Clayton Murphy is the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist for the 800 meters. In the cold of Rio de Janeiro, Clayton stayed out of trouble and sprinted madly up the final 150 meters to take the Olympic bronze. In 2023, Clayton is fit, focused, and healthy. He wants to reach the podium once again.

Jeff Benjamin, the east coast Senior Writer for RunBlogRun, did this interview. Special thanks to Clayton Murphy for answering the questions.

Clayton Murphy begins his racing in Budapest on Tuesday Evening, August 22, 2023 at 7:20 PM Local time on day 4. 

RunBlogRun, 1) How’d you feel about your performance at the USATF 800?

Clayton Murphy: “I feel good about my performance. Obviously, you show up to the USA with the goal of making the team. I had bigger aspirations to win the title, but making the team is a great accomplishment, and I am very honored to be able to represent the team.”

RunBlogRun, 2) Was the goal to just make the team, or were you satisfied with your place?

Clayton Murphy:  “I guess I can’t answer question number two as, well there’s a little bit of disappointment, but at the same time they obviously have a sense of accomplishment in pride, and being able to be top three in the US and representing team USA.”

Clayton Murphy, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

RunBlogRun, 3) What’s different – training both physically & mentally – between the 2016 medalist Clayton & the 2023 Clayton?

Clayton Murphy: “The biggest difference in training is just maturity, both mentally and physically. There have been some changes in my life that have caused me to adapt and adjust things and intensity, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been very adamant about trying to stay as healthy as possible versus overtraining and potentially getting hurt leading to big meets.”

RunBlogRun, 4) Who’s coaching you, and who’s your support staff?

Clayton Murphy: “My best support staff is my family. My wife, Ariana, and my son, Cash, are the two biggest influences in my career, both on and off-the-track coach. Coach Lee  LaBadie has been with me since I moved back to Ohio in the summer of 2020, and we jump right back into things like we were in 2016 and have big aspirations to have success together this coming season.”

Clayton Murphy takes 800m at LA Grand Prix, May 27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

RunBlogRun, 5) Going forward to Budapest – how are you preparing both physically & mentally?

Clayton Murphy:  “Going in the Budapest is like any other major mental and physical championship. You have to pay yourself for all three rounds, as each round is extremely tough at the world championship level, and preparing myself for the potential humidity and heat and the different types of races that could be run in both the preliminary round in the semifinal.”

Clayton, Arianna and Cash Murphy, May 27, 2023, LA GP, photo by Wendy Shulik/Wendy City Video

6) What kind of advice would you like to give to young T&F athletes out there?

Clayton Murphy: “My voice to anyone is just to have fun in the sport as it can be very stressful both physically and mentally to train at such a high level consistently, so make sure you were having fun and challenging yourself and chasing some big goes along the way!”