Matt Tegenkamp, two-time U.S. Olympian and thrice a member of U.S. national teams at world championships, announced his retirement from professional running on Monday.
“Throughout my career, I lived 24/7, 365 days a year as an athlete,” Tegenkamp said on KIMbia Athletics’ website. “When I started the real build-up last fall for the marathon trials, I realized I wasn’t willing to live like that anymore. I wasn’t fully vested, and that’s not what my career has been about.”
Tegenkamp’s announcement comes less than two weeks from the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, where he was slated to compete. The 34-year-old, who trained under Jerry Schumacher and the Nike Bowerman Track Club, was taking a 2:12:28 marathon personal best to the trials, along with three national road racing titles (5K, 10K and 20K) and personal bests of of 3:34.25 for 1500 meters, 12:58.56 for 5,000 meters and 27:28.22 for 10,000 meters—perhaps the most impressive range of any long-distance runner in the U.S. Tegenkamp’s announcement comes two weeks after fellow two-time Olympian Ryan Hall said he was retiring from the sport.
“Being a part of getting American distance running back on the map is definitely tops for me,” Tegenkamp said. “It 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.”
Tegenkamp, a Lee’s Summit, Mo., native, won’t have to look far for ways to fill his free time. He is working full-time in product creation for his longtime sponsor, Nike, at the company’s headquarter’s in Beaverton, Ore. “I won’t miss being away from my family while at altitude camp, or while being away at races,” Tegenkamp says. “Now on weekends, I look forward to long hikes, or sledding with the kids, or building sand castles at the beach, and that’s great.”