Coverage of track and field—one of the most popular sports among Black athletes—can often be relegated to white commentators and media figures across television coverage, websites, magazines, and even running podcasts. But in recent years, Black athletes have taken on more prominent roles in content creation to shape the narrative of the sport while diversifying and simultaneously elevating running as a sport for all athletes.

Two young athletes taking hold of the conversation are brothers Aaron, 27, and Joshua Potts, 22, from Eastvale, California. They host the popular podcast titled 2 Black Runners and a YouTube show called Running Report.

Runners from an early age, the brothers motivation for running stems from watching their older brother, Caleb Potts, succeed on the track. Additionally, their father, a boxer in his younger years and a long-time runner, recognized the physical and academic opportunities that track and field could provide for his sons.

Joshua was initially a kinesiology major, but switched to journalism and currently attends Mount SAC, without a track and field scholarship. In spite of a rigorous academic schedule, he coaches the track and field team of Norco High School with their father. Aaron, an Azusa Pacific University alum, holds a degree in exercise science and works at Hoka as a Go-To Market Associate. In his spare time, between prepping for upcoming interviews, Aaron can be found lacing up his roller skates and trying out new moves.

Given their experience and passion for all aspects of track and field, the podcast and YouTube show continues to captivate an ever expansive audience. Weekly updates are infused with the brothers’ encylopedic knowledge and youthful bravado: a long overdue experience.

Billed as an experience “for the people and by the people,” both productions feature the latest news, interviews, and perspectives about all things running. Since launching in 2020, they have used their platform to cover serious topics with track and field heavy hitters. They explored racial and social injustices with world record holder and Olympian Michael Johnson, the fight for media coverage and sponsorship with two-time Olympian and American triple jump record holder Keturah Orji, and social activism and why representation matters in running with Alison Désir.

Runner’s World had the opportunity to turn the tables on the hosts to better understand who they are, what they hope to change, and how the evolving culture of running can be more inclusive.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

RW: What led you guys to start the Running Report?

Joshua Potts: In my senior year of high school, I started a vlog with five of my best friends. We were one of the best freshman classes in the state, and we went into our senior year ranked at about No. 5 in the nation. I was never really good at cross country, but I would fight my way to get into the top seven. As I was about to get into the top seven, I tore my meniscus right before finals. We would always watch YouTube together and talk about starting a channel, but we never did. Since I wasn't going to states, I decided to start a channel and called it Roosey Project (in reference to Eleanor Roosevelt High School). That was my first step in editing videos, managing YouTube, and trying to be a creator. It got a big [high school] cult following in Southern California, and people still come up to me and say Roosey Project, which is pretty cool.

Once we went to college, we stopped vlogging because my friends went to Riverside Community College, and I was at Cal State Northridge. I didn’t like vlogging by myself.

I wanted to start running reports monthly to talk about the biggest running news, because when I look at running media, there are just not many people that look like me. Not a lot of Black and Brown faces. I always wanted to see running and track and field on ESPN, but it never really happens, definitely not on SportsCenter. So, I started Running Report because I think the only way this sport can progress and be better in the media space is that we need more people who look like us. That’s not just to say we need Black people in it; we need diversity. Anything that you put diversity in brings different perspectives, and it’s going to be better because we connect and relate to more people.

Even though I was 19 at the time, I wanted to just try and be the start to that, which led to Running Report. Aaron was always my go-to guy; I’d ask him what I should do? Does this sound good? One day Aaron [suggested that] we should do a podcast. I said let’s call it 2 Black Runners, and we just went from there pretty much.

“For there to be diversity, there have to be platforms. Platforms that allow pieces that deliver diversity.”

RW: If seeing Black and Brown faces doesn’t count for diversity, what does count?

Aaron Potts: Diversity would be Black and Brown faces, but I look at track and field as it’s diverse in events and body shapes. When you look at shot put, there are so many different types of people doing it, from Black to white, to whatever race to whatever gender to whatever sexuality. There’s diversity in every event, but not all events are invited to the party. We just had Keturah Orji, triple jumper, on our podcast. That’s a prime example of an event that’s not given the light of day, but it’s also an event that makes track and field so cool.

Joshua Potts: For there to be diversity, there have to be platforms. Platforms that allow pieces that deliver diversity. You can’t just say we have diversity and that diversity isn’t shown.

RW: When you’re younger, you see a lot of kids that look like you running track. But when you go to high school, it separates; most Black runners are sprinters, and most long-distance runners are white. What do you think causes that shift, and how do we bridge that gap? How do we change the dynamic of what's the norm?

Aaron Potts: I think it comes from coaches just being more welcoming.

Joshua Potts: [Also] coaches being willing to go out of their way to try and just introduce this to them. Everybody's not going to be Usain Bolt. Everyone's not going to be a 100-meter star, but you can still be pretty good, but it also comes from our side. Ted Metellus, the first Black race director of the New York City Marathon [said] running is a fact of demystification. Just showing people of color that once you are able to peel back the door [and see] what's really on the other side of distance running, you'll see the benefits.

Aaron Potts: Our dad always told us to get in where we fit in. We’re not sprinters, so we got in where we fit in.

aaron and joshua potts of the 2 black runner’s podcast

RW: In July, the track and field World Championship will happen for the first time on USA soil in Eugene, Oregon. What events are you most excited about? And why?

Aaron Potts: I’m going to say the women’s 100 because I’m a Sha’Carri Richardson fan. So I’m excited. I’m excited about the men’s 200 because of Erriyon Knighton; he was 17 [years old] last year and got fourth at the Olympics. So I'm like, is this guy going to be the new guy?

Joshua Potts: The women's 400-meter hurdles are always exciting. Sydney McLaughlin (Levrone) and Dalilah Muhammad are a match that you always have to be excited about.

Aaron Potts: A field event? I am excited about the men’s triple jump because Christian Taylor tore his Achilles, and he couldn’t compete in the Olympics.

Joshua Potts: I would say the women’s and men’s pole vault. “Mondo" [Duplantis] because he is the same age as me and that man is already the greatest pole vaulter of all time.

RW: Body positivity has taken hold in many different areas, but the acceptance for larger bodies isn’t really there in track and field. How do we change that?

Aaron Potts: This is big in distance running in general; for female athletes, especially in college, [this] is a huge problem. I feel like that starts with the coaches. I don’t have the answer on how to fix that completely. It was not that long ago that women weren’t even allowed to run the marathon distance. So they’re just getting into the sport, but who has a hold on the sport—men. I think we need more female coaches in the sport, and not just as coaches, but as media members, too. I think that will help with some of those things.

Joshua Potts: I think it comes [down to] educating ourselves. Now [that I’m] coaching cross country, I hear stories, especially [about] high school girls and them feeling affected. I know it can be extreme, and I don't want any girl to feel that way, especially on my team.

Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery dropped a book called How She Did It, and it's a lot of stories about American women who are distance runners and how they rose in this sport from the 70s to now. There are a lot of people on social media [promoting] body positivity like Emma Abrahamson.

RW: Track and field is the most popular high school sport for girls, and it ranks second for boys next to football. Life changes after high school for many runners, especially if they’re not collegiate runners. How do we attract runners back to track and field? And what are your hopes for the discipline?

Joshua Potts: My hope for track and field in the next three years is for all high school athletes to know Athing Mu, Raevyn Rogers, and Sandi Morris. If you go to any high school track team, many of them aren’t going to be able to name the pros. They know LeBron James, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, and even the most obscure NFL players. To not know any 400-meter runner, that’s a professional? I just want that to happen in track and field.

It comes from us, playing that part and being that voice. It also comes from the coaches. I tried to show a girl that just came onto our team; she’s running really well. So I'm like, I'm going to show you, Brenda Martinez. Brenda Martinez is Hispanic, she’s from our area, and she went to the Olympics and World Championships. You can be like Brenda! I’m not even being direct like this is Brenda Martinez, but just showing you how Brenda Martinez wins a race.

Aaron Potts: Finding ways to connect to those high school people, that’s where track and field fails. So many people ran track and field, but they don’t know the athletes and what’s going on in the sport. It’s about connecting. My dad showed me Bernard Lagat, and he became one of my heroes. If you’re throwing the shot put and go watch track and field right now, you will only see the sprinters. Let's show people Raven Saunders. Someone they can relate to so they have something to watch, and they can feel a part of it too.

RW: Why is the tagline “for and by the culture”?

Aaron Potts: It sums up who we are and our pride in where we came from. We also want track and field to be brought to the same level as other mainstream sports. I’m really passionate about Black people seeing the opportunities that are allowed in track and field beyond being an athlete. As a Black person, every room that I step into in the running industry, I’m a disruptor because it’s not normal to see someone who looks like me working at Hoka and being in the media. That’s where change is created and not just for Black people but for any minority or marginalized groups. That’s ultimately what will elevate track and field. For the culture of Black people and the culture of track and field.

“We’re going to get to a place where Black people are doing more with running than just being an athlete.

RW: Where do you see the culture of Black runners going next?

Aaron Potts: We’re seeing a movement of people who are product line managers and marketing strategists, in New York and LA you’re seeing groups of Black people getting out and running. Seeing Black people in the industry and behind the scenes like Allyson Felix. What she is doing right now is being overlooked. She’s an athlete and now she owns her own brand, Saysh. What if one day we see her sponsoring track and field athletes?

I’ve had this idea of creating Juneteenth 5Ks and cookouts, and I’d love to see a Black race director pick it up and run with it. It’d be awesome if Juneteenth 5Ks and cookouts became a staple in the black community like Pride 5Ks have become a staple in the LGBQT+ community. People may say Black people don’t run, but we do. There are Black people out here doing it but they’re just not being highlighted and noticed. We’re going to get to a place where Black people are doing more with running than just being an athlete.

Joshua Potts: It’s going to get trendy to run and exercise. Running is going to be the thing to do. It’s going to get to a place where it's trendy to go outside and normalize movement.

RW: What would you say is the mission of the podcast?

Joshua Potts: [The podcast's mission is] to share our perspective as two Black runners. In general, sharing the message of how running has provided so [many] benefits like health and wellness, mental stability, financial stability, education, and a litany of things for us in our lives. Also, to connect and inspire people just like us. On our first podcast, we talked [about] if you walk around and see a Black dude, you always give a head nod like we’re in this together, you know.

Aaron Potts: A big part of the mission is to give athletes and whoever we bring onto our platform, the space to really be themselves and tell their story from their perspective.

Join Aaron & Joshua Potts every Tuesday for the most recent running news, insightful interviews, and their perspective of the running world as 2 Black Runners.

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This story was created as part of Future Rising in partnership with Lexus. Future Rising is a series running across Hearst Magazines to celebrate the profound impact of Black culture on American life, and to spotlight some of the most dynamic voices of our time. Go to for the complete portfolio.