Pacer Matt D. 


Where are you from?

St. Louis, MO


Current P.R.



July 23


Number of marathons


Typical pace

I like to go fast!  Even in my everyday runs, it feels really good to open up my stride and just let it roll.


Favorite marathon

Boston with Chicago as a close second.


Graduate Student


Favorite Running Food

Chocolate and coffee, preferably together post-run.


Running. Cycling, Skiing, Paddling, Hiking.  I just like being outside and being in motion.


Who do you train with?

On my own or with my friends.  In college my guy friends and I would go out and really try to push each other on our Saturday long runs.  We’d try new routes and explore the city, all at a breezy pace.  When some of my gal friends were training for their first marathon, I’d do my own long runs hard on Saturday, and then run their long run with them on Sunday.  It was a great way to get in some extra miles, stretch my legs out, and have some good social time with friends. 

Favorite book, what are you reading now?

Re-reading “Born to Run” by Chris McDougall.  I don’t think I’m going to shed my shoes any time soon, but the re-occurring theme of people’s love for running really spoke to me.  I try to emanate that in my own running.


A quotation you like…

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding

and my entire will,

All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace.

That is enough for me.

“The Suscipe” by St. Ignatius Loyola

Personal goals

1. Bike the historic US Route 66 from coast to coast.

2. Be featured in an inspirational running-themed video montage.

3. Learn free-style skiing.  I can ski just about any run on the mountain whether it be groomers, moguls, trees, bowls, etc., but now I’d like to learn to ride switch and do a few basic airs, spins, and jibs. 

4. Play the piano.  I can plink around a little bit right now, and I love to sing.  It would be really cool to be able to accompany myself on the piano.






Why do you run?


Running is often the greatest source of balance in my life.  When I’m really happy there’s nothing better than getting out and celebrating with a fast run on my one of my favorite routes.  When I’m sad, pouring it out on a hard run often tempers my sadness and the physical hurt makes the emotional hurt not hurt so bad.  It’s also the best way I know of to connect with friends.  For people my age, wild and crazy nights out at clubs and bars until all hours of the morning are often the standard.  The occasional wild night is fun, but I’d much prefer turning in a little earlier and making some of my weekend social time a morning run with friends followed by breakfast or coffee.  Racing and training keeps me motivated, but I’ve recently discovered the joys of trail running.  I like mountain biking, but I’m not a great technical rider and I’ve found I can cover the same distance in the same, if not less time running rather than riding all without the worry of going over the bars and getting injured.  It’s really cool to get out into nature, and the mechanics of running trails is way different than roads: on steep, gnarled climbs you’re picking your way along at barely faster than a walk, but on smooth, flowy sections you’re flying as fast as your legs will carry you. 


Describe your best marathon memory.


When I was very little, we lost both my dad and my grandmother to cancer.  They watched me run when I was a youngster chasing a soccer ball or running the bases in CYC sports, but they never got to see me compete in high school xc or as a marathoner in college.  When my good friend and I both qualified for the 2008 Boston Marathon our junior year of college, I wanted to dedicate my race to my dad and grandma by raising money for the American Cancer Society.  The day before we left for Boston, our friends snuck into our dorm while we were out at class.  When we came back, we found our door decorated with cards, balloons, and streamers all wishing us good luck and congratulations.  They threw a Boston-themed party for us that night, too, featuring Sam Adams beer, clam chowder and Boston cream pie.  The weather was gorgeous, the atmosphere in the city was electric, and the day before the race we got to watch the elite women compete in the Olympic Marathon Trials.  On race day, the crowds on the course were spectacular and I broke three hours for the first time.  Breaking three hours for the first time at Boston on a beautiful day to honor my dad and grandmother’s memories was the single most joyous accomplishment of my life.


Why do you pace?


I’ve done a lot of running and racing so far.  I’ve hit goals, made memories, and chased dreams so many times through running.  I want to join others while they hit their goals, make their memories, and chase their dreams.  





Why should someone run in your pace group?


Out in Clayton and U City, the St. Louis course can get really hilly and really lonely.  At that point, you have been running a long time but the finish is still a long way off, and spectators are sparse.  It’s easy to get pulled down both physically and mentally.  We’re going to keep our energy up and keep sticking our pace so we can keep cruising to Forest Park, the Central West End, and Mid-Town where we’ll have more activity to help carry us through the final miles of the race.


Any tips for runners about to join your group?


Yes, especially for first-time marathoners: The marathon is hard.  If it weren’t, I don’t think so many people would be drawn to it and find it so rewarding.  Stay calm early in the race.  Getting pulled out will only mean disaster later on.  Even if you run a smart race, the last couple of miles will still be the longest miles you have ever run in your life.  Stay strong, dig deep, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other; when you cross the finish line you will be overjoyed by your accomplishment!  Most of all: enjoy the run!  Wave at spectators, high-five little kids, and thank volunteers.  It’s your day and they have all come out to show their support for YOU!


Anything else you’d like to share?

Some day I want to run a race dressed as the St. Louis University mascot: The Billiken. 



What philanthropic activities do you have?

Some of my friends and I want to ride in the MS 150 in summer 2011.  I really want to organize a sand volleyball tournament at Truman’s in Soulard to raise money for our crew. 



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