Chinedu “NEDU” Ogueri one Mile at a time!!!
Jesse Specs Spellman
- April 14, 2023
Living his best life one mile at a time Chinedu Ogueri otherwise known as Nedu is one of the most recognizable faces in the New York running community. Looking at him from afar you would think that Nedu is all about speed and quite frankly……he is, but running for Nedu is deeper than that. It’s not only about speed, its more than speed, it’s about helping others, running to help others achieve their goals to run their best race. It’s about being the essential worker, one of the most appreciated/under-appreciated workers in this city, Nedu thank you for your service. It’s about him being the very best version of himself at all times. Nedu’s body of work speaks for itself and this month he gives us a peek into that body of work and what he does to prepare, train and most of all inspire.
MSM: I wanted to start with saying from afar you’ve been one of the most selfless, most caring runners that I've seen as I've seen you do numerous times with helping others to obtain their goals when it comes to running as a pacer. This usually stems from things that are deeper than running when it comes to helping others. Why is this important to you and what have been some of the things you’ve learned in the past that have set your current standards for today?
Nedu: Running is an individual sport but it takes a team to help show and develop their true abilities. We all must start from somewhere and at times people can feel like they are alone although they are running in a sea of runners. I should know because I've been there as well. Thoughts of self-doubt, failing and quitting comes into one’s mind at one point of another. I found out through pacing, less pressure was taken off their shoulders and I help relieve some of that additional weight. If you were to run with me, I am normally cracking jokes, talking and checking in with them to see where they are at mentally and physically and playing all types of music on my speakers trying to turn a race or simple run into a party.
This is important to me because kindness is contagious. If I can do this for one or two people, they reciprocate this to someone in the same or similar situation as them. It is one thing to push yourself to a PR but it's an even bigger achievement to push someone to an achievement they never thought they would/could accomplish.
MSM: 13 marathons total and countless half marathons and races under your belt equals lots of running and miles which also leads to the famous saying of staying ready, so you don't have to get ready. You always seemed to be trained up when it comes to being prepared to race. What have been some of your favorite races in the past that have stood out and some that you’ve looked forward to.
Nedu: By far, my favorite race is the NYC marathon. It's one of the toughest I've done but the love and energy you get from the crowd is invigorating. Maybe I am a bit biased being born and raised in Queens. Right now, I'm looking forward to the NYC Runs BK half and the BQBE half. It's a race held by a local Queens team called " The Queens Rebels". I don't have many on my list to race to but believe I will be pacing people at theirs. As you already know, my bread and butter is more track and field. I'm looking to take part in more field events such as long jump, triple jump, and hurdles.
MSM: There’s runners and then there’s RUNNERS, the speed guys which are what I like to call them. To get fast you need to run with fast guys that essentially push the pace on the regular. Who are some of the folks that keep you on your toes (literally)?
Nedu: There are so many people on my list but here are my top faves (not in order):
David Kilgore: humble and all-star mid, long and ultra-distance runner who keeps raising the bar.
Jerry from GFTC: a fellow brother who did track and field. Started his own team and brand and is constantly uplifting his community.
Sasha Handal: Coach with Nike
Ronald Joseph: trains his self and performs like a savage.
Joe Shayne: Co-owner of TeamWrk
When I got into running, not many people wanted to run. People thought I was crazy for running aimlessly with no purpose throughout the borough.
MSM: Where did the love of running come for you? There seems to be a lot of background that stems from early track and field days. Which also leads to my next question while starting on the track: how did you transition into distance running and what was that adjustment like? What were some of the things that you carried over from the track into marathon training?
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