Nick Symmonds
Nick Symmonds in 2011
Personal information
Born (1983-12-30) 30 December 1983 (age 40)
Blytheville, Arkansas, United States
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)
College teamWillamette University
Turned pro2006
Coached byDanny Mackey
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400 meters: 47.45[1]
800 meters: 1:42.95[1]
1500 meters: 3:34.55[1]
Mile: 3:56.72i
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  United States
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2013 Moscow 800 m

Nicholas Boone Symmonds (born December 30, 1983) is an American YouTube personality and retired middle-distance track athlete, from Boise, Idaho, who specialized in the 800 meters and 1500 meters distances.[2] Symmonds signed with Brooks Running in January 2014 after a 7-year sponsorship with Nike.[3] In college at Willamette University he won seven NCAA Division III titles in outdoor track. Symmonds is a 6-time US National 800 meters champion. He has competed in the 800m at two Olympic Games, reaching the semi-finals in Beijing 2008;[4] in London 2012, he finished fifth in the final, running a personal best of 1:42.95 behind David Rudisha's world record. He won a silver medal in the 800 meters at the 2013 World Championships, having previously finished sixth in the 2009 final and fifth in the 2011 final.

Symmonds is also the co-founder and former CEO of a supplement company called Run Gum, which makes functional chewing gum used by athletes, students, professionals, etc. He launched Run Gum with his coach Sam Lapray in October 2014 with their flagship product, Energy Gum.

Following his retirement, Symmonds gained more popularity in 2020 through his YouTube channel which primarily focuses on running, powerlifting, and fitness.

Early life and education

Symmonds was born on December 30, 1983, in Blytheville, Arkansas.[5] His family moved to Boise, Idaho when he was three-years old. His father Jeffrey Symmonds is a surgeon, and his mother Andrea is a teacher.[6] Raised in Boise, Nick is a 2002 graduate of Bishop Kelly High School in that city.[6] An avid outdoorsman, Nick earned his Eagle Scout award in high school.[7] In high school, he won state championships in the 800 meters (PR 1:53), 1600 meters (PR 4:20) and 3200 meters (PR 9:47)[8] individual races and on the 4 × 400 m relay.[6] He chose Willamette University in Salem, Oregon over other schools that could offer athletic scholarships. At Willamette, an NCAA Division III school, Symmonds earned a degree in biochemistry in 2006 and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.[6]

Running career


While at Willamette, he won the 800 m NCAA championship race all four years and 1500 m NCAA championship race as a freshman,[9] junior, and senior.[10] Symmonds collegiate best in the 800m (1:45.83) currently ranks No. 1 in NCAA Division III history.[11] His 1500m collegiate best (3:40.91) ranks No. 3 all-time in NCAA Division III.[11] Though Symmonds is widely regarded as Willamette's most decorated athlete, his poor relationship with Head Coach Matt McGuirk has prevented wide celebration of his athletic achievements at his alma mater.[12]

Year Northwest Conference Cross Country NCAA Cross Country Northwest Conference Outdoor NCAA Outdoor
2005-06 25:18.1 1st 27:12.2 9 3rd 1:55.39 1st
4:04.75 1st
1:49.59 1st
3:49.24 1st
2004-05 26:27.5 7th 25:49.2 84th 1:52.60 1st 1:49.87 1st
3:54.20 1st
2003-04 1:55.51 1st 1:50.87 1st
2002-03 26:16.7 8th 26:18.3 89th 1:49.51 1st
3:46.66 1st



Symmonds during 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

After college, Symmonds joined the Oregon Track Club Elite.[6] A seven-time outdoor track champion at the NCAA III level, he was runner-up at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2006 in the 800m race.[2] In 2007, he won the 800m race at the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene, Oregon, with a then personal best time of 1:44.54, shocking the current Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy by beating him with his own come-from-behind strategy.[14] See the video.

In 2008, Symmonds won the United States Olympic Trials 800m final held in Eugene, Oregon with a personal best time of 1:44.10.[15] He was the first of three Oregon associated athletes to finish at the top of this race before the home crowd, the other two being Andrew Wheating from the University of Oregon and Oregon Track Club training partner Christian Smith, an event referred to as the "Oregon sweep" and replayed many times in television coverage of the meet. This qualified all three men for the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, for the 800 m race.[5] At the Beijing Olympics, Symmonds won his first-round heat, then finished a non-qualifying fifth place in his semifinal heat with a time of 1:46.96, 0.73 seconds behind the winner of that heat.

Symmonds continued to improve in 2009, winning the USATF Championships over Khadevis Robinson, which qualified him to represent the United States at the World Championships. As part of his preparation for the championships, Symmonds ran a personal best of 1:43.83 on July 29, 2009, in Monaco.[6] A few weeks later, Symmonds became the first American to qualify for the final of the men's 800m since 1997. He finished sixth in 1:45.71.[2] In 2010, he lowered his personal record again, to 1:43.76, while finishing third behind David Rudisha's 1:41.01 world record at the IAAF World Challenge track and field meet in Rieti, Italy.[16]

On June 25, 2012, Symmonds returned to the 2012 United States Olympic Trials again on his home track in Eugene, Oregon. The race went out fast, with Charles Jock leading Duane Solomon through a sub-50 second first lap. Atypically, Symmonds was not far off that pace. As Jock faded, Solomon charged off to a big lead through the final turn. Symmonds ran around the field and sprinted past Solomon on the homestretch to make his second Olympic team.

At the London Olympics, Symmonds was one of the two time qualifiers for the final of the 800m. He placed fifth in the final with a new personal best of 1:42.95; David Rudisha placed first in the world record time of 1:40.91., with Nijel Amos of Botswana second, Timothy Kitum of Kenya third, and Symmonds' teammate Duane Solomon fourth.

In 2013, Symmonds achieved his highest placing at an international championship, winning a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics by running a season's best of 1:43.55, 2nd only to Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman. At the time, this was the highest an American had ever finished in the men's 800 meters at the World Championships.

Symmonds was removed from the U.S. team at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics due to a sponsorship rights conflict between personal sponsor Brooks and U.S. sponsor Nike.[17]

Symmonds had to forego racing the 2016 Olympic Trials due to an injured ankle.[18] He retired after being eliminated in the heats of the 2017 US Championships.

Run Gum

In 2014, Nick and his former coach, Sam Lapray, founded Run Gum, which markets a caffeinated chewing gum to athletes.[19][20] In January 2016 Run Gum filed an antitrust lawsuit against USA Track and Field for rules that Symmonds feels suppress competition.[21] In May, a federal judge dismissed the suit.[22]

Symmonds often advertises Run Gum on his YouTube channel, through giving away Run Gum products as challenge prizes. There has also been several Run Gum social media accounts created, the most prominent of which is a TikTok account with over 750 thousand followers and 38 million likes.[23]

Mile To Mountain

On May 1st, 2018, Symmonds announced his official retirement from track & field, along with his next major personal goal; to climb the Seven Summits, that is, the highest mountain on each continent.

These peaks include Mt. Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Puncak Jaya (Oceania), and Everest (Asia).

If he is successful, Symmonds would become the first person in history to both summit Mount Everest and run a sub four minute mile.[24]

As of 2023, Symmonds has climbed two of the Seven Summits (Kilimanjaro & Puncak Jaya).

Alongside his Mile to Mountain goal, Symmonds also is working on summiting all fifty US state highpoints, with 47 as of 2023. As an aside, Denali is the state highpoint of Alaska as well as the continental highpoint of North America.[25]

YouTube career

Symmonds' YouTube channel broke out in late 2019, and currently has over 1.6 million subscribers and 541 million views. In his YouTube videos, he often refers to himself as "The Bison". His content focuses on challenges involving fitness and running. He is good friends with fellow YouTuber A.J. Lapray. Sometime in 2020 he signed a deal with Gymshark. In June and July 2020, Symmonds became a topic of controversy in the running community when he organized events ignoring social distancing guidance for his videos.[26] In March 2020, one of Symmonds' YouTube videos led to the suspension of three NCAA college athletes from his alma mater, Willamette University, when he gifted them Run Gum prizes for participating in his video.[27]

Beginning in 2020, Symmonds has started a second YouTube channel named 'Nick Symmonds Too', consisting of many reaction, tutorial and challenge videos of shorter length. As of 2023, the channel has 50.7 thousand subscribers, and 5.2 million views.[28]

Personal life

In 2020, Symmonds married Tiana Baur.[29]

Symmonds has a pet rabbit named Mortimer, with whom he posed for a PETA ad campaign against animal testing.[30]

Symmonds is also an avid fisherman.[31]

In 2017, Symmonds was hired by the newly formed Track Town Summer Series Professional Track & Field league to act as General Manager for the team representing San Francisco.[citation needed] Symmonds opposes what he considers absurdly strict rules restricting athletes' ability to market themselves. For the 2012 season, he auctioned off space on his left shoulder for a temporary tattoo to advertise a sponsor. The winning bidder was a Milwaukee advertising agency, Hanson Dodge Creative, which paid $11,000 for the space to advertise their Twitter handle. During restricted competitions like the Olympic trials and the Olympics themselves, Symmonds is required to cover up the tattoo with white tape, which actually draws attention to the tattoo advertising underneath.[32] Symmonds is not the first track athlete to do this; 2004 Olympic champion shot-putter Adam Nelson actively sold space on his shirt during the 2005 season (when he won the IAAF World Championships).[33] The practice is also common in boxing.[34]

I've never had a problem speaking out about something that bothers me, The biggest thing that rubs me the wrong way is that governing bodies want to control the space I feel I should control.[35]

At the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Symmonds was a vocal critic of Russia's "anti-gay" laws.[36] He dedicated his silver medal to his gay and lesbian friends.[37]

Symmonds published an article in the November 2013 issue of Runner's World magazine advocating that Congress should "[b]an assault rifles and handguns for everyone except police and military personnel."[38]

Personal records

Major victories

See also


  1. ^ a b c All-Athletics. "Profile of Nick Symmonds".
  2. ^ a b c "USA Track & Field - Nick Symmonds".
  3. ^ Gambaccini, Peter (January 2, 2014). "Nick Symmonds Leaves Oregon Track Club, Signs with Brooks". Runner's World.
  4. ^ "Olympic Athletics Competition Schedule". IAAF. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  5. ^ a b "Complete U.S. Olympic rosters". August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Goe, Ken. Symmonds no longer a secret. The Oregonian, June 20, 2007.
  7. ^ "Nick Symmonds". 13 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Nick Symmonds". Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  9. ^ "Willamette University". Willamette University.
  10. ^ "Apple Raceberry JaM".
  11. ^ a b "Claremont Mudd Scripps" (PDF). Claremont Mudd Scripps.
  12. ^ "Chavez: Symmonds lifts curtain on new book". 28 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Bio Nick Symmonds Men's Track and Field results Willamette University". Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  14. ^ "Records shattered at the Prefontaine Classic". The Oregonian. June 10, 2007.
  15. ^ a b [1]USA Track and Field, June 30, 2008.
  16. ^ "Symmonds' personal best good for third. - Free Online Library".
  17. ^ "Nick Symmonds to miss worlds after failing to sign USATF contract release". 10 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Controversial 800m runner Nick Symmonds injured, will miss Olympics | NBC Olympics". Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  19. ^ "Nick Symmonds Develops Gum For Runners".
  20. ^ "Our Story - What Motivated Us to Create a New Kind of Energy". Run Gum.
  21. ^ DeJarnette, Ben (January 21, 2016). "Run Gum Lawsuit: What Happens Next?". Runner's World.
  22. ^ Strout, Erin (May 12, 2016). "Judge Dismisses Run Gum Lawsuit". Runner's World.
  23. ^ "TikTok". Retrieved 2022-09-21.
  24. ^ Kelly, Madeleine (2018-05-02). "Nick Symmonds vs. Mount Everest". Canadian Running Magazine. Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  25. ^ "Nick Symmonds - YouTube". Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  26. ^ "Olympian called out on social media for hosting races with no social distancing". 28 June 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  27. ^ PACER Fitness Test (Beep Test) vs. Subscribers on YouTube
  28. ^ "Nick Symmonds Too - YouTube". Retrieved 2023-01-12.
  29. ^ "Nick Symmonds marries longtime girlfriend at home in Oregon". Running Magazine. 24 May 2020.
  30. ^ Mitch James, "Olympic Runner To Unveil PETA Campaign Monday in Santa Monica," Santa Monica Mirror, 14 December 2013.
  31. ^ "Work, rest and play – Nick Symmonds| News |".
  32. ^ "Olympic runner Nick Symmonds has a "forbidden" tattoo – Outsports". Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  33. ^ "News |".
  34. ^ "Froch awaits Ward after he beats Pavlik on 1/26 — Boxing News". November 23, 2012.
  35. ^ Elliott, Stuart (July 4, 2012). "With a Tattoo, Hanson Dodge Bets on Nick Symmonds". The New York Times.
  36. ^ Luhn, Alec (2013-08-14). "US athlete Nick Symmonds speaks out against Russia's anti-gay law in Moscow". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  37. ^ Horsey, David (August 15, 2013). "Putin's anti-gay laws set the stage for an international battle". Los Angeles Times.
  38. ^ Symmonds, Nick (November 5, 2013). "Guns in America: It's Time for Change". Runner's World.
  39. ^ Dealing with Setbacks, Disappointment, and Injuries in Running #Breaking11, archived from the original on 2021-12-15, retrieved 2019-08-04
  40. ^ "1500m". Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  41. ^ "Nick Symmonds - Stats". Idaho Milesplit.
  42. ^ "Nick Symmonds". World Athletics.
  43. ^ Douglas, Scott (August 22, 2012). "Nick Symmonds Breaks U.S. Beer Mile Record". Runner's World.
  44. ^ "Turkey Day 5k". Chrono Track. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  45. ^ Symmonds, Nick. "NICK SYMMONDS COMING OUT OF RETIREMENT!!! sort of 😜". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  46. ^ "Honolulu Marathon Race Results 2017". Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  47. ^ D3 star races to elite ranks, takes Athlete of the Week. Archived 2007-10-15 at the Wayback Machine USA Today, June 12, 2007.