Thursday, July 1, 2010

Matt Tegenkamp: "You won't see anybody here in Portland settling for somebody running faster than them."

You've taken a different path to this Pre Classic race than some of the other 5000-meter runnners have. The desire is to produce the first sub-13:00 time on U.S. soil. Are you pretty confident you're getting to the right place at the right time in the right kind of shape?
Matt Tegenkamp: In all honesty, I think I'm going to be in over my head a little bit this weekend. There are a lot of unknowns for me. I've been training consistently now for a good amount of time but it would be really nice to have had a 5k that didn't really mean anything; I could get that sense of hurt and grind going. But again, I know I'm fit. Training has been going really well. I'll definitely be not very sharp, I should say, going into this race.

Do you think this will be a race where there will be just this one lead pack trying to go under 13:00? Do you imagine that no matter how fast the leaders go out, you'll be trying to stick in there as long as possible?
MT: Yeah, I think that's the way I go into any race. Like I say, I know I'm fit. I think with the quality of the people that are in there, there's really not going to be a second pack until very late in the race. So yeah, I fully expect to get in there. Even though I say I'm in over my head, I still have to go out there and compete with whoever's in the race. Sometimes if you just don't worry about anything but the person that's in front of you, things tend to turn out pretty well. Just get in there and hammer away.

Your races in this outdoor season hve been the two 1500s. Some of the other people in your group have also been running at distances shorter than their specialties. Was the feeling that you needed to get in something fast, or that maybe you were in better shape for that distance at that time than for a 5000?