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Chris Chavez teases potential one-on-one mile race with Malcolm Gladwell

A curious trio of Gladwell, Chavez and Zac Clark, winner of 'The Bachelorette,' got together for a run recently

Photo by: Twitter/ChrisChavez

It’s always strange to see worlds collide, which is exactly what happened on Tuesday, when Chris Chavez tweeted a photo after a run with Malcolm Gladwell and Zac Clark. Chavez writes for Sports Illustrated and founded Citius Mag, Gladwell is an author and host of the popular podcast Revisionist History and Clark is the most recent winner of The Bachelorette. Despite their different backgrounds, a shared love of running brought the three men together, and Chavez said they might even race one another soon. 

Chavez vs. Clark 

In his tweet, Chavez said he and Clark are training to attempt ultrarunner David Goggins‘s 4 x 4 x 48 challenge. In this long challenge, participants run four miles (6.4K) every four hours for 48 hours, totalling 48 miles (77K) in two days. This will be a difficult challenge to complete, but both Chavez and Clark have run multiple marathons, and although 77K is a lot longer than 42.2K, they’ve proven they can tough it out for the long haul.

RELATED: Malcolm Gladwell: “I would rather be a mediocre runner than a good one”

Chavez owns a marathon PB of 3:06:04, which he ran at the Berlin Marathon in 2019. He has seen tremendous improvement in his marathon times in the last couple of years, and in 2019 he dropped from a 3:37 PB down to 3:16 and then 3:06. Clark has run the New York City Marathon six times, starting in 2014 and not missing a year until the 2020 race was cancelled. His best performance in those six races was a 3:48.


Clark posted the photo of him, Chavez and Gladwell on his Instagram story, writing, “Practice with people who are better than you. We are built to rise up.” Chavez may have a PB about 40 minutes quicker than Clark, but The Bachelorette winner doesn’t seem too bothered by it. After all, Chavez didn’t say he and Clark would be racing to see who could run their four-mile splits the fastest, and they are instead working toward completing the ultra challenge together. 

RELATED: Malcolm Gladwell still finds grace in running

Gladwell vs. Chavez 

While Clark and Chavez aren’t going to race one another, that might not be the case when Gladwell and Chavez run together. As Chavez wrote on Twitter, he and Gladwell might have a “mile showdown” in May. Gladwell is best known for his books and podcast, but many Canadian running fans are well aware of the fact that he used to be an elite runner. 

Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Reid coming into the finish at an Ontario school race in 1978. Photo: Bob Olsen.

When Gladwell was in high school, he got his 1,500m time down to 4:05, and while attending the University of Toronto, he broke four minutes at an indoor race, running his lifetime best of 3:55. Although he isn’t as focused on competition as he was all those years ago, he still races from time to time, and he has run the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile in NYC. 

Gladwell’s most recent record mile at the NYC event was 5:11 from 2017. Chavez, on the other hand, ran a 5:09 PB in October, and he has tweeted that he is working toward a sub-five-minute result. If the two journalists do race, it will all be in good fun, but we’ll still be eager to see who comes out on top. 

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