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!
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.