On February 29, Matt Rand, 28, (Ozone Park, NY, Central Park Track Club - Tracksmith) competed in his first Olympic Trials, finishing 108th in a time of 2:25:43.    We took some time last week to ask Matt about all his likes, interests, and more.

Let's GET TO KNOW.....Matt Rand.

High School you attended:
Cape Elizabeth High School (Maine), 2009
College you attended:
Tufts University, 2013
Major in College:
Current Occupation (or part time-job):
Research Manager at U.S. News & World Report

Central Park Track Club - Tracksmith

Tell us about your Olympic Trials experience in Atlanta:
Competing in the Olympic Trials was definitely the high point of my running career. I had decided to try to qualify for Trials in the spring of 2016 when my marathon PR was 2:32. To shave off 14 minutes over 3.5 years was very gratifying, and I was thrilled just to make it to Atlanta. 
The race was a lot of fun but also quite challenging because of the course and wind. I planned on starting around 5:25 pace for first 10M, but ended up a couple seconds faster. Even then, I was close to the back of the back (family reported 198th near 10k). I started passing people after 8 miles or so, and crossed half in 70:28. I increased effort a bit from 16-19 and passed a lot more people. The last 4 mile loop was the toughest section of any marathon I've ever run - steep hills, hairpin turn under the rings, strong wind tunnels. It was a brutal grind to the finish. Almost a quarter of the men’s field didn't finish, which makes sense given how grueling it was out there. I was happy I gutted it out and outperformed my seed by over a 100 places. 
Overall it was a very special weekend. ATC did a great job supporting all the athletes - this was the most elite I've ever felt in my career. Competing with the best for a spot in the olympics was exhilarating and surreal at times. Spectator support along Peachtree was the best I've ever experienced in a marathon. It was also great to have a lot of family and a big crew of Tufts alums down there supporting as well. I hope to be back in 4 years, but approached the weekend as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No regrets with how things played out.
How did you start running?
My parents ran a lot of local road races when I was growing up, and I'd often do the kids races. I started cross country in middle school, which was my first organized training. I played baseball and basketball in high school in addition to cross country, so I didn't start training year-round until college.

What does your marathoning career look like?
2013 Maine 2:35
2014 Boston 2:32
2016 Boston 2:59 (struggled with heat; pretty much walked the last 10k)
2016 Chicago 2:26
2017 Mohawk Hudson 2:27
2017 CIM 2:26
2018 Chicago 2:24
2019 Houston 2:20
2019 Berlin 2:44 (jogged/walked last 10 miles)
2019 Indianapolis 2:18
2020 Olympic Trials 2:25
What were your best track times in high school?
I only competed in two seasons of indoor track and never ran outdoor. My PR for 2 miles was 9:45, and that was good enough to win a state title in Maine. I don't remember my mile PR, or ever racing an 800 or shorter
#1 High School highlight?
In my sophomore year, my cross country team won the state title by a huge margin and then placed third in the New England Championship, which I believe is still the best-ever finish by a Maine team at New Englands
What were your best track times in college?
3000m:     8:35
5000m:    14:34
10,000m:  30:09
#1 College highlight?
During my junior year, my cross country team placed 9th at the NCAA championships. Everyone ran well and we were pumped to be top 10. I placed 19th overall to earn All-American award, so it was an exciting day all around.
#1 professional highlight?
Running 2:18:36 in Indianapolis to qualify for Olympic Trials
Something unique about you that we might not know about you?
I love Taco Bell and ice cream.  During my four years of high-mileage marathon training, I'd eat at Taco Bell 2-3 times per week. I also ate a quart of ice cream every night (except pre-race)
Current Coach?
Devon Martin and Tony Ruiz
Favorite Workout?
For marathons, I like 2 mile warmup, 10 miles uptempo (6:10), 10 miles at marathon pace (5:18), 2 mile cool down. 24 mile day. This workout, or something very similar, was often my peak workout of a cycle, and would give me confidence I could hit my target time on race day
Favorite Place to Train?
Forest Park bridle path. Tough to beat the soft surface, shade, and rolling hills.
Favorite Food?
Taco Bell, double stuff oreos, ice cream, cereal
Favorite Restaurant?
Taco Bell
Favorite music?
Whatever top 40 radio stations tell me I should like. I have no taste.
Favorite TV Shows?
The Challenge, Shameless, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Everybody Loves Raymond, Bachelor in Paradise
Favorite Author?
Ken Follett
Favorite Book?
Kingsbridge Series and Century Trilogy -- Ken Follett
Harry Potter
What is your preferred social media? 
Twitter. I am at @mrand6 
If you could have lunch with one person who would it be? 
Bill Nye
How about dinner?
Still Bill Nye
Over the years who have you found to be the best training partner? 
I've done some of my biggest workouts with CPTC teammates Ryan Archer, Eddie Mulder, and Ben Toomer
Favorite Athlete?
Roger Federer. To be near the top of his sport for so long is remarkable, and he's a class act off the court. He has so much humility for someone who's accomplished everything in his sport. He's also very well-spoken, intelligent, altruistic, and philanthropic.
What do you foresee yourself doing in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I'll keep training at a high level for as long as I can. I'd like to qualify for the 2024 Trials, so I'm hoping they don't lower the standard too much. After that cycle I'll probably dial back my running a bit (I'll be 32). Maybe get back into it in my 40s to try to win some Masters titles.

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