In an effort to let others know what a great running community we have here in Kentucky, and the surrounding states, I want to interview a numbers of runners throughout the year. I will not only interview those one may consider elite, or fast, but also those that mid-pack and back of the pack since the running community is made up of all kinds of people.
For the first interview in this series I asked some questions of Matt Hoyes who I first met as he lapped me at the 2017 Land Between the Lakes 50 Miler, which he won and was 2:37 ahead of me. Since then I have followed Matt online and when I decided to work towards interviewing runners in KY he quickly came to mind and am grateful for his agreeing to do this interview. I hope this will let you know a little bit more about Matt and over the year ahead about other runners in our area.
Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I'm 43; from Cincinnati originally, born and raised a Westsider. Currently I live in Bardstown KY. I went to Oak Hills High School where I ran four years of Track, played soccer three years and ran XC only one year. I also fell in love with cycling in high school. After a brief stint at U. of Cincinnati, I spent a few years working, racing my mountain bike and dabbling in multisport. In 1996, I went to Lindsey Wilson College where I competed in collegiate cycling. I graduated in 2001 with an art education degree, but went to work for LWC coaching cycling and doing some academic advising. In total I spent seven years at LW before moving to Bardstown. I've lived here in Bardstown since and started teaching in 2006. I’m now married to Emmy Durall Hoyes. My oldest son, Lane, is 14 (and runs XC for me), and Emmy and I have a two year old son named Redding and a baby girl on the way.
What is your profession?
Teacher - Art, at Thomas Nelson High School. Also coach Track and XC
How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
I kinda got the bug in middle school running track - was only really excelling at the distance events. Even in soccer, my best attributes were speed and stamina.
How long have you been running?
I guess you could say on and off for 30 years but really got into it more heavily when I started coaching track and cross country here in Nelson County in 2007. Running with the kids got me back in shape and racing again. I started doing more trail stuff and did my first marathon in 2008 (Otter Creek Trail Marathon) - so training and racing pretty consistently for the last 10 years.
Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
Cycling was my focus for many years - mostly mountain biking (did lots of 24 hour relays, some multi-day tours, raced Leadville 100 in 1995, and my best collegiate finish was 27th at 1996 NCCA Mountain Bike Nationals). I’ve raced a dozen or so triathlons (on and off-road). Played a little Ultimate. Did an 18 hour adventure race and enjoy kayaking.
Did you run in in grade school, High School or College? If so where?
Started in middle school. Ran four years of high school track and one year of XC.
So we get an idea of where you have been at with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past.
5k - 16:45
10k - 34:30
Half-marathon - 1:15
Marathon - 2:39
Trail Marathon - 3:04
50k - 3:22
50 mile - 5:54
FKT - Sheltowee Trace Trail - 320ish miles in 8 days
What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
Boy, that’s a tough one. Every time toeing the line offers a chance to push hard and hurt in different ways. I’ve run 2:39 twice on the road, and those were really nice consistent efforts that were pretty well executed. Land Between the Lakes this past March was a good day - snow at the start, less than ideal conditions and a PR at the time with a 6:28, winning by an hour. Then a surprise win at Tunnel Hill was really cool - felt great running 6:40’s for a long time - could barely even squeak out 8:30’s by the end. Races like that are fun and hard, where you find yourself on the front and think “damn, now I’ve got to suck it up and not bitch out!”. Just a few weeks ago, I broke my course record at Otter Creek having to beat Scott Breeden (who also broke the record) to do so. It felt good to be going so hard so late in the race - I hammered to the line to get under 3:05. I’ve had some pretty good times running the Bourbon Chase, especially in the ultra format. Our second year doing the six man team, we had a guy drop and I ran 40 miles total averaging under 6:00/mi. I was pretty fit then.
What is your favorite distance to run and race?
The marathon (on or off-road) is pretty good for me. Anything shorter is just excruciating, Longer is fine, but I really like the tightrope walk that is the marathon. You can go pretty hard, but you’ve got to respect the distance.
Do you have any long range plans?
Not really. We have a baby girl on the way, and my running will be pretty light through the early part of 2018. I’ve considered moving up to the 100k or 100 mile in the future but that’s probably a ways off.
What do you like best about living and running in KY?
I love running right out my back door, hitting thin ridges and exploring. The Daniel Boone National Forest is a gem. The Sheltowee Trace has been very dear to me for a long time. And, there are awesome events and promoters right here in KY. Steve Durbin, Cynthia Heady, Troy Shellhamer, Damon Barnes and Lori Masterson are just some of those putting on great races right here. There’s a lot more stuff going on in the Eastern part of the state too. We’re also really blessed with a full range of seasons.
What do you struggle with most with regards to running?
The balancing act. Between teaching and coaching kids and spending time with my family, running the distances that I like takes up an inordinate amount of time.
What do you see as a trend in running?
I see a lot of people getting into it late in life which is great, but I also see tremendous growth in the youth numbers. We host a series called the Popsicle Races for kids and get 100 kids a night. It’s awesome. I also see a shift to the trails and ultra distances happening more regularly.
If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
It’s all relative. There is no less validity in your running than that of the elites. All they are trying to do is to get faster, just like me and you. Do it for the experience not the medal. Challenge yourself to do something hard, then be tough when it gets really hard! My Road ID says “Don’t be a %*$#@”. Insert your own expletive and use it as your mantra. Works for me.
Do you have a website or other social media site you would like to share?
Ha, it’s seriously outdated, but maybe this will get me back into blogging. There are some photos and results on there - some cool old stuff like my FKT on the Sheltowee: matthoyesrunning.blogspot.com
Any closing comments?
Thanks for thinking of me.
If you have any suggestions for runners in KY to interview let me know and send me any contact info you may have via the contact form in sidebar.