“Immediately after coming out, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Being in the closet was holding me back, both on a personal level and in running. I lacked confidence in myself, and that permeated every aspect of my life. Coming out changed that, and while I’m still not where I’d like to be on that front, I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I ever was before. Aside from a few nasty messages I received at first, I’ve been very well accepted in the running community. I receive private messages on social media all the time of people reaching out and expressing my positive impact on their lives. It’s humbling, and it makes me so grateful that I took the leap when I did. My only regret is that I didn’t come out and tell my story sooner.” – HOKA athlete Matt Llano on being the first openly gay distance runner in 2013
Check out Matt’s favorite training shoe, the Clifton 3. Shop Clifton 3 here.