Team Member Spotlight: Matt Morby
Matt Morby is a young man in a hurry but concedes he may need to press the pause button a little more often after what he describes as a “hectic” past 18 months.
The recent addition to the POGO administration team is back behind the desk after completing the New York Marathon. It was his third official marathon which is no mean feat for an athlete yet to reach his 20th birthday.
Since he and a mate decided to do the 2016 Gold Coast Half-Marathon at a week’s notice he confesses he has caught the running “bug”.
“I rocked up on the morning, went and got my bib, and it took me 1hr 40min,” Matt says.
“It was really friendly at the start line but I knew people were judging me when I said I hadn’t trained and only signed up a week earlier. I wasn’t going for a time, I was just in it to give it a crack.
“That just sparked everything else that has happened since that race.”
Since then Matt has barely had time to catch his breath, competing in the Sunshine Coast Marathon, the Sydney Marathon, running the Q1 staircase, the Lamington Eco Challenge which is back to back marathons over hinterland trails on consecutive days before his dream trip to the Big Apple.
All that on top of applying for a job at POGO via Instagram, hardly conventional, which later led to an interview and position mid-year.
“I did a marathon on the Sunshine Coast (4hrs) a month after the Gold Coast Half-Marathon. People told me I was mad to back up so soon after,” Matt says.I was running a couple of times a week, no coach, still don’t have one #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet
“From there I got the bug. I was running a couple of times a week, no coach, still don’t have one. Although I must admit the guys at POGO like Brad Beer and Lewis Craig have been like mentors, most of the team are runners and have helped me out.
“Then I did a marathon on Sydney three weeks later (4hr 10min). It rained and was cold and I experienced cramp for the first time and my body just said ‘nope’.
“Then I ran the stairs of the Q1 which was fun, (but) my body had never been through that much pain before.
“For a few months after that I just concentrated on futsal and touch and then a couple of months ago I did the Lamington Eco Challenge which is two marathons on the trails in two days. That was an unbelievable experience, probably the most fun I’ve ever had.”
That comment was made before Matt’s trip to New York which he hopes to be the first step of completing the Big Six – the marathons in New York, Chicago, Boston, London, Tokyo and Berlin.
“New York was amazing. It is what I expected plus much more,” Matt says.
“No matter where you looked there were people. We’re talking four and five deep, on every corner, every part of the course. It was pumping, there were bands playing music, singers, it seemed every nationality was there, people blowing vuvuzelas, ringing cow bells.
“Brooklyn was a really pretty part of the run but Harlem was probably the best area which surprised me.
“It seemed to me the marathon is a day when the people there let their hair down and just go nuts. They didn’t just have bands, there were rappers, and even the police, they seemed so energetic there, congratulating everyone as they ran past.
“It was a completely different vibe to everywhere else on the course, and Central Park was pretty cool because it was the finish line.”
Matt set himself a target of four hours and stopped the clock at 3:46:28 which was good enough for eighth place in the 18-19 years age group and 8835st overall out of 51,000 competitors.
“There are so many things going on. I said to mum and dad that the 3hrs 46 just flew by,” he said.
“I wasn’t nervous before the run, it was more excitement. I’d waited 10 months for that day, I had arrived at that day and it just flew.
“I was thinking about where I was going to see mum and dad, they managed to get to a few points along the course as well as the finish line.
“I was also keen to get to finish line and get some photos online to share with people back home who would be waking up.
“I wore a POGO shirt as a way of saying ‘thanks’ for all the support I’d received from the team and clients. To be honest, if I hadn’t been at POGO I’m not sure this whole New York thing would have happened.”
To Matt’s disappointment many of the photos he’d taken on the GoPro he carried – pictures he wanted to share with POGO social media followers – were upside down.
“I was taking photos and shooting footage at different stages through the run, shots in Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge … great shots but most of them upside down.
“Heaps of clients had really taken an interest in what I was doing, were really excited about what I was doing and I wanted to be able to share the experience with them.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to support me.”
Matt’s plan now is to give his body some much-needed rest, concentrate on touch and futsal for a couple of months, start sending out some applications for the remaining races on his bucket list and see what turns up.
“It’s an expensive hobby, but it’s a beautiful way to see the world,” he says.
“I’m only 19, I’ve done a lot this year, put my body through a lot, maybe more than I should.
“Next year I’ll definitely do Gold Coast, I want to go back down to Sydney, and then maybe head over the New Zealand and do Auckland or Queenstown.
“But I don’t think anything is going to top New York.”