Episode #67 Running Through History with Todd Aydelotte


I always enjoy speaking with folks who take their passion for history in interesting and innovative directions. This is why I was so happy to have Mr. Todd Aydelotte on the show. It turns out that we have a lot in common…passions for both history and running! Of course, Todd is an ultrarunner, and I have never done anything longer than the wee little 26.2 mile marathon :) - so Todd is what I would call pretty committed to the sport. I’ve been following him on Instagram for some time now because I was fascinated and very intrigued with his training methods and running excursions. As New York City’s only “historical ultrarunner",” Todd takes to the streets of the Five Burroughs to trace the narratives of some of the most engaging historical events. In recent years, he has completed an array of challenging historical ultraruns, including: An 82-mile run to trace 24-hours in the life of The Bowery Mission; The Run of Sam, a 65-mile to track the history of the 1976-77 crime spree; a 74-mile run to trace the history of Nikola Tesla in NYC and Long Island; Slavery in New York, a 43-mile run tracing the history of slavery across five boroughs; and 40-60 mile runs tracking key moments in the lives of P.T. Barnum, Teddy Roosevelt, and Walt Whitman. COOL!!!!! See why I wanted him on the show? We had a great conversation and discussed all kinds of stuff including:

  • The importance of place in understanding history - and getting a “feel” for the narrative

  • How Todd prepares for a “historical ultrarun”- research, research, research

  • Chronicling the experience on Instagram and the connections to history made Online

  • The Warriors!!!! What a movie :)

  • Sticky situations and unique stories

  • Reverence and respect for the past - for both people and place

  • Getting uncomfortable with the past and why we need to do it

  • (And for the runners…) Ultrarunning in terms of nutrition, fortification, and avoiding over-use injuries

Todd generally runs alone…as many runners know, there is a meditative component to running and this helps Todd with the historical aspects of his sport. But, he is planning a group event - just follow him on Instagram and get caught up on the deets. Also, check out this cool article about Todd in Runner’s World. And hey runners…if you are thinking about maybe upping your game a tad, we talk about these books, which are worth checking out: Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra and Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run. You might also want to take a peek at Tommy Rivers Puzey’s Insta. See you on the streets!!!

And if YOU have an innovative approach to studying and exploring the past…just let me know and we can talk - maybe even have you on the show!

And please, be sure and subscribe to The Rogue Historian Podcast on Apple Podcasts or your favorite app so you never ever ever ever miss a show. That would be dumb.

With compliments,