Ali Feller NYC Marathon.jpg

Ali Feller announces the 2021 New York City Marathon.

TRAVERSE CITY — She announced the elite finishers of the 2021 New York City Marathon. She interviewed the 2022 Boston Marathon winners live on television. And this Memorial Day weekend, she is bringing her talents to Traverse City.

In a first for the annual Traverse City Track Club event, professional race announcer Ali Feller will announce the Bayshore 10k, half-marathon, and marathon.

Feller said her goal is to amplify the finish line experience.

“I will call out your name, your hometown, if you’re running as part of a team … but really I just want to be there to remind you that you just did something awesome and you should be super proud, and — even if you’re not celebrating yourself right away — I’m celebrating you.”

Feller will celebrate 8,500 Bayshore racers on May 28, including elite runners, para-athletes, and people from around the country hoping to qualify for Boston or complete their first big race. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the run along Old Mission Peninsula, which to date has donated over two million dollars of entry-fee revenue to local nonprofits.

Lisa Taylor, executive director of the Traverse City Track Club, said she is excited to welcome Feller to the Bayshore.

“She’s just so good with people. Everything is joy to her. … I personally believe that one of the most happy places in the world is at the finish line of a running race … [Feller], to me, just represents that in how she comes across.“

Taylor credited her husband with the idea to invite Feller this year. As a long-time volunteer with TCTC, Dave Taylor said he was brainstorming ways to celebrate the Bayshore’s milestone anniversary.

“We’ve had a lot of great local announcers in the past. And for the 40th anniversary, I said, ‘Hey, we’ve never had a professional race announcer.’ … not only will it be fun to have someone that really knows the sport, but I can just picture her at the TC Central track.”

Feller is best known as the host of the “Ali on the Run Show,” the No. 1 running podcast in the country according to Chartable. During Bayshore weekend, Feller will record an episode before a live audience at Chateau Chantal.

Her interview guest will be two-time Olympic marathoner, 50k world record-holder, and Charlevoix resident Des Linden.

“I’m so looking forward to this event,” Feller said. “Talking with Des is always a blast. I’ve interviewed over 500 people, and she will forever be one of my favorites … even though she’s one of the greatest runners we’ve ever seen, she kind of feels like one of us.”

According to organizers, the podcast event sold out in under four minutes. Those not able to score a ticket will be able to listen several days later when the episode is released worldwide.

Though Feller said she never set out to become running’s top podcaster, with over ten million downloads to date, her work is impactful to the sport.

“I hope that [through the podcast] people feel represented in the running community … Whether you are a professional athlete competing at the Olympic trials or you’re someone about to run your first 5k, I want you to know that there’s room for you here, and we want you here, and you are celebrated.”

Feller carries that spirit of inclusivity to her race announcing. She said she enjoys cheering for all the finishers.

“I love the camaraderie in the middle of the pack and at the back of the pack. That’s when we really see people working together. It’s when we see people crossing the finish line holding hands. It’s when we see people carrying each other.”

Feller said spectators also have an important role to play.

“Everyone needs cheers and not everyone has spectators … Whether it’s making eye contact, or clapping, or saying, ‘You got this!’ — let them feel your love.”

Taylor said she hopes community members cheer on this milestone Bayshore anniversary.

“When an event survives and exists through the years, it’s because the community really gets involved. The community becomes proud of having the event … I just hope that spectators — that might not even have anybody running in the race — will want to come out and see people up and doing amazing things.”

Feller echoed Taylor’s sentiments.

“Kathrine Switzer has that famous quote: ‘If you’re losing faith in humanity, go out and watch a marathon.’ And there’s no place that exemplifies that more than a finish line.”

I’ve interviewed over 500 people, and she will forever be one of my favorites … even though she’s one of the greatest runners we’ve ever seen, she kind of feels like one of us.” Ali Feller

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