5 Things You Should Know About Me: Mattie Suver

September 26, 2013 at 1:45pm EST | by Barbara Huebner, Marathon News Service

It’s been a great year for Mattie Suver. The 26-year-old Wyoming native who trains with the American Distance Project in Colorado Springs, CO, has set three personal bests on the roads: at 15K, at 25K, and at the half-marathon national championships, finishing in the top five in all three races. Her top championship finish was as runner-up in the USA 20K Championships on Labor Day, and last weekend she won the Great Cow Harbor 10K on Long Island. Her path to success, however, has been a long and winding road: A walk-on at Eastern Washington University, Suver finished her collegiate career, at the University of Oregon, as an All-American. After two years as a high school coach, she hit the highway with her husband, Curtis, in pursuit of the best training environment. Working odd jobs along the way, they took short-term rentals or lived with relatives in Wyoming, Texas, Nevada, and Boulder, CO, before Suver and ADP athlete Wendy Thomas got talking at the Rock ’n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon two years ago. The conversation led to the Suvers settling in Colorado Springs, where they’ve just bought their first house. Suver will make her ING New York City Marathon debut on November 3.

  1. I ran track in high school, but I didn’t run cross country until my senior year because I played volleyball. I was never very good at it, but thought I could get better if I just kept at it. When the coach told me I’d probably spend senior year on the bench, it was just devastating. But it turns out it might be the best thing that ever happened to me. So thanks, Coach.
  2. The first road race I ever ran was junior year in high school, when I did the Bolder Boulder 10K with my father. Somehow my dad, who has run marathons, convinced me to do it and I got hooked. We ran together for about four miles, and then I went ahead. I didn’t expect to beat him. I don’t think he expected it, either.
  3. When I qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in the Philly half-marathon in 2011, I’d never run a marathon—but I thought that it would be a shame to qualify and not go race. I didn’t have much time for a buildup, with the Trials less than four months later. I was training alone, while traveling, with no coach. I got some advice along the way, but I really didn’t know how to train for a marathon. The race was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t know what people meant when they said you’d hit the wall. I’ve never wanted to drop out of a race so much in my life. I ended up finishing, though. I haven’t run a marathon since, so New York will be the first marathon I’ve really trained properly for.
  4. Last year I won the Avery Brewing Company Four on the Fourth 4K in Boulder, and the prize was my weight in beer. I tried to tell them I weighed 170 pounds. They didn’t believe me, but we were still the hot spot for barbecues that summer.
  5. My uncle named his restaurant in Elko, NV, after me. I’ve gone back to “Mattie’s Bar ’n’ Grill” pretty much every summer since college to wait tables. The restaurant has pictures of me when I was little, but I don’t wear a name tag and get kind of shy, so most customers don’t realize I’m Mattie unless they happen to recognize me from the running pictures and career updates in the Mattie’s menu.