Matt Carpenter

Club Member Since 9/10/1997

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Matt Carpenter - 72 miles into the 2005 Leadville Trail 100 miler getting ready to exchange CamelBaks
72 miles into the 2005 Leadville Trail 100 miler getting ready to exchange CamelBaks

“Go out hard, when it hurts speed up!”

City: Manitou Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: Light and fast Size: 9.5

Age: 56.9 years old

Marital Status: Married to Yvonne since 2/20/2000

Family members:
Wife: Yvonne
Daughter: Kyla:-)

What I do for work:
Work = Force X Distance!

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
I grew up in Ohio after being born in North Carolina. We moved to Mississippi my Junior year of high school after a summer in Kentucky. While attending college (University of Southern Mississippi) I spent my summers in Vail, Colorado. After college I moved there for 4 years. I moved to Colorado Springs in 1991 and to Manitou Springs in 1998. I love Manitou because it is a small town at the foot of a big mountain and yet it is also close to a big city.

When I started running and what got me started:
When I moved to Mississippi I started running because I had nothing else to do. I had always played in the band and it turned out because of a scheduling conflict I had to drop band to take chemistry. Soon after I heard an announcement to try out for cross country. I did because I thought they really meant I would run across the country!

What does running mean to me:
My reasons for running are ever evolving. What started as a way to fit in when I was in high school soon became a way to pay for my school when I was in college. After my mom died it became my escape and the only thing in my life that I had control over. Running used to interfere with my job until it became a job and allowed me to see the world. Along the way much of my enjoyment of running has come from helping others with their running. Now that Kyla is here I find my running once again evolving. I spend a lot of time with a BabyJogger (Kyla insists we call it a KylaJogger now since she is "not a baby") but I don't use it as an excuse to slow me down!

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
Quite a few - a bio can be found at

While in Vail I got a bunch of runners together from the club I started there and we approached the town council and got permission to rip out a berm and install a 400m grass running track around a soccer field. I have a photo of Frank Shorter and I running on that track that I am pretty proud of.

The Incline Club is one of my proudest accomplishments and what keeps me going. There is nothing like seeing 60-90 people take off into the mountains to do something that I feel so passionate about as a way of life! ICers - YOU ROCK!

What I like about trail/mountain running:
I learned that I can spend a lot more time running on the trails than I could on the roads without getting beat up. Because I loved to run I started spending more and more time on the trails and soon noticed my enjoyment of running went way way up. I like running up and down mountains because the goal is so defined. Run from down here to up there and back. Makes a lot more sense to me than say running around a couple of blocks to a bunch of other blocks and then back again. Besides there is nothing like heading out on the trails and just being one with yourself!

Favorite running trail and why:
The Barr Trail, especially the top 3 miles! Why? Because it is like a chess game learning how to run it the correct way.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
The Barr Trail Mountain Race. Sure I may be biased because I am the co-founder but you know what? When you get right down to it the BTMR goes beyond just being a running event by giving back a lot (over $158,000) to the community and the mountain in which we live and play while at the same time it is a very competitive race! How many events can say all that?

If I had to rank based on course alone I would rank the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Leadville trail 100 as my favorites.

Best running experience:
A pretty close tie between breaking 2:20 and qualifying for the 1992 Olympic marathon trials, breaking the records at Pikes Peak in 1993 and breaking the record at the 2005 Leadville Trail 100. The first was such a sense of relief because I only had a few seconds to spare. The 2nd was the culmination of many years work and in particular a seriously insane 8 months of training with only about a week's worth of days under 2 hours a day and those were mostly tapers/recoveries from other races. The third because after a few rough years I got my running back under control and achieved a long standing goal.

Worst running experience:
Most of my really bad runs have revolved around bathroom problems. But I have had some that were just hell! Once I used the wrong leaf as a wipe and got poison oak. While I guess that could go down below in the bathroom stop question it was the running for the next couple of weeks that was just awful. There were some nights where I could not sleep it hurt so bad.

But as far as races go the 2004 Leadville Traill 100 would rank right up there as one of the worst but since I spent so much time walking I am not sure it should count as a worst running experience!

Neatest thing found on a run:
I found my wife at the bar - the Barr Trail that is:-) If that doesn't count then I have found a $20 bill on several occasions and in May of 2003 I found a $100 bill!!! I was all excited because I found a dollar and when I picked it up I was like, "cool, a ten" and then I unfolded it and it was, "score, that's a freaking hundred." The rest of the run I kept checking my pocket to make sure I did not become the next person to lose it. Note; For some reason it is next to impossible to go for a run in Manitou Springs and not find at least a couple of cents.

Running related bathroom stop story:
12 of them! During that 8 month period mentioned above, I had a rather upset stomach once on a day scheduled for a hard workout. So I did 30 minutes of 1 minute hard, one minute easy, on my treadmill. As the one minute hard was coming to an end I would use the remote to close the garage door and sit on a bucket for a bathroom break because it was not possible to get to the bathroom and back that fast. Then I would quickly open the door for some fresh air and the next hard minute. I called that workout 30 minutes of 1 minute hard, 1 minute dump. I guess you could say that I was a bit, um, anal about not calling off my workouts!

Running pet peeves:
Courses not measured or marked correctly!
Race directors who forget what the word RACE means.
Dog owners who let their dogs crap on trails.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I used to play the saxophone in the band. (1st chair:-)

Other hobbies and interests:
Computers and programming. (Like these pages!) I am also getting into photography a little more but I still stink at it.

Other stuff:
Advice: Consistency is the key. Make your hard days hard, your easy days easy, and do it consistently and you will go fast and far:-)

Page last modified: 9/4/2011

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