Athlete Bios

Tai Smith

Men's Marathon

Qualifying Time: 2:17:17
Qualifying Race: 2023 Grandma's Marathon

Tai Smith
Date of Birth


Age on Race Day


Current Residence

Wingate, NC


Glendale, AZ

High School

Apollo High School

Current Affiliation

Tracksmith Athlete Support Program and On Boom Echo Program


Until recently, graduate assistant coach at Wingate University an an outfitter at Fleet Feet.

Marathon PB


Social Media
First Trials qualification


Number of attempts to qualify



University of Mount Olive, Wingate University

Career Highlights
In college I was a part of 10 straight championship wins in Conference Carolinas (cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track), with a few individual conference wins. I did not compete in any South Atlantic Conference championship wins at Wingate. At UMO I was a part of two regional championship wins in cross country. At Wingate I became an All-American in my final race by placing 9th in the 10k at the NCAA Division II outdoor national championship. Post-collegiately, I have no highlights other than enjoying life as a hobby jogger.
I love my family very much. I have spent a lot of time away from home because I was in college from August of 2016 to December of 2023. Because of that I miss out on a lot of major events and things like that. Regardless of that, every time I come home they welcome me with open arms. No ever makes me feel bad for being gone for so long; instead they're extremely happy that I have been pursuing things to better my life. Everyone is very supportive of the things I do. Right now, I just finished school and I have no job yet so I just started living with them again.
Greatest Accomplishment
I feel like I haven't accomplished anything yet. If I had to put something down I'd say being a graduate assistant for Wingate's NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Championship win, and women's 8th-place finish is up there for being one of my top accomplishments. My #1 accomplishment could also be the fact that I watched all of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden without skipping a single episode of filler.
Interesting Story
I struggled at Grandma's Marathon because I was too slow to get bottle support. I had to use gels and I ended up throwing up around mile 21 when I was supposed to take my 7th gel. After that I managed to stay strong enough to make it to the finish line.
Favorite Book

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Favorite Movie


Favorite TV Show/Series

Attack on Titan

Favorite Song

Never by JID or Requiem K. 626 - Lacrimosa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Favorite Post-race Indulgence


Favorite Breakfast

A few miles or some oatmeal

Favorite Motivational Quote
"I think the definition of greatness is to inspire the people next to you. I think that’s what greatness is, or should be. It’s not something that lives and dies with one person. It’s how can you inspire a person to then in turn inspire another person that then inspires another person. That’s how you create something that I think lasts forever. I think that’s our challenge as people, is to figure out how our story can impact others and motivate them in a way to create their own greatness." - Kobe Bryant
Favorite Running Memory
Breaking 14 minutes in the 5K for the first time.