Matt Tegenkamp, a two-time Olympian and American record-holder on the track, has announced his retirement from professional running in a release by Kimbia Athletics.
“Throughout my career, I lived 24/7, 365 days a year as an athlete,” Tegenkamp said in a statement from his agent. “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 made every U.S. national team for a global championship between 2007 and the 2012, including the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. His best performance was a fourth-place finish for the 5,000-meter run at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
At the 2007 Prefontaine Classic, Tegenkamp set the American record for the two-mile run with a 8:07.07 performance. His personal best of 12:58.56 makes him just one of six American men to ever break 13 minutes for the 5,000-meter run on the track.
The former Wisconsin Badger is also the first man to break four minutes in the mile on Wisconsin soil with his 3:56.38 win at the 2006 Wisconsin Twilight meet ahead of teammate Chris Solinsky. The race can be viewed below.
“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 will continue to work with the product creation team at Nike in Beaverton, Ore.
Matt Tegenkamp's personal bests
3:34.25 for 1,500-meters
3:56.38 for the mile
7:34.98 for 3,000-meters
8:07.07 (American record) for two-miles
12:58.56 for 5,000-meters
27:28.22 for 10,000-meters
62:04 for half-marathon
2:12:28 for the marathon
- Christopher Chavez