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Meet the Athlete: Laura Tarantino

Name: Laura Tarantino

Age: 24

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Current residence: Omaha

Occupation/Degree you are working towards: first year med student at Creighton 

High School: Westminster Christian in St. Louis

College (major/minor) Truman State University, nursing major / bio minor

What is your running background? I started running freshman year of high school because I thought it sounded “fun” and wanted to be ready for soccer in the spring. Considering my soccer skills (or lack thereof) running was a better activity for me!

Favorite distance to run? Anything on the right day! Right now, half marathon.

What are your future running goals? First priority for me is to stay healthy and enjoy it. A very close second priority to run a decent marathon sometime. I just got signed up for NYC in November, that will be my first one.

I can’t run without…? My shoes! I’m all for barefoot strides but after that I need shoes.

Do you do anything to stay injury free? I stretch a lot…morning, post-run, night-time…

Do you have a favorite running book/podcast/movie/athlete? Book: Practical Running Psychology (this is a very short book from 1972 that I found on my coach’s shelf and really enjoyed) Podcast/movie: I need watch more movies…Athlete: Molly Huddle (I met her in person one time and it was awesome!)

What is your favorite race you have competed in the past? This year, I loved Market to Market last October. That was really unique and I loved the team aspect and running all day long!

What is your number one bucket list race you would like to do in the future? Right now, NYC! Just have to stay healthy until then.

Do you have any advice to other runners? Find joy in it. Being able to run is a special thing, no matter your ability.

What are your PRs? One mile 5:08, 5k 17:34, 6k 21:24, 10K 35:36 and half marathon 1:21:20. Chocolate milk mile 8:25 if I remember correctly…

How long have you been an LRC-Nebraska member?: Since September of this year, thanks to my roommate Ashlyn Glann who convinced me to join!

What excites you the most about being an LRC-Nebraska athlete?: Having a team to be a part of! I never imagined I would be a part of such a fun, supportive group after college.

What does a typical training week look like for you?  Walk us through your daily routine (training related and otherwise): Class in the mornings and mid-afternoons, study for a bit, get tired of studying and run around 5 or 6 pm, have dinner and do some more studying after dinner. Try to get in about 2 workouts and some longer runs to hit mileage each week.

We all approach training and racing differently, so tell us what your short-term and long-term goals are with running: Short term goals are Shamrock and Lincoln Half this May. Long term goals are NYC and (if I like the marathon) continue to improve in that area.

Where are your 3 favorite places to do long runs at the moment?: With the weather at the moment…the Wellness Area treadmill at school. ☹ In real life, Wabash and the pedestrian bridge are nice places.

After a solid race or long run, what is your favorite meal to demolish and replenish those calories?  Please use details and give recommendations!: So many things! My mom’s or my grandma’s homemade lasagna is one of my all-time favorite meals…if I could design the perfect post-race meal it might be this with salad, fruit, fresh bread. For dessert, would have to say Coneflower ice cream, which is hands-down best ice cream in Omaha.

Share a crazy training or racing story, or simply an interesting moment in time: I went to Colorado last year to pace a friend for part of the Leadville 100 trail race. We had just gotten over one of the toughest climbs, Hope Pass, and were finally going downhill. I was going to run ahead to fill up water bottles at the aid station, so I started picking up the pace. I was nearly flying down the beautiful mountain trail, passing the other racers, and felt totally elated at the speed – it really did feel like flying. I thought “this is the best feeling in the whole world!” at nearly the same moment I stepped on a loose rock that sent me tumbling down the path sideways. I stood up, took note of the large hole I had ripped in the seat of my tights and some scrapes on my hands, and gave my friend a thumbs up. I still need to sew up those tights.

What book are you currently reading or TV show are you binge watching?: Just read On Call by Emily Transue

You’re the star of a running movie, and the opening scene is you running on a winding dirt road, with a beautiful sunrise.  What song is playing in the background?: All These Things That I’ve Done by the Killers (side note story: as a freshman in high school I saw a video of Emily Sisson running a super-fast mile and this song was playing in the stadium, it lasts through the whole race – I was inspired and started listening to this song before every cross-country race in high school!)

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