LOF:006 Rob Rader From the worst shape of his life to marathoner.


NOTE: Athlete Profiles are all about the listeners of the Athlete On Fire podcast! Yes, we have some amazing guests on the show but some of YOU listeners out there are just as inspiring. You write to give us feedback and you share your amazing stories with us and we are happy to pass them on to the masses. This is going to be a regular installment so if you or anyone you know is a worthy candidate, shoot us an email and we would love to feature them. Rob has a story like many of us. I think you’ll be able to relate to this Listener On Fire.



Rob Rader




Mankato, MN

What is the best thing about your hometown?

The area is located in a prairie and was the “big city” they always talked about on the old show “Little House on the Prairie”. We are normally know around this time of year because of Minnesota State University – Mankato is where the Minnesota Vikings hold their training camp and history shows that when one of them gets arrested during training camp we get a mention on ESPN.

Athletic history:

I grew up playing hockey and football (through high school). I did referee hockey for a number of years but also discovered a love for beer and made the huge mistake of letting myself go and getting into the worst shape of my life before I finally woke up and started to do something about it.

Current athletic passion:

I just completed my first marathon and really had the time of my life. When I first went into the challenge I wasn’t sure if I would be a one and done marathoner or catch the bug. I am happy to say that I am now hooked and have my second marathon scheduled in October. I am also working on my swimming and picked up a road bike to hopefully work my way into triathlon next year. My long-term goal is to do both a full ironman and an ultra-marathon.

Who or what in the world is inspiring you right now?

I am gathering inspiration in a few different areas right now. I am listing to pod-casts (love athlete on fire), reading everything I can get my hands on covering triathlon, ultra-marathoners, and other endurance athletes.

Is your legacy important to you? Why?

I think it is important to me. I want my daughters to hopefully find inspiration in turning things around and knowing that anything is possible by working hard and making your own luck.

Why do you consider yourself an athlete on fire?

When I first started getting active it was based on a dare from a co-worker to complete a 10k. I thought it was going to be the end of me and remember having the van that picks up the cones drive behind me for a portion of the race. This was about the equivalent of having a buzzard following you in the desert. After the race I decided I was going to turn things around and started dropping weight. At this point in my life I am down over 70 pounds, competing in marathons, and inspiring others at work to start their own programs. I even have others asking me for advice (I never would have expected that to happen!).

What would you say to someone who hasn’t found their passion in sport or life yet?

Keep digging, it’s there, you have to go find it. The other thing you have to do is get off your butt and try something new until you find it. Sitting on the couch is getting you nowhere so turn off the TV and get moving!

Where are you on your athletic journey? Flicker, Flame, or Fire?

NOTE FOR ROB:Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with the Athlete On Fire community. Love that you made a huge change to get back to living an active, athletic lifestyle! You are definitely an inspiring Athlete On Fire!


Remember. I am, you are, everyone is an athlete on fire!

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