Interview w/ MS Distance Runner Jared Fortenberry

Jared Fortenberry attends Marietta MS and credits much of his success to Coach Coleman of Marietta High School.  Jared puts in a ton of time, effort, and energy into running track.  When additional after school activities come up, he sometimes goes out for a late run at night to keep up his fitness.  Jared is the top returner in both the 1600m and 3200m.  

What events do you compete in?  

I compete in the 1600, 3200, and 800 on occasion.

What other sports/activities do you participate in? 

I'm in the Boy Scouts, youth group at church, and drama/theater and arts.

What is your preparation like to get ready for competition?  

The day before competition I do an easy run and drills.  I take it easy, hydrate, and talk to my coach about the race.  The day of I eat a good breakfast, make sure I have a healthy lunch, and go through a mental breakdown of my race.  It's important to think through the race and understand how each lap should go.  I like to warm-up with tempo run and my drills.

What qualities or things do you gain from running track that you can apply to everyday life? 

I gain a good work ethic, learn that being good at something takes determination, and hard work.  Most of the work in track/xc is painful.  I gain the feeling of togetherness with the team - learn team work.

Who inspires you and why?  

Sully Shelton (Harrison) and Kamari Miller are a few athletes that inspire me.  Coach Coleman because he shoots straight, motivates, and inspires. He tells you what you need to know in order to accomplish the goal.  My dad inspires me as well by his work ethic.  He teaches me that if you want something you have to go out and get it.  

How do you celebrate after a great win?  

I don't celebrate too much. I may go out to eat with family or hang out with the team for pizza.  I just enjoy having my family at meets like my grandparents.  I invite them to come out and support.  It helps me do better in a race.  We have the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments at a meet together.  

Can you remember your first race?  What was the experience like?  Did you know you were good? 
Yes, I was running with the Marietta Track Club and ran the 1600m.  I think I ran it in 5:52 at Pebblebrook.  The race was really overwhelming.  I didn't know how to pace myself, went out too fast, and faded to 8th place.  I learned a lot about how I can race.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?  

I sketch stuff that inspires me...  It usually turns out good but sometimes turns out weird.  I like to play Frisbee and hang out with friends sometimes at the Marietta square. Oh, and I love to sleep - can fall asleep just about anywhere.

What's one word that describes you? 

Diligent.  I don't want my name beside anything I haven't given 100% too.
What's your favorite song to listen to before a race? 

The Beatles - album Abbey Road, I like to feel calm before a race.

What is your most memorable track experience?

The Wingfoot Mile - Seeded 2nd going into the race. Wasn't sure how well I would do.  There was great competition from other athletes.  I got on the line and new I needed to complete the task at hand.  I remember making my move with 500m to go with 3 competitors with me.  I ran a 4:46 mile and won! 

What do you like about track and field?  

Good community, nice and happy good people who want to be there.  I like the environment.  I get to meet new people, see how others train, and see how others race.

Do you feel any pressure going into the MS championships?  What are your goals or expectations for this year's meet? 

A little bit of pressure.  I want to break 10 minutes in the 3200m and PR in the 1600m.