Why I Run – Matt’s Story

Nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you!

I started running in 2011 after continually packing away the pounds following my college career. I went from 190 solid pounds (baseball playing weight) to a pudgy 230 over the span of a few years. The thing that got me on track was looking at a picture of myself following my 1st anniversary Hawaiian vacation. I couldn’t believe that was actually what I had let myself get to and I vowed to make a change.

I came back to Oregon following that trip and couldn’t figure out my starting point. I thought maybe it would be running, but my extra pounds really put a strain on my already fragile knees. I also had a newborn baby (and a tired wife) at that time. When I took my “paternity leave” from work, I felt it would be better to stick near the house, so I opted for p90x. I am not an infomercial believer typically, but it really worked for me. I ended up losing close to 45 pounds over the 3 months I took it on.


Photo circa 2007 in a previous life. I’m pretty sure this was a double…

Following p90x, I needed to determine my next step. My brain couldn’t fathom doing another round of p90x and needed to figure out some way to stay motivated to keep the weight off. When I stopped playing baseball, I lost a part of my identity, and a sense of belonging to a sub culture I had always known. I had few hobbies that really stood out in my life and wanted something to be mine again. I remember being pretty emotional at one point in the past where I wondered if I was ever going to be good at anything again. Then along came running. On a whim, I signed up for the 2011 Race for the Tulips in Woodburn and was instantly hooked. I started signing up for races and consuming this new-found world of running events at a crazy pace.

Matt at his peak (with his beautiful wife).

Anniversary trip with his beautiful wife to Hawaii in 2010, when I reached my peak weight. Be glad I didn’t post the shirtless ocean picture…

(with his beautiful wife).

I stumbled upon the Run Oregon blog a few months later at it’s previous location on and thought it was a great source of info. I hated my job at the time (I’m at the same company as today, but now I have a different and better role), and I decided to reach out and see if 1) there were any writing opportunities available, and 2) if I could be the Willamette Valley blogger, as this area seemed to be minimally covered. The rest is history. I think I kept hounding Kelly for stuff to do and hammered out posts like there was no tomorrow when she was on Maternity leave and Maryalicia was doing military training.

I continue to run, partly to stay in shape (my weight is generally under control 11 months of the year – except for Thanksgiving through Christmas), and partly because of all the wonderful experiences I have had as a result of running . I have completed a full marathon, a triathlon, a duathlon, and nearing 20 half marathons in 4 different states – all in the span of really only about 3 years. I have met a ton of great people and found a hobby that gives me great joy and happiness. And there is nothing better than that.

If you see this ridiculous face at a race, come up and say hi!

Me at the 2012 Sunriver Half Marathon. If you see me at a race, come up and say hi. It will only be awkward for a minute or two!

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.