13.1 In Texas, Hop A Flight, 26.2 In Vegas

Heading into this weekend, John Mattos has run two marathons and 10 half marathons this year.

The 41-year-old Vegas resident is doubling up on Sunday.

John Mattos is one of about 200 ambitious runners who will be running the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon or ½ Marathon on Sunday morning and then flying to Las Vegas to run the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon or ½ Marathon on Sunday evening. Runners completing two races will receive a special double-sided Rock ‘n’ Roll medal. The 41-year-old Las Vegas resident picked up his packet for the Las Vegas race on Friday, caught a flight to San Antonio and then picked up his race pack for that race on Saturday.

Which races are you running and what are your goals for each?

I’m running the half marathon in San Antonio and the full marathon in Las Vegas. I anticipate 1:55 in San Antonio and 4:25 in Las Vegas (because my legs will be shot). My PRs are 1:43:18 and 3:58, respectively. I’ve been racing for exactly two years. My first race ever was the 2011 Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon. I’ve now run five full marathons and 22 half marathons.

What’s the allure of pulling off this fun feat? How did you come up with the idea? Or did you hear about it from others?

I decided to do it very early on when the race organizers moved the San Antonio race to Nov. 17 to address the schedule conflict with the Dallas Marathon. I was already registered, and I knew one was in the morning and one at night, so I started researching my options.

What will be the keys to your success? What kind of recovery/nutrition plan do you have?

I’d say pacing myself in San Antonio and then getting the proper stretching and fueling after San Antonio. I need to stay limber for an even longer race,  and that can be tough on an airplane!

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What shoes will you be wearing for the races?

Newton Isaac stability trainers. I changed to this brand in February after a knee injury sustained in Pasadena. It helps correct my heel striking tendencies and I’ve shed 15 minutes off my PR so far. I’ve gone from 2:09 to 1:43 in the half, and 4:48 to 3:58 in the full marathon. Most of the full marathon improvement was due to really gaining a better understanding of what my body needs for such a sustained effort and learning to fuel effectively.

RELATED: ‘Dr. Dribble’ Ready For Double Duty

What are your plans in Vegas after you finish that race? Staying for an extra day to gamble, party or see shows?

I live in Las Vegas but I’ve gotten a room at the Tropicana to crash in before the race and get an ice bath. I’ll change clothes, chill out, prepare for the next race, etc. Also, I’ll avoid the crazy traffic after the race this way too. I’m planning to hit the Team Challenge after party.

Do you have someone assisting you in this feat? 

Well, absolutely. Informally I’ve been working with a coach and nutritionist and I’m looking to formalize that next season. After this I’m taking four weeks off running an concentrating more on spin, weights and yoga to let my legs fully heal before gearing up for my next race—the Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona ½ Marathon in late January.

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