HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day: Sid Vaughn: From Unsigned Out of College to HOKA NAZ Elite Pro Dreaming of Tokyo

HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #13

by LetsRun.com (sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE)
February 21, 2020

February is Marathon Month on LetsRun.com as the month ends with one of the greatest events on the athletics calendar, the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. From the contenders, to the dreamers, to the mountain men and women, HOKA ONE ONE has 17 athletes competing at the Trials, and LetsRun.com is partnering with HOKA to profile all of them. We hope these profiles not only show you the cool stories of the people running the Trials, but also help gets you pumped for the Trials, and gives you some advice for your own running. This content is sponsored content for HOKA, but not approved by them.

Of the three HOKA NAZ Elite male pros toeing the line in Atlanta at the Olympic Marathon Trials a week from today, Scott Fauble, Scott Smith, and Sid Vaughn, Vaughn is the new kid on the block.


Vaughn grew up in Louisiana, hence his instagram handle @cajunlightning, and went to high school and college in Georgia. At the University of Georgia, Vaughn ran solid but not spectacular times of 14:01 and 29:08, which left him on the outside of guys who get pro contracts. However Vaughn knew he had unfinished business in the sport, and moved to Boulder, Colorado to train in Boulder, Colorado with Parker Stinson and Hudson Elite.

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Vaughn made big breakthoughs in 2018, running 28:32.06 to win the 10,000m at Mt. Sac, placing 8th at the US Half Marathon Champs, and winning the San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon in 1:03:36 to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. His first foray into the marathon was not a success (2:22.01), but his successful year attracted the attention of HOKA NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario and Sid signed his first professional contract to kick off 2019.

Vaughn lowered his half marathon PR to 1:03:30 in New York last year and adapted to training with Fauble and Smith who had great success in the marathon in 2019 (2:09 for Fauble in Boston, 2:11 for Smith in Chicago). For the vast majority of the Trials build-up, Vaughn has been running side-by-side with the two Scotts. We spoke to all 3 of them yesterday and will post that later this week, but until then here is Vaughn’s Trials Q&A.

Name /Nickname: Sid Vaughn Jr.


Age: 25

Hometown: Baton Rouge, Lousiana

High school: Lakeside High School (Evans, GA)
University of Georgia (2017)

Occupation: Professional Runner
Training Group: HOKA ONE ONE NAZ Elite

How did you qualify for the Trials? San Jose Half Marathon 2018 1:03:35

High school PBs: 3200m- 9:20 1600m- 4:19 5k xc- 15:23

College PBs: 10,000m- 29:08 5000m- 14:01

Post college claim to fame: Half Marathon- 63:30, 10 mile- 47:46 10,000m- 28:32

Training shoe: Clifton 6

Racing shoe: Carbon X

Family: youngest of 10 siblings

Road to the Trials

Sid training in Flagsatff via his @cajunlightning instagram

How did you start running?  

I started running track when I was in middle school (2006) but did not fall in love with the sport until my Junior year of high school (2010-2011).

How long have you dreamed of the Trials/Olympics?  

I have wanted to compete in the Olympics since my Junior year of high school

What does it mean to make the Trials?

It’s a great feeling to be competing in the Trials for a spot on the Olympic Team. This is the first step towards making the team so to be in this position is amazing.

What’s your goal for the Trials?

Try and make the Olympic Team

What do you think of the course?

The course is one of the most challenging courses I have ever seen. There is no real flat sections to it so that will beat up the legs over the course of the marathon. It is going to make February 29th a very interesting day.

How has your training gone in the buildup for the Trials?  Did you do anything different because it’s the Trials?

Training has been going very well. My coach has modified our workouts to be on tougher courses in order to be as best prepared for the Atlanta course as we can be. I don’t feel any extra pressure. I love racing so I just look at it as another chance to get on the roads and be competitive.

How long was your buildup?

12 weeks

What was your highest mileage week? Your average week?

102 highest week, 95 for avg

What is your favorite workout?

Mile Repeats

How much sleep do you get a night?

8-9 hour

Free Training Advice

What one piece of advice would you give to a high school/ younger runner?

Stay the course and be willing to put in the time and work in order to achieve your goals. You don’t get successful in running overnight and no one workout will or training run will do it either. It is the sum of weeks, months and even years that will get you to your goals.

What one piece of advice would you give to a first-time marathoner?

Do not try anything new on race day. Stick to the plan that you have had and practiced throughout your training. Whether that’s your fueling the day of or dinner the night before etc..

What one piece of advice would you give to a runner pursuing their dreams?

Don’t let other people tell you what your dreams should be or that you should not pursue them.

What is your favorite running memory?

Sid after signing his first pro contract with HOKA NAZ Elite

Signing with NAZ in 2019

Who inspired you as a runner as a kid?

Leo Manzano, Bernard Lagat

What is your race day routine?

Wake up 3 hours before, have coffee and some peanut butter toast + a granola bar

Why do you run?

My whole day feels off if I don’t run.It is the best way for me to start my day whether that’s because I feel a sense of accomplishment from exercising or I need some time to think on my own.

Previous HOKA ONE ONE Takes On The Trials Stories:
HOKA NAZ Elite Coach Ben Rosario Talks 2020 Marathon Trials Expectations, Shoe Technology, Jim Walmsley, & Even Galen Rupp

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