LRC Editor's note:
We have a nice story out using some of the info from this thread where we highlight the 6 best moments of Teg's career.
1) Tegenkamp Gets 4th At 1997 Worlds
2) Tegenkamp Breaks 13:00 - Runs 12:58.56 in Brussels in 2009
3) Matt Tegenkamp Sets US 2-Mile Record of 8:07.07 at 2007 Pre Classic
4) Matt Tegenkamp Wins USA Title at 2009 USA, Leads Jerry Schumacher 1-2-3 Sweep
5) Matt Tegenkamp Takes Down Dathan Ritzenhein at 2001 US Junior XC Meet, Goes On To Finish 5th At World Juniors
6) Matt Tegenkamp Does The 10k (and Marathon)
Tegenkamp's retirement announcement has been posted on the website of his agent, Tom Ratcliffe, at kimbia.net. http://www.kimbia.net/matt-tegenkamp-retires-from-professional-running/ WIth their permission, the full statement appears below.
MATT TEGENKAMP RETIRES FROM PROFESSIONAL RUNNING wrote:
Saying that he wasnâ€™t willing to give 105% in preparing for this monthâ€™s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Matt Tegenkamp, a member of two Olympic and three World Championship teams, has ended his professional running career.
â€œThroughout my career, I lived 24/7, 365 days a year as an athlete,â€ Teg says. â€œWhen I started the real build-up last fall for the marathon trials, I realized I wasnâ€™t willing to live like that anymore. I wasnâ€™t fully vested, and thatâ€™s not what my career has been about.â€
Matt had one of the most distinguished careers of any recent U.S. distance runner. Between 2007 and 2012, he made every global outdoor track team: three times at 5,000 meters (2007 World Championships, 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships) and twice at 10,000 meters (2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics). His highest finish in that setting was fourth at the 2007 Worlds.
Teg was also fast. In 2007, he set the American record for 2 miles (8:07.07). With his PR of 12:58.56, heâ€™s one of only six Americans to break 13:00 for 5,000 meters. (And weâ€™re pretty sure heâ€™s the only person ever to go sub-13:00 in arm warmers!) In an era of specialization, Mattâ€™s range was an anomaly, with PRs of 3:34.25 for 1500 meters, 27:28.22 for 10,000 meters and 212:28 for the marathon, and national road titles at 5K, 10K and 20K thrown in for good measure.
Despite those accomplishments, Matt names something more subjective as what heâ€™s most proud of.
â€œBeing a part of getting American distance running back on the map is definitely tops for me,â€ he says. â€œIt started with mentors like Bob Kennedy and Pascal Dobert, but from my youth, being at the start of finding our limit again and seeing how far we could push ourselves and getting the best out of ourselves, that was great. With Ryan Hall, Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenhein, we were breaking down barriers, and it was fun to be part of that over a period of 10 to 15 years.â€
Teg says heâ€™s also proud to have been the linchpin of what became the Bowerman Track Club under long-time coach Jerry Schumacher, who, with Matt, Chris Solinsky and Evan Jager, moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon after the 2008 Olympics.
â€œThe environment we created, thatâ€™s something I feel really good about,â€ Matt says. â€œThat mentality of being unafraid of having a lot of talented people around you, thatâ€™s going to help you become the best runner you can be.â€
Teg now works in product creation for Nike at the main campus in Beaverton. He began that role in a part-time capacity in the spring of 2013, and has gradually increased his hours to full-time status.
The 34-year-old says he still enjoys running, and usually gets in an hour a day, often with Bowerman Track Club members. But, he says, â€œI wonâ€™t miss being away from my family while at altitude camp, or while being away at races. Now on weekends, I look forward to long hikes, or sledding with the kids, or building sand castles at the beach, and thatâ€™s great.â€