Weldon Johnson, elite runner and now father of two girls, is our Lead Dad of the Week!
Weldon lives in Rowayton, Conn., with his wife who just gave birth to a daughter, and their three-year-old C.C.
A former competitive runner, Johnson won or set personal best times in his first four marathons and was invited to the U.S. Olympic trials in 2000. He didn’t make the team, but he kept running. Two years later, he paced legendary runner Paula Radcliffe to a world record in the 2002 Chicago Marathon.
Having worked as a consultant out of college, he put that behind him and created LetsRun.com, which is the go-to site for community and news among elite runners. The predictable nature of races allowed him to be a Lead Dad when his first daughter was born (at the start of Covid), while his wife continued her communications job.
“I don’t know if we ever formally sat down and discussed it,” he said. “We talked about it more abstractly. I have more flexibility with my time. I can almost always shift things around. Even the big events, they’re on the weekends. I can work at night if need be.”
Only the Olympics, he says, interferes with Lead Dadding. “We both work and want to work and want to show our kids that parents should work,” he said.
Before their second daughter was born this week, he said his wife was commuting into the city for her job in corporate communications several days a week, while he was able to work remotely and be a Lead Dad.
“The biggest surprise to me is how much I enjoy it,” he said. “I wanted to have kids. A kid can act up and be a brat but outside of that it’s always rewarding. There are aspects of it that are chores and annoying. But it’s such a net positive in my life that I’m shocked.”
Welcome, Weldon Johnson, to The Company of Dads – and good luck Lead Dadding Baby No. 2!