says. “I survived, and that's all I can really say. Everyone in Greece thought I was insane, which is fair.”
A former college runner, Alex was encouraged to join NBR by his old teammate, Andy Kifer. “I'd done almost no running for the past eight years, so it was pretty humbling in the beginning.” Today, he is a new member recruitment chair for NBR’s Local Competitive team, along with Gabby Tofig, NBR’s other August Runner of the Month.
How he got into running: “My mom was a competitive runner—she ran 2:56 at the Boston Marathon in 1984, the first year there was a women's Olympic Trials. The standard was 2:51, and I think she's still a little annoyed she didn't get it. Whatever endurance and competitive drive I have, I inherited from her.”
What he does when not running: “For work, I edit a travel magazine for Amtrak. I also love soccer, good fiction, and a post–Prospect Park loop beer at Gold Star.”
Favorite race distance: “The mile—I was a freshman in high school when Alan Webb first broke 4:00, and I've been fixated on the distance ever since.”
Best running memories: “Every year at the end of our college pre-season camp, outside Boone, North Carolina, we'd always do a tempo to the fire tower on top of Flat Top Mountain. There were so many switchbacks that it seemed to go on forever, but it was amazing once the whole team arrived at the summit. More recently, the Brooklyn Half—running through Prospect Park in a big pack of NBR guys was such a rush and the culmination of months of great training.”
Favorite running routes in NYC: “Prospect Park—I basically just run variations of that loop every day. And the Red Hook track is great in a kind of dystopian way.”
What running has taught him: “No matter how talented you are, you really only see results by putting in the work. I think that's true of writing, and probably most other pursuits.”
Favorite post-race food: “Pesto pasta.”
Song that makes him want to run: " ‘Take it on the Run’ by REO Speedwagon.”
Favorite running social media accounts: “Des Linden and Nick Willis.”
Worst part about being a runner: “What all the running on pavement eventually does to your body.”
Advice to running newbies: “Find a group of training partners whose company you enjoy, and be as consistent as you can about getting in the miles.”
Current running goal: “I'm hoping to PR in the mile and the 5k over the next couple of months.”