MEMBER: Max Krall

Name: Max Krall
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
High School: Conard High School
College: UC Berkeley (BS 2015) Thomas Jefferson University (MD 2021)
Occupation: Medical Student
Favorite Place to Run in Philly: Schuylkill River Trail (Love/Hate relationship)

Personal Bests
1500m - 4:20.11
Mile - 4:40.37
5k - 17:13
8k - 27:34
10 mile - 58:07

Career Highlights
Winning a pair of Lululemon shorts in a small 5k.
Not coming in last at the USATF Club XC Championship in 2017.


By: Kevin Brandon (11/05/17)

Max, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC

I grew up in West Hartford, CT, then moved out to UC Berkeley for school.  I majored in bioengineering, and worked at UCSF for two years after I graduated. I just moved to Philly this July to start medical school at Jefferson/Sidney Kimmel Medical College.  I told the coach of Strawberry Canyon Track Club (my club in Berkeley) I was moving to Philadelphia, and he recommended I contact PRTC, as Joe Binder also ran with the "Berries" out in Berkeley. 

When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?

After swimming in high school, I spent the first three years of college getting completely out of shape - I would get winded walking uphill to class.  The summer before my senior year of college I had an internship that I had to bike to, and I realized if I started running then I would be able to do a triathlon.  I never ran before that - I always thought I would hate it.  Kick sets were the worst part of swimming for me, and I felt running would be the exact same way.  I was still initially hesitant to run, but I ended up meeting another former swimmer at a party and we decided to join the  club triathlon team together on a whim. 

Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.

For my first day of running, I ran 1 mile on the track.  I was huffing and puffing and finished in 6:40 something and decided I had enough for the day. I kept at it though, and 3 months after that I raced a half marathon, and I was hooked.  I ran maybe 15-25 miles a week for the first 2 years, then decided to take it more seriously a year ago and joined a club (Strawberry Canyon in Berkeley).  I did a couple cross country races, then did my first track season in the spring. I enjoyed the track races much more than the roads/cross country. In July I moved to Philly and started running with PRTC.  

As a competitive swimmer, how do you feel that has helped/hurt your transition to running?

The thing about coming from a swimming background is that your aerobic engine is a lot stronger than your legs.  I started running a lot more than I should and ended up with various injuries which kept me out for a while.  Also in swimming the longest event I ever raced was the 500 freestyle, but I mostly just raced the 50 and the 100 (equivalent to the 200m and 400m in track).  I'm still somewhat in the short-distance mindset and go out too hard in almost every single race. Swimming definitely helps with the mental grind of running - even the Schuylkill river trail is more exciting than staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool.  These days, I enjoy running a lot more than swimming, but still swim 1-3 times a week just in case I ever decide to do a triathlon again.  I also don't want anyone to get the impression I was a fast swimmer - I was pretty mediocre, but I enjoyed it!

Can you tell us about a favorite running accomplishment or moment?

My favorite running accomplishment was actually in a triathlon (sacrilegious, I know). I outkicked my roommate who had beaten me in every single triathlon we had done before then.  It's probably never going to happen again, so I have to savor it!

How about a not-so-great moment?

That's an easy one - the Belmont 8k was easily the worst race I've ever run.  I ran mile 1 in 5:35 and mile 4 in 7:20.  I think everyone had a bad day because of the heat, but I like to think I did especially bad.

Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?

In the spring I'd like to crack 2:00 in the 800m and 4:30 in the mile.  In the long term I'd like to get my 5k time down, and in the very long term I'd consider running another half marathon or giving the marathon a shot.

As seems to be commonplace on the club, you are here as a medical student. Can you tell us about your studies and field of interest?

Currently I'm a first year medical student, at which point everyone is still on the same track.  We all take the same classes in basic sciences and at the end of two years we take a board exam which covers all of that knowledge.  So for now I'm just focusing on learning all of the material.  

Coming to Philly from the west coast, initial impressions? Pros and cons of the east and west coasts?

I absolutely could not handle the heat when I moved to Philadelphia. I have to say I missed fall when I was in California though (and it looks like I'll be missing it again this year too).  I definitely miss the running out in the Bay Area, especially in the hills. In Philly, I really enjoy the walkability and the halal truck conveniently located near my apartment.  I definitely need to do a better job getting out of my center city/Schuylkill river trail bubble, though.

Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?

Outside of running and medical school, my main pursuit is classical singing.  I sang when I was at UC Berkeley, and sang with some other ensembles in the Bay Area when I was out there as well.  I just joined a group here called Choral Arts Philadelphia - which is why I can't make Tuesday workouts.   I also play chess, but I don't play in tournaments very often anymore.