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The Running for Real Podcast

Sep 29, 2023

Eli Mahnken loved to run. It was a love that he shared with his mother, Heather; they ran his final mile together last October, the day before he passed away from brain cancer at the age of seven.

Eli’s earthly presence is gone, but he will be in Heather’s heart when she runs the New York City Marathon to raise money for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation in his honor. The marathon is also a way for Heather to celebrate what running has brought to her life - healing, community, and an ability to see life differently.

For complete show notes and links, visit our website at


Thank you to 2before, Allbirds, and Precision Fuel & Hydration for sponsoring this episode. 


2before is a natural sports performance superfood made from New Zealand Blackcurrant berries, which boast exceptionally high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins. They’ve been proven to improve athletic performance by increasing blood flow, managing inflammation, and strengthening immunity. 

Over 10 years ago, the 2before co-founders were part of a team from the New Zealand Plant and Food Research Institute that first discovered that blackcurrants have benefits for exercise. 2before is a natural, simple and delicious way to boost your pre-workout nutrition, so you can get more out of the work you put in.

Go to and use code TINA to get 30% off 20 packs plus free shipping!


Allbirds looks at everything through a sustainability lens; it’s at the core of who they are as a company and the products they create. Their performance running shoe, the Tree Flyer, is lightweight, super springy, and wildly comfortable, and they’re Tina’s go-to running shoes.  The Tree Dasher is not only a running shoe, it’s perfect for daily wear. You might also want to check out the Plant Pacers, made from plant leather.

Go to, and you’ll get a free pair of socks! Just add them to your order, and when you use this link, it will take off the price at the end.


Precision Fuel & Hydration helps athletes crush their fueling and hydration so they can perform at their best. Tina used their electrolytes and fuel when she finished first female and third overall at the Bryce Canyon 50 Miler. You can go to for their free Fuel & Hydration planner to understand how much carb, fluid, and sodium you need for your key runs. 

If you have more questions, Precision offers free video consultations. Their Athlete Support crew will answer your race nutrition questions and act as a sounding board for your fueling strategy. No hard-sell, just an experienced and friendly human who knows the science and is full of practical advice on how to nail your race nutrition. You can book a call at

Once you know what you need to run your best, you can go to for 15% off their range of multi-strength electrolytes and fuel.

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