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Retirement, High Pointing, and Eugene: A Run Oregon interview with Nick Symmonds

Run Oregon: Last time we chatted, we talked about your “retirement”. Looking at your Instagram feed, it seems like you have been busy with “life”. What have you enjoyed most about your time away from competitive sport? 

Nick Symmonds: Pro running life was great, but I must say that post-pro running life is more enjoyable. I think what I enjoy most is not feeling guilty about enjoying life’s pleasures. I can now have a beer and not feel guilty about it. I can ski and not worry about an injury derailing my career. I still run, but I can cut it short if I’m having an off day.

Speaking of your IG feed, you are clearly a man of beer. What are your favorite beers and breweries (local or abroad)? Do you have a most memorable beer-drinking location or story?

I’m really spoiled living in Oregon, we have so many great breweries. In Eugene I like Falling Sky, in Portland I love BaseCamp, and when in Bend I usually hit up Crux Brewing. To be honest, I’m certain I can find at least one beer I like at every brewery. One of my most memorable beers was in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. Something about the history in that building.

You are on a mission to summit all the tallest mountains in the US. How did this goal come about? How is your progress going?

Yes, it is called state high pointing and I got the bug for it after standing on top of Humphrey’s Peak in AZ during a training camp in 2012. Each states’ high point is unique and they all provide a sense of adventure. Plus, I get to see every corner of this incredible country! I currently only have 20 state high points to my name, but have many of the harder ones completed (Washington, Oregon, California, etc).

OK – back to running. You participated in your first marathon – the Honolulu Marathon – last year. How did that go?  

It went really well. I had never run farther than 15 miles, so I didn’t know what to expect. The last few miles were tough, but I actually managed to negative split the second half. I finished with a time of 3 hours, 35 seconds.

What are you looking forward to most at the upcoming Eugene Marathon?

Breaking three hours!! It bothered me that I came that close to breaking three hours in Honolulu, I think I will be able to do it in Eugene.

Any “secret” running spots in Eugene (or Oregon in general) that you would recommend people traveling into town for the race check out? What about your favorite food or drink spots?

Leaburg Canal is a great out and back that no one really knows about. I like to go out there for an easy hour run sometimes. As for food and drink, my favorite spot in town is a little Thai place called Bai Khao.

We had one of our bloggers beg for the Symmonds 800 road race to make a reappearance? Can you shut him up and bring it back?! Please!! 😊 

Ha! That was a really fun event. To be honest, it took so much time and energy to run every year, we simply didn’t have the resources to keep doing it. Maybe one day we will bring it back!

I saw Run Gum in my local store the other day. How is the Run Gum life going?

That doesn’t surprise me as we are in nearly 2,000 stores now! Run Gum has been growing steadily over the last couple years. We are seeing tremendous growth outside of running. Run Gum can now be found in REI and The Vitamin Shoppe and can be purchased on Amazon and at RunGum.com.

What’s on the agenda for this summer?

I’ve got some BIG plans for this summer. On May 1st I will be making a major announcement on my social accounts @nicksymmonds. Stay tuned!

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About Matt Rasmussen (1219 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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