This week’s guest is Matt Llano of Under Armour and Dark Sky Distance. Matt is a 2:11 marathoner who has represented the U.S. internationally at the World Half Marathon Championships and has competed on the elite level in 4 of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. Matt is a New York native who ran collegiately for the University of Richmond, where he was an All-American, and now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, with his boyfriend and two dogs.
Matt came on the podcast to share his acquired wisdom and experience as he trains for his 11th marathon as a professional runner, as well as his unique perspective on the changing landscape for queer athletes and everything in between. We also covered HGTV, dog miles, beginning our careers in swimming, and track vs. road racing.
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On choosing the NYC marathon:
“I ran it in 2016 in the midst of some injuries […] and I’m excited to go back and hopefully have some redemption. It’s my home state, the state where I was born; so to go back and rewrite my story is what I’m hoping to do this time around.”
On running his 11th marathon:
“I’m still learning with every race. Some come easier than others, but the marathon is just such a beast that no matter how many you’ve run, you can never take it for granted that you’ve got it figure out. It will always find out a way to humble you.”
Of the changing attitudes toward queer representation in athletics:
“It makes me feel a little envious of people going to school now to see how much has changed – not in a bad way, but to be able to be more comfortable, more open throughout college, I’m envious of that. I’m so happy for how far we’ve come and so happy to have been part of that conversation in a way that advanced discussion and acceptance in the running community. Nobody knew how to have those conversations at the time, and I’m glad it’s getting so much easier.”
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