Rocking Runner of the Week: Matthew Roach


Okay, we have a new Rocking Runner, – Mr. Matthew Roach!

It’s nothing new to those that know Matthew that he’s an awesome guy and great athlete!  But, there might be some thing you didn’t about him until now as he shares his thoughts on running in this blog. I’ve had the good fortune of knowing Matt for approximately two years and I can tell you that he’s an upstanding guy and doting father.

When Matt ran the Little Tybee Conquest Half Marathon on Little Tybee Island this past summer his young son waited patiently for his daddy to cross the finish line.  Upon seeing his father, the little guy ran toward him in a sprint and Matt swooped down and grabbed his son and ran across the finish with son in his arms.  I know that Matthew must of been hurting as this race was most certainly not a walk in the park but yet he took in his son and showered him with love as they completed that race together.  It was an awesome moment, – one you don’t easily forget.

Any way, get to know Mr. Matthew Roach a little better…


  • Name: Matthew Roach
  • How long have you been running? 5 years
  • What brought you to running?  After I ran my first race, I was hooked. Since then, it’s been about going further, faster or longer. Sometimes the company is pretty good too.
  • What keeps you running? There is always a new challenge.  Lately it has been about keeping up with my 4 year old son and preparing to keep up my 2nd (6 months) son as well.
  • What is your preferred time to run, morning or evening? Why?  There is something great about each time. When I run in the mornings, it is out of the way. I feel great about myself the rest of the day.
    Most people run in the mornings, so if I want to run with others and chat, Mornings it is.
    Lunchtime is usually the most convenient during the week. It doesn’t take any time away from my family or work, so that is nice. Summers suck though.
    There is something calming about evening runs. I do these solo and they usually last a long time. When life gets complicated, a long, late night run can work wonders.
  • What is your weekly running mileage? Since the birth of my 2nd son, I haven’t had a chance to run too long on the weekends. I’m around 25 now, but am starting to ramp back up.
  • Are you a trail runner or road runner? Since most of my runs happen at lunch, roads are all I have time for.
  • What’s your favorite local place to run? Downtown in the mornings (before traffic). The views from River Street are great and then running under all the oak trees all over downtown is nice.
  • Favorite race? Why? Before August, I would have said the Race for the Preservation in February. I have no idea why it sticks out, but the weather is usually perfect and it’s a fast course.
    Now, it is the Little Tybee Conquest. That was such a hard race, but the scenery was second to none. Running through the dead trees and the marsh was just awesome.
  • What’s the toughest/hardest race you’ve run and what made it so tough? Little Tybee Conquest. The heat, the swimming, the sand. Take your pick. I got dehydrated pretty quickly and ended up walking the last 2 miles with some great people.
  • Any bucket list races, – what are they?  any 100 mile race
  • What is a running milestone of yours? I was so proud of myself completing the Iron Horse 50 mile race in Gainesville, FL. It was so hard, but I had some great people waiting for me at the finish line and my sister ran the last 8 miles with me. What was I going to do? Quit?
  • Favorite running shoe(s)? Why? Altra Torin. They are incredibly comfortable with the large toe box. My feet don’t fit in my old shoes anymore because they’ve spread out.
  • How often do you trade out running shoes?  every 8 months or so.  usually when my knee starts to hurt.
  • Do you cross-train? If so, what do you do for cross-training? I used to do Crossfit a few days a week, but I let it lapse while training for the 50 mile race. That was a mistake. I usually do 1 or 2 modified Crossfit workouts a week now.
  • Do you stretch before/after running? Why or Why not?  After.  I have found it helps keep me injury free. I make sure to target the IT band since I’ve had issues in the past.
  • How do you fuel during a race? During regular runs, long runs?  PB&J is great.  I’ve also done boiled potatoes with salt during really long runs. Marathons and half are mainly whatever gel is out on the course.
  • Leading up to a race when do you begin your taper?  I usually take the week of easy. For marathons and ultras, I won’t go hard on my speedwork two weeks out.
  • What kind of running related injuries have you suffered and how did you deal with it?  I tripped over the curb in Hampton Lakes last year and it messed up my knee and IT band for months. I taped it up with KT and took it easy, but I still ran the RNR last year.
    With most injuries, I will stop doing speedwork and just go for easy runs if I can.
  • Please share a funny and/or an interesting moment you’ve experienced running.  I was out on a 20+ training run around my neighborhood and I came up on a lady running about the same speed as me. We started talking and she asked how I was able to run those kind of distances. My reply was “a very understanding spouse”. It really is true that I couldn’t do this without the full support of my wife. She is always willing to stay home with the kids while I go out for a long run.

Please name three inspirational runners to you and why they are inspirational. (they can be famous, family, friends).

  1. Swim, Bike, Mom – she is a childhood friend and was not satisfied with her direction of life so she decided to take up triathalons. That kind of change takes enormous courage.
  2. Dean Karnazes – It’s kind of cliche, especially for the ultra crowd, but his books really inspired me to see how far I can go.
  3. My son, Zachary – He isn’t a racing runner, but that kid has endless energy and just runs everywhere. I feel like I’m doing good just keeping up.
  • Any favorite quote that lends itself to your running and/or philosophy on life? Please share.  “Be Happy” It is something my dad used to always tell us. It reminds me to not get caught up in the small stuff. Running is fun. Life is fun. Why go through it with a frown?
  • As a runner, where do you see yourself one year from now?  Hopefully still running. Maybe I’ll have a 100 miler completed or on the horizon.
  • What advice would you share with a new runner?  Have fun. Intervals and tempo runs are something you have to just power through, but long runs are fun. I love talking to people, especially on long runs.
    You can eat up a lot of miles and time running with a friend. I ran into an old buddy of mine at the beginning of the first RNR marathon. We started talking and next thing
    I know, we are at mile 11.

There you have it.  Matthew is a great human being and I’m proud to showcase him as the latest Rocking Runner of the Week!

Good luck, Matt, on your 100 mile quest!  If you can wait until mid-October 2015, I may have a 100 miler you might want to do! 😉

May you remain injury-free as you add more and more miles under your feet!

All the best to you and yours.





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