So far, Allie Kieffer is one of the most-adored runners of 2018. 

The 31-year-old American distance runner from Buffalo, New York opened the year on an even higher note than what she finished it on. After placing fifth towards the end of 2017 at the New York City Marathon, she got herself published in SELF magazine addressing body image issues in the sport. Soon after that, Kieffer landed a sponsorship with women’s athletic-wear brand Oiselle. 

RELATED: Body positive athlete Allie Kieffer just landed a Oiselle sponsorship

Now, she is still fairly fresh off of winning the Doha Half-Marathon (running 1:10:40) and she says she has her sites set on competing in the Olympics in 2020. 

Currently, the runner is training hard in Iten, Kenya – known as the “home of the champions.” She booked her ticket as a reaction to her recent success in running. In November, she was the second American across the finish line (behind Shalane Flanagan) running 2:29:39. It was soon after that that she wrote her piece for SELF (a women’s fitness and general interest magazine) addressing the fact that many people question her size as a runner. 

As she heads into the rest of her year (with more success to come hopefully) she has said that she is happy keeping her racing weight the way it is and she’s training in Kenya after meeting runner Betsy Saina in New York. As she noted in her recent Instagram post, Kenya is the place to be if she wants to see even more success at future races. “I want to become a champion, and the best way to do that is to train with the champions,” she said.

 

A post shared by Allie Kieffer (@kiefferallie) on

After having accrued a rather large fan-base as a result of not just knocking out a fast marathon in New York but also in speaking honestly about body image issues in the sport, Kieffer’s social media is another great source of inspiration for her followers. 

“If I can focus on being the best version of myself every day—going to the gym, being a good girlfriend, doing my run, and all the other things I can control—at the end of the day I’ve done what I can to be the best version of myself,” she posted recently. “I can walk away feeling like I succeeded every day.”

Next up for Kieffer: she is contemplating heading back to New York in March to run the NYC Half. Her long-term goal is to run for the U.S. at the 2020 Olympics either in the 10,000m or the marathon. 

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