A blog by runners. For runners.

Runner of the Week: Matt B.

This week's runner of the week is Matt B. from Greenville, South Carolina. Matt is a husband and father of two children who works from home. Running acts as his time of peace and solitude. In his spare time, Matt enjoys doing a lot of charity outreach.

Favorite Candy: Snickers or peanut butter M&Ms.

Favorite Quote: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved.” -The Apostle Paul

WalkJogRun: Tell us about yourself!

Matt B.: I have been married for 8 years to a wonderful woman. We have two kids: our son is five, and our daughter is 16 months old. They keep us very busy! We are preparing to move to Central Europe next year to work alongside a European pastor in a very “un-churched” area. We also teach English as a foreign language (for free) as a goodwill outreach. I love to travel (I have been to at least 11 countries), I hate driving in traffic, and I dabble in video, photography, art, and writing. Someday I will publish a graphic novel…if I can stick to a project long enough to finish one!

WalkJogRun: How did you get started running?

Matt B.: I have run off-and-on for several years. About six months ago I bought a cheap pair of running shoes to replace the trainers I'd had since college. About that time I found WalkJogRun's website to plan some running routes. I really have to credit WalkJogRun with making running “stick”. Having feedback on my distance and speed allowed me to see my progress and stay interested. Although it was buying a pair of shoes that got me back into running, a few weeks after I bought the shoes I got into barefoot/minimalist running, which I really enjoy.

Why running?

Matt B.: In high school, my friends and I would beat each other with pvc and pipe insulation swords for exercise. But since they live in other states, I have to run. I started running seriously to get a base level of fitness, and after several months I found I enjoyed it.

WalkJogRun: What's the best thing about running? What's the worst thing?

Matt B.: The best part about running is when I finish a long run and am not even winded. The feeling of “I ran 4 miles and could have run 2 more” is great! Also, I work at home with two kids charging around the house, so running is a great way to get some solitude and think about nothing but avoiding pebbles on the sidewalk. That is the worst: stepping on a pebble while barefoot running!

WalkJogRun: Tell us about your running or fitness goals.

Matt B.: My original goal was to be able to run 3-4 miles non-stop. That way I could outdistance 90% of the people I might ever need to run from! I regularly run 3-4 miles now and am about to do my first 5k race, so I've already met that goal. Who knows? Maybe I'll do a half marathon at some point. I don't think I have time right now to put in the miles to train for a marathon.

WalkJogRun: Tell us about your very first run. What was it like?

Matt B.: My first memory of running was in my teens. I remember gasping up a long hill behind my brother. I didn't run again until college!

WalkJogRun: What's the best piece of advice you could offer another runner or a newbie runner?

Matt B.: Two tidbits: First, work on your breath control! That one thing made more difference in my endurance (and pleasure) during a run than anything else. Second, give barefoot running a try (if you have a nice smooth sidewalk nearby). Even if you don't do it all the time, running barefoot really helps your form.

If you'd like to nominate yourself or another runner to be the “Runner of the Week,” please visit the details page here.