Vinny Marinaro NHS senior

How did you get interested in running cross-country?
I first got into cross-country the summer before my freshman year to originally get into shape for lacrosse. I thought that it would be a good sport to train in to build up my stamina, and I did not think that I would be taking the sport as seriously as I do now. Since then I have quit lacrosse and now run all year round on both the cross-country team and track and field team. I ended up falling in love with running and, frankly, I do not want to stop. The people I have met in this sport are unlike any other and I love the close family bond that is within my team.

What gets you pumped up for a race?
For me, unlike most people, I do not get pumped up for a race; rather, I am a complete nervous wreck. A key component in racing is having a strong mindset and having this can make all the difference a race. All the way up until the starting line I have butterflies in my stomach and they do not go away until a second before the gun goes off. Once the gun goes off, those nerves deep in my stomach go away and I focus on doing my best the entire race.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
My favorite subject in school is science. This year I doubled up on my science courses, taking both AP biology and human physiology. Growing up I was always fascinated by science and knowing how living things worked. After I graduate I plan on studying marine biology and pursuing my interest in science.

Do you have a particular favorite course to run?
My favorite course to run at is the Homdel Park course in Homdel. This course is considered to be one of the toughest in New Jersey. I like this course because it is a course that can test my limits and the races that are run there are always exciting. This meet brings people from all over the state and it gives me the chance to run with people I am not used to, so I never know what to expect from people.

What is your favorite highlight or memory of running cross-country?
One of my favorite memories in cross-country was when I was a sophomore, and one of my best friends and I ran both of our personal best times that season. That race was exuberating because we both finished almost at the same time and we both worked extremely hard that season. Knowing that the hard work I had put into that season had paid off was a great feeling.

What kind of advice would you give to any young kid who would like to run cross-country for the first time?
When I first joined cross-country I knew nothing about it, but the best advice I gave to someone going into it is giving the sport your all. This sport is not like any other sport that you have done in the past. This difference in this sport is the amount of support that you get from your teammates. In other sports, I always felt like I was competing against teammates trying to be the best. Yes, there is competition, but the only competition is a team that you’re racing against, not your teammates. The sport is a lot of hard work but that work always pays off in the end.

Do you have a favorite pro or college sports team? Favorite athlete?
My favorite pro runner is Jake Robertson. He is a New Zealand runner and runs the 5000m, 10,000, and the half marathon. These events are all hard events because they require someone to be both fast and have the stamina to maintain a constant pace.

If you could go anywhere for a vacation, where would it be?
If I had the chance to go anywhere in the world it would be Singapore. I have never been to that country but I feel it would be an amazing trip due to the country being so innovative and having such an amazing culture.