iOS app Android app

David Willey
David Willey is the Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World magazine and the General Manager of Rodale’s Active Living Group, which also includes Running Times and Bicycling magazines. He joined Runner’s World in 2003 and oversaw the magazine’s award-winning redesign in 2004. As Editor-in-Chief, Willey directs all editorial operations of the magazine.

Willey is a master brand-builder and innovative leader with a 360-degree understanding of the business.

In 2006, Willey assumed editorial oversight of After a redesign in 2007, traffic increased 150 percent. is now the most popular running-related site on the web, and its small staff has earned the site several publishing-industry honors, including a National Magazine Award nomination for General Excellence, three MPA Digital Award nominations (one for Website of the Year in the Sports category), and two Min “Best of the Web” nominations.

Continuing to push the envelope on what a vertical magazine can be, Willey serves his broad and diverse readership successfully by consistently publishing great stories, written by literary journalists working at the top of their games which connect running with larger themes and with the human experience. Under Willey’s leadership, Runner’s World publishes its full range of content across multiple platforms, extending its brand “off the page” into events that bring editors and readers together in a unique and powerful way. This allows the brand the room to cover running both as an elite sport and a fitness activity, serving all runners—men as well as women, hardcore marathoners as well as 10-miles-per-week newbies.

Runner’s World has had a story included in the Best American Sports Writing series 12 times, 11 times since 2004. In 2012, John Brant’s “Frank’s Story” where legendary runner Frank Shorter comes clean about the abuse at the hands of his father, and “Fixing Diane’s Brain” by Bill Donahue, both got the nod. Runner’s World has also garnered 12 National Magazine Award nominations, 11 in the past eight years, winning in 2008 for General Excellence in Digital. The brand is also consistently cited for design and photography honors by SPD, the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration.

During Willey’s two-year tenure of ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) President, which concluded in 2010, he announced a significant extension of the National Magazine Award categories with the addition of 12 awards honoring digital media. Under Willey’s leadership, the ASME’s Best Cover contest was hosted on for the first time in 2009.

Prior to joining Runner’s World, Willey spent more than eight years at Men’s Journal, where he moved up the editorial ranks after starting as an assistant editor in 1995. He worked with award-winning writers such as Hampton Sides, Mark Bowden, Mark Levine, P.J. O’Rourke, Bruce McCall, Philip Caputo, Sean Flynn, and David Samuels. While serving as executive editor, he oversaw “The Firefighters,” a 20-page cover story produced in six days beginning on September 12, 2001, and edited Wild Stories, an anthology published in conjunction with Men’s Journal’s 10th anniversary.

Willey has made dozens of television appearances, and serves as the running reporter for NBC’s broadcast of the ING New York City Marathon, where he conducts live on-the-run interviews with runners as they run the Marathon.

Entries by David Willey

The Hurt Blocker

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 11:54 AM

Monday has a brand problem. The weekend is over, most good restaurants are closed, and the daily grind begins anew. Wednesday, or hump day (the week's second-worst brand), at least suggests progress, a muddling along. But Monday, often a rest day for those who do long runs on weekends, is...

Read Post

Strength in Numbers

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 5:02 PM

This is being published on November 12, but it's already safe to say it: What a year! I don't recall another one when the running world changed more, grew in so many new ways, or bounced back from such adversity. Sadly, there was lots of awful news: Oscar Pistorius fatally...

Read Post

Maybe It's Just Me

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 6:46 PM

There are many, many rules and tips for how to run, race, eat, and even rest on the Runner's World website and on social media. It's all solid advice, much of it scientifically proven. But what about the personal quirks and hard-won secrets we develop along the way...

Read Post

April 15, 2013 and Beyond

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 2:37 PM

2013-06-17-david_RS200X200.jpgLongtime readers of this page know that one of the traditions of Boston Marathon weekend for Runner's World and Running Times staffers is to gather (sometimes more than once) at Bukowski Tavern for peanut butter and bacon burgers. So on Friday, April 12,...

Read Post

Take a Deep Breath

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 2:14 PM

Maybe it's because running is so quantifiable, but most runners I know love "magic bullets." We want to improve -- it's why we run in the first place -- and we'll typically try anything (within reason) that might help us run more miles or faster times. Also, many of us...

Read Post

A 21-Minute Fix

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:18 PM

It was supposed to be a swim day. January 8, a Tuesday. I had several epic meetings and conference calls on deck, which would keep me chair-bound for six or seven hours. To gird myself, I planned a pool workout on the way to the office, but I hit a...

Read Post

Let's Move, Let's Run

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 9:31 AM

Dear Mr. President and Mrs. Obama,

Thank you again for having me at the White House Christmas party in December. I'm sure you don't remember me, since I was among the 600 people you met that night. I accompanied a colleague who was on the invite list, Prevention editorial director...

Read Post

Remembering Grete Waitz, the First Lady of the Marathon

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 3:55 PM

It can be unnerving to meet someone famous for the first time, especially someone you've admired for decades, someone who'd been compared to Grace Kelly and Greta Garbo, someone who ran so fast but with such Zen-like, expressionless grace -- a Mona Lisa in pigtails -- that she made you,...

Read Post

Barefoot Running: The Exercise Craze That's Hit the Streets

(89) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 7:52 AM

There's this photo of my dad and me running a 10-K that makes me wince whenever I see it. We're side by side, faces set in the same fiercer-than-intended expression (no doubt where I inherited that from). The big difference is in our legs. My dad is landing on the...

Read Post