Matt McGowan, a high school business teacher/department chairman and cross country and track & field coach has had a lifelong interest in running. Matt first got involved with running in a Thanksgiving Day race and in grade school track in Wheeling, Illinois. In junior high, Matt started to run the dashes.

However, after his oldest brother, Bill, broke the Circleville High School 880 yard run record and his brother Joe broke the school record In the 440, Matt was moved up to those events. Matt’s interest in running continued to develop while in high school. As a student at Ohio Northern University, he was a four year letter winner in Cross Country and Track. At Ohio Northern he was President of the Letterman’s Club and was a seven time NCAA National Qualifier in both cross country and track. His senior year the conference 10,000 meter on Friday night and the next afternoon finished second in the 5,000 meter to teammate Mike Becraft. While a graduate student at Miami University, he founded and coached the Women’s Cross Country program for four years, where he worked with a number of eventual NCAA National qualifiers. He also worked with the Men’s Cross Country and Track programs.

Although Matt’s work experience has been varied, he has never left his interest in running entirely behind. He has worked as a Promotional Representative for Converse  Shoe Company and helped to manage an athletic shoe store. As a teacher, he spent most of the year after school working with young men and women in the Cross Country and Track & Field programs.

As a runner, Matt has had some outstanding success. Besides his varsity experience in college, Matt has a best Marathon time of 2:22.08, a 10km time of 29:28 and a 5K time of 14:21. He was the winner in the first Citizen Journal 10km (now Columbus 10K) run in Columbus under a hot 85 degree sun with a 6pm race start. His first marathon was the Toledo Glass City Marathon where he finished 20th with a time of 2:51.09 and he won the Glass City Marathon two years later with a time of 2:27.17

His proudest accomplishment was an impressive 33rd place finish in the 1980 Boston Marathon, where he failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials by only four seconds. As he remembers this important race, the weather was hot and sunny and Matt found himself in 175th place at the 10 mile mark. His eventual 33rd place finish remains one of his best personal recollections concerning his running career. In 1981 he finished 149th and in the 1982 Boston Marathon, he finished 53rd.

Matt has also been the race director of a number of road races in Ohio. He was the Coordinator of the Converse Midwest Express Racing Team for three years where seven runners qualified for the 1984 Olympic Trials and even had one runner on the 1984 Olympic team. He served as the Director and Host of the TAC Midwest Cross Country Championship in 1982-83 in Oxford and has been an invited speaker at many health, running and sports clinics in the area.

Matt had a close “running relationship” with his younger brother, Jeff. Matt helped to coach Jeff to a second place finish in both the 1600 and 800 meter runs in the state high school competition.  While Jeff was battling Hodgkin’s Disease, Matt organized the Circleville Classic 5 Miler held the Saturday of the Circleville Pumpkin Show. (Jeff passed from a blood clot after major heart surgery in 2012)

Matt hopes to make RUNOHIO a magazine which will serve all of the runners in the state.