Athlete Feature: Kearsarge’s Tim Cunningham

When did you start running?

I started running as an 8th grader in middle school. But I started seriously training as a freshman.


Briefly describe the experience as a member of your team/program.  Give an example of some of the “fun” stuff your team does together.

To be honest there is never a moment when we aren’t having fun. The joke in the group is that we are a recreational football team; we play everyday as part of our warm up. As a team we always have fun on our runs, finding new trails to explore and new ways to entertain each other.


How does your coach motivate you?

Both of our coaches are motivating figures. Ernie and Angus, as we call them, will run intervals with us and act as rabbits, getting us to work harder in order to beat them to the line. Other times they will simply stand at various points on our course or intensity loop and surprise us with their presence when the team is at its most painful moments of a workout. Both of our coaches are life long runners and continue to inspire us by still racing and running with “the young kids.”


What motivates you most to do well?

I consider myself to be internally driven. My desire to become as fit as I can be and prove to myself what I am capable of are my biggest motivators.


What is your favorite workout?

Anything with hills in it. I would have to say my absolute favorite is our 4,3,2,1 workout we do on the trail behind our school that goes up to Mt. Kearsarge. The hills on that trail are the best part.


What is your favorite cross training activity?

I enjoy rollerskiing every now and then. It provides a great aerobic workout without all the pounding that running places on your lower body.


What is your go-to pre-race meal?

In the morning I like to eat oatmeal with chia seeds and cashews. For pre-race I usually down some coconut water and one small piece of fruit, usually a banana or an apple.


Do you have a favorite pre-race song?

No. If I am listening to music, I usually don’t hear it. I actually like to do a little meditating on the bus ride over and during the warm up. It helps me be aware of the only things that matter during my race: me and the course.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Norway. Most of my heritage comes from that region and the vast expanses of wilderness and the lifestyle allure me.


What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

I feel the obvious answer is whatever I want, haha. On a serious note though I would probably do nothing. If I could not fail then nothing would challenge me and I would feel like I didn’t earn anything.


What is the best advice ever given to you?

Don’t stop what you’re doing.


What is your favorite quote?

” The best pace is a suicide pace, today looks like a good day to die.” – Steve Prefontaine


What is your favorite thing about Cross Country?

I really enjoy the places the sport takes me. Every time I run a trail, it’s different. Because of this each time I run I get a chance to be free and to focus on the nature and life outside of the monotonous and artificial world we live in behind our windows and doors.


What is your favorite course to run? (High school courses)

The CVCs course last year at Oak Hill in Hanover. Awesome trails and tough uphill sections make it the best course in my opinion.


What is your favorite race outside of the high school season?

The Thetford time trials over the summer. The course is incredibly tough.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years???

The only thing about my life that I am one hundred percent certain of in five years is my running. In five years I see myself training steadily and running in the woods on the trails I love.


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