Sunday, May 22, 2011

World Champs Marathon: Team USA

In this edition of the IAAF World Championships, like all others, there will be the Marathon World Cup team competition. This is where the times from the top 3 finishers of each national team are added together, and the fastest combined team time wins the world cup. The Men’s US team has finished as high as 4th, both in 2005 and 2007. We will be racing for a Medal this time around, which over the past few championships took an average marathon time of 2:16:49 to break into the top 3 teams. Here is a quick breakdown of the rest of Team USA:

Sergio Reyes – Sergio and I have race each other on the roads for over 6 years now. He was one of my first rivals in road racing. Last fall, Sergio had a tremendous improvement in the marathon, running a personal best by a minute and a half. He won the US Marathon Championship in 2:14:02, which was his first US title and automatically qualified him for the World Championships. Sergio runs for the Aggies Running Club in Central California, and may be one of the best 'Club Runners' in the US…

Jeffrey Eggleston – Jeff has run 3 marathons since January 2010, with his first two both being 2:14 performances, the second placed him second at the US Marathon Championships to Sergio last fall in a personal best of 2:14:09. His finish also automatically qualified him for the World Championships. Less than a week ago Jeff was pacing Americans to qualify for the Olympic Trails at the Pittsburg Marathon. Jeff led at 2:19 pace for 18 miles, then after realizing he felt pretty good, went on to win the whole race in 2:16:39. A gutsy performance if you ask me. Jeff lives and trains in Flagstaff as well.

Mike Sayenko – Mike was the youngest ‘A’ standard qualifier for the 2007 Olympic Trails Marathon in New York City. Perhaps, may have been the youngest finisher as well. I’ll look into that. Mike has had steady improvement over the marathon, dropping his time from a debut of 2:19, to 2:14:38 this last fall in Chicago, where he was the second American finisher. Mike has about a half dozen top 10 finishes for the marathons he has run.

Mike Morgan – Mike Morgan and I were teammates at Hansons for 3 years, I feel like I know him pretty well and could tell you that he is ‘Today’s Tom Sawyer.’  This is Mike’s 2nd World Championships Marathon Team. In 2007, he represented the US in Osaka, Japan and was the 2nd American finisher in 23rd overall. Mike finish helped the team to finish a close 4th behind Kenya. Mike enters this World Championships with a 2:14:55 personal best set at Chicago in 2010.

We have a strong team with everyone having a PR between 2:11:30 and 2:14:55, all set within the last 8 months. On paper, I believe that this is the fastest and strongest team the US has put together for the IAAF World Championship/Marathon World Cup. Hopefully this will be enough to earn us all medals, I believe it will, and I am excited as hell to compete against the world!

Questions Answered:

To Anonymous, thank you for your questions, and your concern for my general welfare. You asked, “what are you going to do for a job when this running makes you no money?? How about retirement?”

Good and reasonable questions. Lets be honest, there is hardly any money in professional running unless you are at the very top. It is nowhere close to any other professional sport in America. Over the past 5 years, since becoming a professional runner, I have made enough money from my running to live off of, without having to sustain a part-time job. I believe that I can continue to do that for the duration of my career. I currently do have a contract with best company in the business and I am more than thrilled to represent them on a daily basis.

Once my career is over and I need to find a job, I will evaluate what I want to do at that point in my life. What I lack in job experience can be made up for with life experience, and if the employer doesn’t see it that way, then its not a job I would have wanted to begin with. Running has opened up numerous avenues in my life that I can pursue once I am finished, whether its coaching, working at a shoe store, physical therapy, or maybe just go back to doing accounting again. Whichever job is the most interesting to me will be the one that I will do.

As far as retirement goes, well, at this point saving for retirement would be a good idea, but I have bigger fish to fry right now. I could have potentially gotten a job working 9-5, established a 401k, making substantially more than I am making now, or I could be still looking for a job because the job market tanked right after I finished college. But I’m doing neither because jobs did not interest me, in fact money did not interest me either. The one thing that I concerned myself with was the Olympics, and to this day that has not changed. I am going to live out my dreams first, and if that doesn’t make me any money, then I’ll find some job to pay the bills and continue living the only way I want to live; as a runner.


  1. Great post Nick! Good luck to you and the guys at the championships!

  2. That is what i love about you...
    Simple and smart! I am
    excited to follow your blogs
    ...miss you in michigan.

  3. What did I tell you about the Rush reference? I will get you Snick! Damn it!

  4. yeah nick you said it. best of luck. sunset league!

  5. this got me jacked up!

  6. Nick, you've got to be concerned about your future. I mean what in the heck are you going to do at the age of 50 when your running years are behind you and you have nothing for retirement? Live off your parents, burned them with your empty dreams. You're not a world class runner, you're not a type of runner that it would make sense to continue pursuing this "dream". Dreams are fine and dandy, we all have dreams, but we're not in high school or college anymore where our dreams can continue to be financed by our parents or coaches. At some point in running career you have to figure that all this time spent pursuing a dream financed by someone else most of the time is going to hurt you or someone else in the long run, your wife, your kids, or your parents. Someone is going to have to "help" you.

    Also life experience is not what employers look for these days. A homeless guy has as much life experience as anyone else.

    I've watch you throughout the years and have noticed your progress as high school ended and the leaps and bounds you made at CSUF. But you're at the point in your life, or may I say a cross road that you are good, but just not good enough to make this a living without being a financial burned on someone in the future.

  7. Oh and thank you for answering my question...Good luck in your endeavors.

  8. Scott - Thanks Man!

    Michelle - Thank you I miss working with you too. Never thought I'd actually admit that, did you?

    Morg - You told me all about your relationship with Rush!

    Anon 1 - Thank You! Old School Sunset is the way to be.

    Anon 2 - Haha, Glad I can Jack you up! Now go run!

    Anon 3 & 4 - Thank you for again for your responses. I understand that you are not intending to be controversial and you are trying to give me sound, quality advice. I do appreciate that you are legitimately concerned for me and those who my endeavors may negatively effect. Otherwise, you really wouldn't take the time to even comment here. I agree that employers aren't not looking for life experience, I misspoke with that argument, and I know from my former teammate(Brian Sell) that being an Olympian does not always open the door you think it will.

    That being said, I disagree with both of your assessments regarding the crossroads that I am at in my career or that I am or will be a financial burden on someone in the future. Without being too conceited, I believe I am better than good, and that I have a legitimate shot of being an Olympian. I may not make much money, but I'm not unemployed, and the job I am not doing is available to someone else who may be unemployed otherwise(besides the point). But why have dreams if you don't have the balls to attain them? not everybody reaches their dreams in high school and college, if they do they are fortunate, but then what do they do from there? I bet they start dreaming for more.

    As for being a financial burden, well I have avery frugal style of living, very few extracurricular activities, very few expenses. What I am making now, I can live off of for the next 3 years at least. And I am only getting better at running, each year I have improved and each year made more money. I would be an idiot to just stop now. I could get a job on the side as a means to make more income, but that will take away from the time that I feel is necessary for me to recover. Sorry for being long winded.

  9. Rush sucks a$$!! CANNIBAL CORPSE and SUICIDE SILENCE RULE!!!! Rock the super hard miles with some super hard rock!!!

    Rock the house in Day-Goo for our country dude!!!! That town sux but there are loads of hot chicks!!

  10. Understandable Nick. If you're heading in the direction of getting faster each year then maybe that break through will come. I just see this as equivalent to playing the stock market. I hope you accomplish your dream.

  11. Nick has an exceptionally bright future. The fact that he took a different path to his professional running career doesn't negate the fact of what he has already accomplished and what he has shown to be his potential.

    Regardless, we should spend more time supporting the individuals like Nick who are pursuing their passion. In a little over a year Nick has the opportunity to toe the line in London and race for an Olympic medal! Even if you cant visualize that experience, how can you not be excited about the prospect that someone else can! Its a goal worth supporting, and its one I truly think Nick will realize.

    Keep it up Nick!

  12. I'm going into a field closely related to physical therapy, occupational therapy. Like your father, my father is a CPA, which some people say stands for can't pass actuarials. Look into actuarial science, it's a great field, and it is also very career changer friendly. It's very number-y, and if my father could go back, he'd become an actuary instead, it is a cousin of accounting and your academic background probably prepares you well.

  13. As Nick's former fourth grade teacher, I can say with assurance that he is a self-motivated athlete. He cares neither for money nor fame. His goal is Olympic Gold. His history through highschool, college and post is an example of determination predicts a place on the Olympic stand, right in the middle.

  14. man, you guys rock! I am a beginner runner too and all i can say is that you guys are no average lazy americans, you represent the pride of this country!! go usa! go marathon!

  15. It sounds quite interesting specially if there are the top 3 runners of each country. It makes thing interesting.