XC Sessions: Matthew Brafford

Matthew rocking the shades in his win at Knight Crossing, VA. (Photo by Jon Fleming)

MileSplit - How is your fitness as you begin the 2013 season. What excites you most about the coming year of HS XC?

Matthew - I feel that I am as fit as a runner as I have ever been. I have worked hard to build my fitness to prepare for my senior year. What excites me most about my senior year at George Washington is being able to establish myself as a runner who can compete on the national level. I really want to establish my legacy as the best distance runner to come out of George Washington High School.

MileSplit - After an "under the radar" spring season how do you view your chances this fall?

Matthew - I feel that with a positive attitude and a strong commitment to my training regimen I feel my chances are as good as anyone at the national level.

MileSplit - When & how did you get started in cross country?

Matthew - I approached cross country as off season training while I was playing tennis in middle school. Once I started cross country I found my true passion and have not played tennis since.

MileSplit - Person/people most influential to your success in cross country and why?

Matthew - Coach Michael McMillion has been there for me through track and cross country. He is always there to give me advice, offer encouragement, and cheer me on.

MileSplit - Who has influenced you the most so far in your life and what they mean to you and your success?

Matthew - My parents have been there with me every step of the way through middle school through high school. They are there at every meet and running event no matter how near or far. They have encouraged me through the tough times and are my biggest fans.

MileSplit - What are the keys to your successful cross country training program and what work did you put in to start off so well this year?

Matthew - I felt that I started my cross country training as soon as I finish New Balance Outdoor Nationals. I attended Nike Smoky Mountain Cross Country Camp where Coach Everett Whiteside helped me establish my base for this cross country season. I feel the key is to never stop training. You just move from a track to a cross country course with nothing in between.

MileSplit - What are the keys to your team's unity and how you train to reach your goals?

Matthew - My team has a very dedicated and envolved coach. He runs with us during training runs and workouts and he is everywhere on the course cheering us on. Nick Bias is what every coach should be.

MileSplit - Your favorite past performance in a cross country race and why?

Matthew - My favorite performance was my win at 2012 Footlocker South Regional Junior Race. This was one of my favorites because I was running against some of the best juniors from across the south and I was able to pull of a win and establish a new PR for that season.

MileSplit - Who are the cross country competitors you most enjoy competing against and why?

Matthew - I enjoy competing against runners who are highly competitive with times that are better than mine so they can push me to my full potential.

MileSplit - What is your greatest non-running experience in cross country so far and why?

Matthew - My favorite part of cross country is the friendships that I have made with other runners who share my determination and passion for running. I believe that runners are the best people on and off the course because we all share the same passion for the sport and we encourage each other.

MileSplit - What are your goals for the 2013 cross country season?

Matthew - My goals for this season are to be undefeated in my regular season and to win the West Virginia AAA Boys Cross Country Championship. Following this win I hope to place in the top 10 at Footlocker South Regionals and qualify for Footlocker Nationals.

MileSplit - Do you have any long-term goals in running?

Matthew - I hope to be able to run in a successful college cross country program.

MileSplit - What was your favorite performance from the 2013 World Champs?

Matthew - To see the overwhelming success of Jamaica is the Men’s 4x100 meter relay lead by the amazing last 100 meters run by Usain Bolt.


The Fun Run

What music do you rock while working out…

Matthew - I don’t typically listen to music while training but when I do I enjoy music from Jay Z, Eminem, and Pitbull.

Do you like to run in the mud or the grass…

Matthew - I enjoy running in the mud because it gives it a true cross country felling.

Do you hang out on Facebook or Twitter...

Matthew - I try not to spend much time on social media so that it does not influence any of my decisions and allows me to focus on what is most important.

Do you like going out or chilling at home...

Matthew - I enjoy going out and socializing with other runners who help encourage me to succeed.

What gear is your favorite while running...

Matthew - Newton Motion, Distance S, and MV3 are my go to training shoes. Swiftwick Socks are the only socks I will run in. Saucony Carrera XC spikes are my favorite cross country completion spikes. The Garmin Fenix is my favorite watch and Tifosi Optics are my favorite running sunglasses.


Check out Matthew's MileSplit Athlete Profile...