Friday, January 22, 2021


"I am always happy while listening to music."
~ Diane Nukuri

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Diane Nukuri, a pro runner for Asics. Originally from Burundi, Diane competed in her first Olympics at age 15.  Let's just pause for a second and let that soak in.  My own girls are 13 and 16 and it's really hard for me to imagine sending them off to compete on a world stage at this point in their lives.  So, yeah, it kind of blows me away that she ran for her country at that age.  She started running to and from her school when she was very young.  At 14, someone suggested that she enter a 5,000m race.  She admittedly didn't know much about racing but saw it as a way to travel and try something new.  Little did she know how far her running would actually take her.  After competing in the 2000 Olympics for Burundi, she fled to Canada seeking asylum from the civil war that was unfolding in her country.  She lived with relatives, attended school, learned English and started running competitively, eventually landing at the University of Iowa for both for her studies and to compete.  She ran the marathon in the 2012 Olympics where she set her second Burundian National Record, besting her own previous time with a 2:30:13.  She has since broken that record yet again, running a 2:27:50 in London in 2015.  In fact, in addition to competing in three Olympic games, her third in 2016, Nukuri is currently the Burundian record-holder in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, half marathon and the marathon.  I won't go into detail on her stats but you can see them all here if you want the nitty gritty.  Diane became a U.S. citizen in 2017 and is now eligible to compete internationally for the United States.  Her story is an incredible one.  If you have time, I highly recommend listening to her on the I'll Have Another podcast where tells a lot of it in great detail.  When I reached out to Diane to ask if she was a music fan she responded right away telling me, yes she does love music, but that at the moment she was really into African music.  Even better, I told her, as I'd love to share some of her favorite African music with the RWM readers.  To my good fortune she agreed to do this interview and I can't thank her enough for taking the time out of her busy schedule to give us her running and music story.  So, without further ado, let's meet Diane, a runner who rocks.


Name:Diane Nukuri
Where you're from:originally from Burundi
Occupation:Professional Athlete for Asics
Where you reside now:Flagstaff, Arizona

What do you love most about running?
I love how I feel after running. Whether I have a good or a bad run I always feel productive. I feel free and grateful to be alive while I still do what I love the most.

What do you love most about music? 
It can change my mood in one second and I am always happy while listening to music. I listen to music while I cook, clean, shower, run etc.

Band (current, all time or both): Boys2Men
Album (current, all time or both): 'Falling Into You' by Celine Dion
Race venue: New York City, close second Cape Cod, Falmouth
Music venue: Flagstaff Orpheum Theater
Race distance: Half Marathon
Show you've seen live: Jorge Ben Juor and other artists performing at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Ice cream flavor: German Chocolate Ice Cream

Sweet or salty? Salty
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Summer or winter? Summer

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could?
Celine Dion
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Whitney Houston
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Rihanna (she seems sweet and fun)
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Diamond Platnumz (Tanzanian recording artist) or Beyoncé (I love her energy)

Diamond Platinumz feat. Koffi Olomide 

Today, I feel like (fill in the blank):
Strong. I just did a hilly easy 13 miles with Lindsay Flanagan at Beaver Creek, Sedona but could use a nap.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
1. Waah! by Diamond Platnumz feat. Koffee Olomide
2. Jeje by Diamond Platnumz
3. Black Is King by Beyoncé
4. Made For Now by Janet Jackson feat. Daddy Yankee
5. Beautiful by Meddy feat. Sat-B

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
1. Poupette by King James (Rwandese artist)
2. My Love Is Your love by Whitney Houston
3. S’il suffisait d’aimer by Celine Dion
4. In Case You Didn’t Know by Brett Young
5. Baby by JoeBoy

Listen to this:
Waah! - Diamond Platnumz feat. Koffee Olomide