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10 Questions with Matt Wegenka

(The photo is from the Fire Cracker 5K in Little Rock, Arkansas last July, where Matt won the Masters 5K time of 15:50)

1. At what age did you start running competitively?
Starting running competively my freshman year in High School.

2. Why did you start running?
I actually went out for my hs school cross country team to get in shape for basketball season, ran jv cross country and went undefeated my Freshman year and fell in love with the sport.

3. How many miles do you typically run in a week?
At age 46 with career and 3 kids I'm only running about 50 miles a week, If I'm preparing for a half marathon I will bump up the mileage for several months prior to the race.

4. What is your favorite brand of running shoes?
I have two brands I like. I still like the Nike Pegasus, I've trained in Pegasus for years and I like Mizuno, Wave Rider.

5. Do you listen to music when you run? If so what do you listen to?
The only time I listen to music is when I'm on a treadmill and that is only if the streets are too slick to run. This winter I have yet to run on a treadmill.

6. Where is your favorite place to run?
I live in Springfield and my favorite places are Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, the Ozark Greenway Trails around town and the Nature Center.

7. What is the farthest distance that you have ran?
The farthest distance I have run is a marathon.

8. Have you had any injuries related to running?
If you run for as long as I have 30+ years you will have running related injuries. I currently had a strained soleus strain in my lower right leg that knocked me out for 16 days, today was my 6th day back from injury.

9. What has been your most memorable running experience?
My most memorable running experience is when I ran a PR in the 5,000 meters on the track at the Northeastern University twilight meet outside of Boston in 1991. I ran 13:46 and qualified for the 1992 US Olympic Trials. I still remember that last lap of that race, it was one of those rare moments where you are runnning really fast the last 300 meters but it is feeling easy and you are flying by people.

10. What advice would you give to beginning runners?
Have fun with the sport, set goals, train hard but smart. Running is a unique sport, a kid that has a little bit of talent but trains real hard can do real well. Build a base in the summer prior to cross, good cross country runners are made in the offseason. Cross country was my favorite sport because of the teamwork and friends you make along the way.

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