Get to Know Run Oregon: Mary Sweigert

Mary (left) with friend, Erin, after the Portland Marathon. Photo Credit: Tara Walsh

I felt bad for me getting ready to interview myself because I already knew probably just about anyone is more interesting to interview than I am. Existential crisis notwithstanding, both parties may have gotten a little bored and thus took significantly longer than most RO contributors, and at least one of the parties now feels guilty about the quality and/or contents of said interview. 

Age you started running:

I was 19 and college felt like it was literally blowing my mind, so running seemed like the most normal thing I could do.  I had no idea what I was doing, in any given moment, at any point in time, so I decided I’d start running. Because I also had no idea how to do that.  Looking back, I’m sure I should be embarrassed by the cheap shoes I counted on in the early years, but they got the job done and I love them for that.

Favorite running shoes:

Now that I’m a grown up and spoiled, my favorite distance shoes are Asics Gel Kayano (whatever number they’re up to now) or the minimalist Mizuno Waves if I’m feeling fancy and/or not going far.

Favorite time of year to run (or favorite running temperature):

Summer – the hotter the better.

How many days/week or miles/week you run (or mileage/year):

~ 25 miles/ week; more during training; always at least 5 days a week.

Favorite running tech gadgets:

I’m not much for stuff while running, but I do love Strava & Spotify.

What you can’t run without:

Comfy socks ( Wrightsocks if you can get ’em.)

What you carry with you on the run:

Under 5 miles: my dog.  Over: Phone/Audible;  Sharkies and water if it’s a long one.

Go to pre-race food:

Coffee and oatmeal with almond butter, honey, and bananas.

Post-race food/beverages:

After a race as long as it’s calories, I will probably eat it, though I get extra excited if they have orange slices at the finish.  Nuun is awesome but only if beer is unavailable.

Favorite race and/or distance:

Half marathon.

Favorite running destination:

Priest Lake, ID.

First race:

Coeur d’ Alene Half Marathon.

Group running or solo running?


Music or no music?

Music, though I’m a pretty firm believer that quiet runs have their place so I try to unplug every once in a while.

Favorite running song:

Up Around the Bend – C C R.

Speed work?

Necessary and fun (sometimes).

Cross training?

Also necessary and fun, 2-3 days/ week.


Only if absolutely necessary, and/or my choice is no running or treadmill running.

Training plan?

For marathons, yes. Less than that? Sometimes…though I’ve lived to regret winging the occasional half marathon.

Running pet peeve:

Running usually makes it so I don’t have any peeves, but I have been hit in the face by a fellow runner’s snot rocket, so just keep ’em low and downwind, ok? Ok.

Favorite non-running outdoor activity:

Skim boarding or hiking in the summer, snowboarding or skiing in the winter.

Funny, embarrassing, most memorable running experience:

Barfing at the Portland Marathon pretty much covers all three of these, though it’s definitely funnier now than it was at the time.

Something Run Oregon readers don’t know about me:

I usually run in dude shoes because guys get all the cool color options.