LRC Video Roundtable With America’s Blue Collar Marathoners: Matt Llano, Pat Rizzo, Jameson Mora, Carlos Trujillo and Stephen Pifer

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by: LetsRun.com
October 11, 2014

Saturday at the 2014 Chicago Bank of America Marathon we talked to some of the lesser-known American pros, some of the dreamers or second-tier Americans if you will, hoping for a strong performance in Chicago that will propel them closer to a shot at the 2016 US Olympic Marathon team. They are your “Blue Collar” pros.

All of these guys have jobs (some full-time, some part-time) on the side and might be a little bit more relatable than the Ryan Halls and Meb Keflezighis of the world.

Since the race is tomorrow and by then you’ll want to know how these guys did, we tried something different today, doing the first LRC Video Roundtable. We started talking to these guys about how they went from being high school runners to some of America’s best marathoners, and whether they ever envisioned that when they began in the sport. Then we had them talk about their training, their work/life balance, Chicago 2014 and more. We think you’ll find it interesting.

In terms of PRs, the guys we talked to ranged from Matt Llano (making his debut hoping to run sub 2:10) to Patrick Rizzo (2:13:42) to Carlos Trujillo (2:14:21) to Jameson Mora (2:15:44) to former miler Stephen Pifer (2:18:19).

If you’ve got 21 minutes, we think you’ll find the conversation below interesting. If not, we’ve got a few highlights below. Plus, at the bottom we have a separate 4 minute video where Rizzo, Trujillo, Mora and Pifer give advice to debut marathoners and in particular Matt Llano.

Matt Llano: debut. 61:47 half-marathon. Goal: Sub 2:10. Job: Coach for McMillan Running. Racing in: adidas Adios Boost. Coach: Ben Rosario, NAZ Elite Training: 120-125 miles a week. 28 mile long run (training log here).

“When I was in high school I was going through the motions for a long time. I enjoyed being on the team, I never thought it would turn into anything. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I thought ‘maybe I can make this work’. You hear these stories of people who do it year after year and finally have a breakthrough. I knew ultimately I’d be a marathoner.” – Matt

Pat Rizzo: 2:13:42 PB. Job: Running Roost in Colorado. Coach: Brad Hudson, Marathon Performance. Racing in: Mizuno Hitagami. Claim to fame: Handing Khalid Khannouchi water during his world record in 1999, agreeing to donate $100,000 for the LetsRun.com sub 4 Colorado Challenge (see video below).

“I knew I was destined for the marathon. I’m not someone graced with amazing footspeed. I’ve broken 60 seconds in a quarter once.” – Pat

Carlos Trujillo: 2:14:21 PB. Job: Marketing for Roll Recovery. Coach: Ben Rosario, NAZ Elite. Mileage: 120-130. Racing in: adidas adios boost.

“I knew I was going to be a marathoner growing up. In high school I was always the kid who wanted to see how many laps I could do in a PE Class” – Carlos.

Jameson Mora: 2:15:44 PB. Goal: 2:15 Negative Split.  Coach: Joe Rubio. Job: Design engineer, Glen Air. Racing in: asics tarthers. Mileage: 120 average. 130 highest (too high). Longest Run: 24 miles. Toughest workout: 10 mile tempo with a 10 mile warmup. Claim to fame: Never made the Regional Meet at NCAAs.

“Early in high school I knew I was going to be a marathoner. I wasn’t very good in the mile.  I was pretty good in the two mile… Being here for me is a big deal because I’ve only been running at a high enough level to get in this field for a year and a half and I’m 30… I always thought I could be better than I was running… I’m not going to quit, I’ve been doing it my whole life.”- Jameson

Stephen Pifer: 2:18:19 PB. Job: Sale Rep, Newton Running. Coach: Former WR Holder Steve Jones. Training: 90-105 miles a week. Longest run: 20.5 miles. Claim to fame 3:38 1500m Runner. Racing in: Newton Running Distance 4.

“Now that I’m working with Jonessy (Steve Jones), I think he definitely coaches the marathoner more like a miler.”- Stephen

Men’s Marathon Roundtable 21 Minutes

Advice For the Debut Marathoner – Rizzo, Trujillo, Mora and Pifer Give Llano Advice on His Debut

A little humor:

Pat Rizzo Talks About the Art of Drinking from Streams and not Getting Giardia

*We have a shorter USA women’s roundtable from Chicago here.


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