Monday, February 1, 2016

Matt Tegenkamp Retires From Professional Running


Saying that he wasn’t willing to give 105% in preparing for this month’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Matt Tegenkamp, a member of two Olympic and three World Championship teams, has ended his professional running career.

“Throughout my career, I lived 24/7, 365 days a year as an athlete,” Teg says. “When I started the real build-up last fall for the marathon trials, I realized I wasn’t willing to live like that anymore. I wasn’t fully vested, and that’s not what my career has been about.”

Matt had one of the most distinguished careers of any recent U.S. distance runner. Between 2007 and 2012, he made every global outdoor track team: three times at 5,000 meters (2007 World Championships, 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships) and twice at 10,000 meters (2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics). His highest finish in that setting was fourth at the 2007 Worlds.

Teg was also fast. In 2007, he set the American record for 2 miles (8:07.07). With his PR of 12:58.56, he’s one of only six Americans to break 13:00 for 5,000 meters. (And we’re pretty sure he’s the only person ever to go sub-13:00 in arm warmers!) In an era of specialization, Matt’s range was an anomaly, with PRs of 3:34.25 for 1500 meters, 27:28.22 for 10,000 meters and 212:28 for the marathon, and national road titles at 5K, 10K and 20K thrown in for good measure.

Teg set the American 2-mile record of 8:07.07 at the 2007 Prefontaine Classic. Photo by Victah Sailer/PhotoRun.

Despite those accomplishments, Matt names something more subjective as what he’s most proud of.

“Being a part of getting American distance running back on the map is definitely tops for me,” he says. “It started with mentors like Bob Kennedy and Pascal Dobert, but from my youth, being at the start of finding our limit again and seeing how far we could push ourselves and getting the best out of ourselves, that was great. With Ryan Hall, Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenhein, we were breaking down barriers, and it was fun to be part of that over a period of 10 to 15 years.”

Teg says he’s also proud to have been the linchpin of what became the Bowerman Track Club under long-time coach Jerry Schumacher, who, with Matt, Chris Solinsky and Evan Jager, moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon after the 2008 Olympics.

“The environment we created, that’s something I feel really good about,” Matt says. “That mentality of being unafraid of having a lot of talented people around you, that’s going to help you become the best runner you can be.”

Teg now works in product creation for Nike at the main campus in Beaverton. He began that role in a part-time capacity in the spring of 2013, and has gradually increased his hours to full-time status.

The 34-year-old says he still enjoys running, and usually gets in an hour a day, often with Bowerman Track Club members. But, he says, “I won’t miss being away from my family while at altitude camp, or while being away at races. Now on weekends, I look forward to long hikes, or sledding with the kids, or building sand castles at the beach, and that’s great.”

In what turned out to be one of his last pro races, Teg ran 2:13:52 to place 11th at the 2015 Boston Marathon. Photo by Victah Sailer/PhotoRun.

TwitterFacebookGoogle+DeliciousDiggPrintRead It LaterRedditPinterestWebnewsEmailEvernoteShare

7 Responses to “Matt Tegenkamp Retires From Professional Running”

  1. Gary Kruger says:

    Matt,
    What a pleasure to have witnessed the development of a mature, sensitive, role model for youth from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. As a coach who viewed with awe your talents and character, it made me proud to witness your accomplishments. Wishing all the best for you and your family. Gary Kruger former Head Coach of Lee’s Summit North Girls’ Cross Country

  2. [...] training centers, you might want to consider the occupation to determine either an osteopathic professional medical job meets your needs. Mainly because the health care industry is dominated by MDs with [...]

  3. [...] MATT TEGENKAMP RETIRES FROM PROFESSIONAL RUNNING TAGSMATT TEGENKAMP SHARE Facebook Twitter tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Previous articleThe Sub 4 Minute Listing: Chronological Listing of Australian Male Milers Admin Runnerstribehttp://runnerstribe.com var block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949 = new tdBlock(); block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.id = "td_uid_15_56b0473971949"; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.atts = '{"limit":3,"ajax_pagination":"next_prev","live_filter":"cur_post_same_categories","td_ajax_filter_type":"td_custom_related","class":"td_uid_15_56b0473971949_rand","td_column_number":3,"live_filter_cur_post_id":7230,"live_filter_cur_post_author":"1"}'; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.td_column_number = "3"; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.block_type = "td_block_related_posts"; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.post_count = "3"; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.found_posts = "106"; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.header_color = ""; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.ajax_pagination_infinite_stop = ""; block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949.max_num_pages = "36"; tdBlocksArray.push(block_td_uid_15_56b0473971949); RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Latest News [...]

  4. Terry says:

    A long, accomplished, and “distinguished” career. Matt, you’ve always been a pleasure to watch, and I always admired the way you congratulated runners around regardless of whether you won or not (Case and point: London 2012 — you waited patiently for a pause in the photos before offering your congratulations to Galen. That’s class and that’s admirable.). Your accomplishments speak loudly to your dedication and love of the sport. The exemplary manner you’ve conducted yourself both on and off the track speaks even louder. You’re a tremendous role model and a testament of the dividends to what pure and honest hard work can provide. Every athlete has to face the hands of time sooner or later, but you’re retiring from the sport with an ability to gaze into the honesty mirror and seeing a face that speaks, “Well done Matt.” Enjoy the new faces you’ll so much of in the days, months, and years ahead; more importantly, enjoy the blessings of being a husband and a dad. Now, go have that Krispy Kreme. No, go have a dozen Krispy Kreme’s.

  5. [...] my career, I lived 24/7, 365 days a year as an athlete,” Tegenkamp said on KIMbia Athletics’ website. “When I started the real build-up last fall for the marathon trials, I realized I wasn’t [...]

    • Jay Manning says:

      Dear Matt, just read the announcement that you are retiring from competitive running. I am writing to 1) thank you for your incredible hard work and dedication to the sport we all love so much; 2) congratulate you on your outstanding accomplishments; and 3) welcome you to the rest of your life.

      I had the pleasure of watching you run several times and your physical abilities and your obvious dedication and willingness to suffer were and are remarkable. Your American record in the 2 mile was one of the great races I have ever seen. You made us proud to be American runners and brought us hope that we could run with the best in the world again. Thank you for all your hard work and congratulations on being one of best American distance runners ever.

      And now, on with the rest of your life. I suspect you will follow some of the same paths many of us ex-competitive runners (I was a small college runner; never remotely in your league) have followed. Identify and pursue a career that you find rewarding (where your work ethic and willingness to suffer will serve you well), develop more fulfilling friendships and family relationships now that you now have more time and energy to invest, then discover cycling and then likely triathlons, etc.

      Enjoy it (its amazing when everything stops hurting and you actually have a spring in your step again — like getting younger) and sleep well at night knowing how much you accomplished and how many people you inspired.

  6. [...] announced that he too is hanging up his spikes after a long and accomplished career.On his agent Tom Ratcliffe’s site, Matt shared some thoughts on his career and why now–a few weeks away from the U.S. Olympic [...]