Quick Questions with Matt Tegenkamp
Provided by USATF
INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.) enters the .US National Road Racing Championships leading the men’s USARC standings. During the series, he won his second straight 20k Road Championships as well as the 10k, while finishing third in both the 5k and 25k.
USATF: What does it mean to you to have USATF and .US put on a championship road race event?
TEGENKAMP: It brings everyone together and provides an overall meaning that fans can understand. It brings the top talent together in one spot so you can have a true champion of the event.
USATF: What sticks out to you as a benefit to having elite athletes compete with running enthusiasts?
TEGENKAMP: I think the event has been publicized really well. When it really comes down to it, it’s always about challenging yourself and seeing what you can get out of yourself. The performances of professional and elite athletes can obviously have a trickle-down effect to the general public. It may not happen the first time somebody goes into an event, but perhaps this race can inspire participants to really get after that. Hopefully this weekend can encourage participants to do specific training and get attached to the sport as a fan and a competitor.
USATF: How excited are you for the opportunity to start a new tradition with the .US Championships in Old Town Alexandria?
TEGENKAMP: There are so many types of people, racing styles and racing strategies with the USARC. With the way the point system works out, it’s mano-a-mano and everyone knows who they need to beat. I think it’ll be a pretty unique race. They’re bringing championship-style track and field to the road. I’m definitely excited to see what happens.
USATF: What advice do you have for the runners who are competing in the Nationwide Insurance 5k and the Kids Race at the .US Championships?
TEGENKAMP: Be a part of it, get in it and be competitive. See what you can bring out of yourself. Just savor the experience. It’s going to be an awesome weekend.
USATF: You ran your first marathon this season in Chicago. How did that affect how you trained for the .US Championships?
TEGENKAMP: I’m in recovery and maintenance mode now. I gave myself a five-week turnaround from the marathon. It’s been tough at times. It took a full three weeks to get to the point where I wanted to do workouts. I was able to maintain my fitness and I don’t think I lost any of that in that time away. Running the marathon probably helped my fitness. I’m just making sure I have my legs. It’ll be a fun, exciting race and I’m feeling healthy and ready.
USATF: How has road racing changed the way you look at your career?
TEGENKAMP: Later in my career, I never knew the marathon was something I wanted to tackle. Throughout the years, all the long, steady distances have been the foundation of our training philosophy. I think it all prepared me well for the marathon. I kind of went into Chicago as an unknown but it definitely got me hooked and not just hooked to the marathon, but the road race circuit throughout the year. It’s different, you get fan involvement, which I love, and it’s not as hard on the body at this stage in my career. It allows me to put more on my schedule throughout the year. The best part of the sport is competing and I get to do that more.