US Marathoner Nick Arciniaga Preps for Another Run at Boston Marathon

Nick Arciniaga races so frequently, and performs so consistently he seems to fly under the radar more than he should. But with: a US Championship, 2:11 personal best, and three top-10 performances at World Marathon Majors–New York 2013, Boston 2014, New York 2014, his career accomplishments continue to grow. He’ll return to Boston this spring looking to improve on last year’s 7th place finish. Represent Running caught up with Arciniaga by email to talk a little about Boston, his race in New York and why he is a frequent face on the starting line.

Represent Running: You’re coming back to Boston for 2015 where last year you were 7th overall and 2nd American. Why did you decide to return for this year’s race?

Nick Arciniaga: After having such a great race last year I am excited to come back and try to improve off my 7th place finish. Having knowledge of the course and having become a better racer makes this race and the course very favorable for myself. There were a couple spots last year where I felt like I could have done better, mainly the uphill sections, and hopefully this year I will get it right and finish somewhere in the top-5.

RR: For a US marathoner you’re pretty prolific in your racing. You’ve even mentioned that you’re a fan of Yuki Kawauchi in some previous interviews. I’m curious why you like to race as often as you do? As the Olympic Trials get closer, do you plan on keeping up with your usual race volume?

NA: I love racing, even if it means I am going to get beat. Not only have I raced multiple marathons last year, but I also did quite a few 3k to Half Marathon races throughout the year; 19 races including 3 marathons. Most of the races were used as workouts leading into my marathons, but a couple were local fun runs a week or two after a Marathon. I am fortunate to have a body that recovers very well from races, and since the marathons I raced this year all went very well, I am aiming to have a similar schedule this year, as well as the months leading up to the trials.

RR: You also raced and beat Kawauchi in New York this year. Where you able to take anything away from competing with him or any other interactions with him pre or post-race?

NA: I respect Kawauchi, but I am glad I beat him. I talked with Ryan Vail after the race and we both had similar opinions on that (although Vail’s opinion is that Kawauchi is a bit crazier than I believe he is). We also agreed that we did NOT like how Kawauchi was racing. He seemed very erratic and actually cut each of us off multiple times during the race. That happens in racing all the time, but with Kawauchi it was a bit more noticeable. We didn’t really have any other interactions pre or post-race.

RR: In your racing you’ve mixed both the US majors and a lot of US marathons outside of those like Twin Cities, Grandma’s, CIM. What’s your outlook going into one of these races where you’re in contention for the overall victory, or US Championship, compared to New York or Boston? Have you been tempted lately to go chase a PR on a flat/fast course?

NA: I do always have the temptation to chase a fast time. Breaking 2:11, then 2:10, and maybe even 2:09 are within my ability, however I have been focusing more on championships and non-paced major races in order to teach myself how to be a better racer. I have run all of my best times in races like this, mostly because I forget about the pressure of running a fast time and I just compete. The exception is my PR (2:11:30), which come on a fast course, however I was the pacer that day for a teammate of mine and things were going perfectly for me, so I finished. So, going to races like NYC and Boston I have built my confidence to a point that I believe that I can run with the top guys because the course is tougher and the pace isn’t beyond my ability.

RR: Do you have any other events on the schedule for this year? Will you be wearing an Under Armour Spider-Man racing uniform in any of them?

NA: I have a race in Japan, the Ohme 30k, in February. And after Boston I do not have any major races planned yet. I will be running plenty of local races in Flagstaff again this year, and I plan on having some fantastic uniforms. However, I think the Under Armour Spider-Man jersey might not make an appearance. There are many other superheros and characters that I would like to turn into jerseys before I start recycling.