5 Questions With TheRunnerDad

Matt Orlando
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Hi there everyone! Coming over the next few weeks I will be featuring a new series on my blog called “5 Questions With.” I will be interviewing bloggers, runners, sports figures, CEOs, motivational speakers and more to bring you uplifting and insightful (yet compact) looks into the world of the people we know, respect and admire.

In the spirit of getting things started, I felt the best way to get the ball rolling was to do 5 questions with…me. I do promise more interesting people going forward though so do not worry!

For those of you who have not been following the blog long or have not checked out the About page, I thought I would start by sharing a little bit about myself. I am a 30-something year old born and raised in New Jersey. I am a father of one incredible 2-year-old, with another baby boy on the way in a few short weeks. I have been married for four years to my beautiful wife Stephanie. As to running, I have been running for almost 20 years now (crazy when you say it like that). I have completed one marathon, multiple half marathons, and 5Ks galore, but my favorite distance is probably the half.

5 Questions with TheRunnerDad

Why did I start the blog?

I ask myself that same question all the time. Just kidding. I started the blog back in 2012 because at the time I was experiencing some pretty awesome and funny moments as a new parent and wanted to share them with others. I also at the same time was just getting back into running seriously, and wanted some motivation to keep me going. So I was a runner, and a dad, so it made sense to call the blog TheRunnerDad. In full disclosure “” was already taken…but it worked out for the best since now I am THE RunnerDad. I also wanted an outlet to pick up writing again, as I have always enjoyed writing in one form or another since High School. I had no idea, though, that the blog would become the success that it has. I count myself lucky that I have been able to keep it going strong for just over two years now.

What are my passions outside of running?

Besides spending time with my family, I really enjoy travelling. I will admit that my world-wide adventures have definitely scaled back some since having a child. I took my first trip (and first-ever plane ride) back in 2006 when I visited Egypt. I followed that up with trips to Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. After meeting my wife, I also tacked on Costa Rica, Fiji, Hondorus, and Mexico. There are many more countries I would like to visit, but with one 2-year-old and one more child on the way making an international trip really is not feasible any time soon.

Outside of travelling I really enjoy taking pictures as well. This is another thing I have not had much time for lately, but every once in a while I have a chance to take out the camera and snap some pretty cool shots.

What has been the best thing about writing the blog to date?

Connecting with all of you! Sounds cheesy, but it is true. I have talked with some incredible people over the past two years because of Twitter and the blog. You have shared your stories with me, shared your lives with me. We have cheered  each other on.  We have celebrated in our highs and supported each other in our lows. I have been able to do some incredible giveaways, which I find immense joy in because I know how happy it makes others to win something unexpectedly.

What motivates me to keep running?

My biggest motivation to keep running is to stay healthy for my wife and kids. There have been a lot of health issues in my family: my brother and father both died from cancer, my father had heart disease, my mom has developed diabetes, my grandfather had multiple strokes…the list goes on and on. Running gives me a way to not only keep my body healthy but a way to release the stresses of working full-time and being a parent and husband full time…while trying to keep the blog going too! Running is my escapism, my medicine, my way to clear my mind and bring me the all important runner’s high. There is nothing else quite like it, and I plan to keep running until I cannot run anymore.

What advice would I have for new runners / bloggers / parents?

For new runners, I would simply offer a few words of advice:

  1. Always Remember: At one time every runner took their first step.
  2. You. Your shoes. The Road. In this moment, nothing else matters.
  3. Find The Reason. Find the courage. Find the strength.

For new bloggers, my best advice to you is to just be open and honest with what you are writing. Be yourself. If you are writing about something you are passionate about, others will feel that passion and really enjoy it. Do not get discouraged if things do not take off right away. Be persistent, be consistent, and above all, do it because you enjoy it.

For new parents I would say make sure you have a good sense of humor. The first few weeks with a new child are tough. You will be sleep deprived, cranky, and feel like maybe you made a mistake. The good news is is that it does get better. But while you are in the thick of it, between getting spit up on, pooped on, and walking into walls because you are so tired, just remember that this child came about because of your love for your spouse, and together you two can get through anything.

Thanks for reading everyone. Be sure to subscribe, because I have some great interviews coming up, including the CRO of a major magazine, an Olympic runner, and some high-class bloggers and social media personalities. Stay tuned!

Have more questions for me? Leave them below in the comments and I will be sure to answer!

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