by Aaron Gill
The Cameron University cross-country head coach Matt Aguero competed in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 9.
The term “marathon” originated in Greece when a messenger by the name of Pheidippides ran from the Battle of Marathons all the way to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated.
According to the Legend of Pheidippides, he arrived in Athens and said, “We have won,” before he collapsed and died.
Today marathons are run for multiple causes including different kinds of illnesses as well as just for pure competition.
Coach Aguero said he trained hard for this marathon and put in a multitude of miles over the summer with a mixture of hard workouts thrown in.
“I have been preparing since June for the race,” Aguero said. “I got up to 130 miles per week and had three hard workouts per week.”
Coach Aguero has battled back and forth with injuries over the years when he was preparing to go to races and has even had Achilles issues in the past. However, Coach Aguero stayed healthy throughout his summer and arrived at the race ready to run.
“I was pretty fortunate that I did not have any injuries,” Aguero said.
Of over 45,000 runners, Coach Aguero went into the race with only two goals; set a new personal record, and finish in the top 100. Aguero achieved only one of the two goals he had set by finishing 66th overall.
“I was happy with how I ran,” Aguero said. “I was 11 seconds off my PR, but for it being a little hot I was happy with my time and was very pleased with my place. The goal was top 100, so I was very pleased with 66th.”
According to most runners, marathon training is one of the most mentally challenging things you could ever prepare yourself for and Coach Aguero is someone that strives to insure that his running is to the best of his ability.
Dubbed the 100-mile man in 2005, Coach Aguero, set out to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for the fastest 100-mile relay race. Aguero and his team ended up running 16 minutes and 47 seconds faster than the previous record holders had run.
Aguero and his team had actually broken the record before August of 2005, but the records were lost and never made their way into the history books.
In a race where each runner was supposed to run ten miles a piece, Aguero and seven others had to pick up some of the slack when two of their runners could only do seven and eight miles due to injuries.
The next step for Coach Aguero would be competing in the 2012 Olympic Trials to see if he could make the cut to appear for his country in a team USA jersey and run the marathon.
Coach Aguero has been an avid runner since childhood and even ran at East Central University during his time as a collegiate athlete. Aguero said that he usually tries to run at least two marathons a year, and this was his second for this season.
“I usually run two a year,” Aguero said. “My next marathon will probably be next spring.”
Having time to rest until his next marathon, Coach Aguero can get back into a regular training routine where he slows down a little and builds his mileage back up where he wants it to be by his next race.
For more information about Coach Matt Aguero and his running or the cross-country team, visit www.cameronaggies.com or his new website www.prizerunning.com.