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Catching Up With Matt Tegenkamp - .US Champs Edition

It’s been an amazing road racing season for Olympian Matt Tegenkamp. The seasoned veteran made road racing a priority for the first time in his career and it could pay off in a big way this weekend at the .US National Road Racing Championships, as he eyes both the individual race win and the overall USARC win.

Tegenkamp earned wins at the USA 10 km and USA 20 km Championships, while earning third place efforts at the USA 5 km and USA 25 km Championships (with a third place finish at the USA Cross Country Championships, too). Up by eight points in the USARC standings, Tegenkamp enters Sunday’s race as the clear favorite to win the series.

We caught up with the Portland-based runner this week, as he prepares for the final race of his season.

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Scott Bush (SB): You're racing this weekend, coming off the Chicago Marathon. How's training been going the past few weeks? Do you feel ready to race in Alexandria?

Matt Tegenkamp (MT): It is definitely a quick turn around after Chicago but I have bounced back well and looking forward to this weekend I Alexandria! Training has been maintanence mode and trying to get the legs back under me.  

SB: How was it coming back from your first marathon? Did you recover well?

MT: It took a solid three weeks to not feel tired after any run and I still feel like workouts take more out of me then they should. Something that really helped me was the group of training partners and all their positive energy. Most of the group was fresh off track season (and break) and pumped to get back to work!! All I had to do was show up latch on for the ride and waste zero mental energy!

SB: The lead in the USARC standings belongs to you. With all eyes on you, what approach will you take early on in the race?

MT: All eyes might be on me but I know exactly what I need to for the championship and it is on the other athletes to try and run away from me. That won't be an easy task ;)

SB: What would winning the .US National Road Racing Championships and the USARC mean to you?

MT: If it happens I will you know after the event! Can't put the cart before the horse. 

SB: You've transitioned nicely over to road racing from the track. Did anything from your past training/racing work well with making such a transition?

MT: Racing is racing no matter where it happens. However, Jerry's (Schumacher, Tegenkamp's coach) entire base training philosophy revolves around marathon principles. That combined with my competitive spirit made the transition a success.

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