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#whywerun - Founder of Fractel: Matt Niutta

We have reached story #34 and our last #whywerunwednesday for the year so we thought lets share the story of Matt Niutta, Founder of FRACTEL…

 “Born and bred on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, I was told from the first day I learnt to walk there was no stopping me. Always up for a walk ‘around the block’ with my Grandad, I began to love the outdoors and the sense of getting from A to B by foot. This continued through my junior years of school and before I knew it I was doing well and loving our school cross country events. I developed a passion for running but my main focus was soccer. Throughout my teen years I played in a number of teams seven days a week and no longer purely just ran. I later enrolled at University in Brisbane and completed my degree in Spatial Science. Through those four years I would have been lucky to have run 50km in total. Running was on the back burner as I became distracted by ‘life’.

All was going smoothly when one day I went to get my eyes checked as I noticed some difficulty seeing at night. From that day in 2011, I had my driver’s licence taken and told I’d never drive again. I was diagnosed with a condition called Retinitus Pigmentosa, where your vision slowly deteriorates. This came at a huge shock and forced me to make some changes to my lifestyle immediately.

To say it rocked me is an understatement. I began commuting to work by foot or bicycle back on the Sunshine Coast and regained my love of running and the outdoors. With a new outlook on life, I began signing up for races and training with more structure to achieve my goal of a Sub 3hour Marathon, a bucket list item. I built the kilometres up slowly and met some great people along the way. Running has allowed me to make friends for life and to share the journey of training with these people is something I won’t forget. In 2016 I lined up for my first attempt at the Marathon at the Gold Coast. Safe to say, I learnt to respect the distance during this experience. Hitting the wall at 28km, I managed to stumble my way to the finish line in a time of 3:12. Bitterly disappointed as I’d spent months training, I signed up for Round 2 in 2017. My good mate Sean, joined me on my quest as we ground out the sessions once more. The day came and we ran side-by-side for 2hours 54mins. I’d done it and this achievement meant more to me than just a time. I’d set a goal, achieved it and showed myself that anything is possible with hard work.

I’ve had a frustrating year with injuries in 2018 but that was easily countered by getting married in September! Looking forward, I have signed up to the UTA 50 with Co-Owner, Mat in May.

The reasons why I continue to run become very clear after these life changing events. I run for the journey. I run to share the training, in rain, hail or shine with friends. I run to have a laugh over a cold beer at the end of the week. I run to show what is possible with commitment, determination and hard work. I run to commute. I run to clear my head after a day’s work. I run to meet and create a community of like-minded people.

This is a snapshot of my life, and FRACTEL is a representation of this. A community that inspires, and is inspired. This is why I run.”