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David Willey
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David Willey, a Senior Vice President of Rodale Inc., is the Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World, overseeing all editorial operations of the brand, and the Editorial Director of Running Times.

Willey joined Rodale as Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World in 2003 and oversaw an award-winning redesign of the magazine in 2004, recruiting a roster of new talent to broaden its audience and creative ambition. Since then, the magazine has had the 11 most successful years in its 48-year history, hitting all-time highs in paid circulation (675,000 in 2014), audience (3.1 million in 2014), newsstand sales (reaching an average of 100,000 copies sold per month), international expansion (18 editions in 2014), ad pages, and overall revenues.

In 2006, Willey assumed oversight of runnersworld.com. Since then, traffic has climbed to over 5 million unique visitors and nearly 30 million page views per month, making runnersworld.com the most popular running-content site on the Web. Willey and his team have also expanded into mobile, launching the Shoe Shop and SmartCoach apps, and into paid content, selling branded training plans through the Runner’s World Personal Trainer, which connects to an interactive training log, and launching the award-winning Runner’s World Challenge, which offers readers a chance to train and race with the editors.

Under Willey and his team, Runner’s World has been nominated for 13 National Magazine Awards, the industry’s highest honor, including six for General Excellence (winning for General Excellence Online in 2008). Thirteen Runner’s World feature stories have been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, and the magazine earned a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award nomination in 2010. The magazine’s design, photography, and illustration is consistently honored by the Society of Publication Designers, Society of Illustrators, and American Illustrator. In recognition of its business success and creative excellence, Runner’s World has been named to the Adweek “Hot List” for magazine media four times and made Advertising Age’s “A-List” in 2005.

While serving as the General Manager of Runner’s World from 2011–2013, Willey extended the brand into new businesses, diversifying its revenue streams. In 2012, Runner’s World entered the race business for the first time, hosting the Runner’s World Half-Marathon and Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Capitalizing on the success of this annual running event, Runner’s World launched the Heartbreak Hill Half-Marathon and Festival in Boston in June 2014.

Runner’s World publishes several books each year and has expanded successfully into e-books and exclusive e-singles. Notable titles published during Willey’s tenure include 14 Minutes by Alberto Salazar and John Brant; The Long Run by Matt Long with Charles Butler; Running & Being by Dr. George Sheehan, a 35th Anniversary re-issue of the out-of-print bestseller; The Runner’s Rule Book by Mark Remy; The Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot; Bowerman and the Men of Oregon by Kenny Moore; and Run Your Butt Off! by Sara Lorge Butler and Budd Coates. Willey edited Going Long, an anthology of the best stories from Runner’s World.

Willey has been interviewed on every major television network, including CNN and NBC’s “The Today Show” in addition to other media outlets such as National Public Radio and Google+ Hangouts on air. Since 2008, he has worked as the on-course running reporter for televised broadcasts of the New York City Marathon, running alongside and interviewing athletes such as Lance Armstrong (at six-minute pace); Lyz Glick Best, widow of Flight 93 hero Jeremy Glick; actress Pamela Anderson; and supermodel and activist Christy Turlington. He has also given speeches on running and the evolution of Runner’s World at major marathons, media-industry conferences and alumni events.

Prior to joining Runner’s World, Willey spent more than eight years at Men’s Journal, moving up the editorial ranks to executive editor after starting as an assistant editor in 1995. He joined the board of directors of the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2006 and served as ASME’s president from 2008 to 2010, repositioning the organization to grow and evolve digitally. During his tenure as president, ASME expanded the National Magazine Awards to honor excellence in Digital media and began collaborating with Amazon in the ASME Best Cover Contest.

Willey graduated from Williams College in 1989 and received a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1993. He played four years of varsity football at Williams and on a Michigan state-champion team at East Grand Rapids High School. He has run eight marathons, with a PR of 3:24, and regularly participates in half-marathons and triathlons. He also put a dent in the Green Monster at Fenway Park. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three children.

Entries by David Willey

A Mile and Change

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 12:22 PM

Earlier this year, I came out of my winter running hiatus thinking about a new goal. Feeling a bit burned out by half and full marathon training, I recalled a terrific piece we'd published last year, "The Mulligan Mile." Amid a disintegrating marriage, the author, Louis Cinquino, set...

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Winning Stories

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2014 | 2:38 PM

2014-11-14-spitzlee_500.jpg Photos from the two cover contest winners. Scott Spitz, left. Christina Lee, right.

In October, 5,000 people took part in the Runner's World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. As usual, I started the half-marathon in last place, stepping across the timing mat...

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Running With Heart

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 10:57 AM

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More than 6,200 runners kicked off the inaugural Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival June 6-8, 2014. Photo by Henry Hung.

There are lots of reasons the half-marathon is the fastest-growing distance in racing (up 307 percent since 2000, with almost 2 million...

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26.2 Strong

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 12:57 PM

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David Willey, about to board the Boston Marathon women's press truck in Hopkinton, Mass.

Right about now, all over America, a couple hundred thousand runners are beginning to train for fall-marathon season. To them, the most important marathon is the one that's ahead, whether...

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A Running Love Story

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:53 AM

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George and Shay in Kenya in 2000.

Running brings people together. You hear that from time to time, at big races or after six-figure charity fund-raisers. But running can bring people together in small ways, too. It just may take a little...

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Mistakes Were Made

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:35 AM

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Why do I do this again? That question came to me as I started walking for the third time in the final miles of the Marine Corps Marathon in October. It wasn't rhetorical. I wasn't being sly. I really meant it. Every muscle...

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Boston's New Start

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:01 AM

The Boston Marathon, to me, has always represented renewal. That's an odd thing to say about the world's oldest continuously run marathon, but its place on the calendar (the third Monday in April, Patriots' Day), and celebratory, out-of-hibernation vibe have reliably pulled the dreary tarp of winter off my back...

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The Hurt Blocker

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

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...

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Strength in Numbers

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 6:02 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...

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Maybe It's Just Me

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 7:46 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...

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April 15, 2013 and Beyond

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 3:37 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,...

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Take a Deep Breath

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 3:14 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...

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A 21-Minute Fix

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

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Let's Move, Let's Run

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

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Remembering Grete Waitz, the First Lady of the Marathon

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 4:55 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,...

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

(89) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 8:52 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...

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