Spotlight Athlete: Fiona Kurland - Fort Myers High School

We spotlight Fort Myers senior Fiona Kurland who finished 16th at last year's 3A Cross Country Finals.

How long have you been running and how did you get started?

I've been running for almost as long as I can remember. My mom was a runner in high school and was training for marathons when I was around 8 so I would always do 5k's on holidays. I did almost every sport when I was younger (like every little kid haha.) I joined an AAU track team in 4th grade, and decided running was what I enjoyed doing most. I ran in middle school, but I didn't start to actually train until I started high school.

Do you remember your first real race?

My first real race was the 3D Invite freshman year. I had already watched the varsity girls run and they all raced outstanding so I was super pumped to race. The seniors gave me a pep talk and told me the course was pretty easy (they were lying) and just to stay mentally tough. Our team cheer "s-u-p-e-r super, super that's what we are" was stuck in my head the entire time, but I was so happy when I finished because I got 2nd and got an award!

 How is your summer training going?

My summer training has been going very well! Coach Strong moved back to Ohio so we began running with our new coach, Coach Tabb in July. His coaching style is a lot different than what I'm used to, but I'm always down for changing things up and trying out new things.

 What was your 2016 XC season like?

Junior year couldn't have gone any better, I had a pretty awful sophomore year, so if someone were to tell me I was going to be on the state team or running sub 19 I would've called them crazy. It was such an awesome experience being able to compete in the post season meets for the first time.

What is your typical training week like?

Sunday we do our long run, Tuesday is long intervals, Wednesday is off, Thursday is short intervals, and Friday is our pre race run. In the past, we have always done workouts at 5am, but this year we are going to try and run them in the afternoon. I try and make it to the gym twice a week for agility and strength training.

 What is your favorite workout?

This is probably very unusual, but I'd pick a workout over a road run any day. I get really bored "just running" and workouts keep things interesting. My favorite would probably have to be 400 repeats. Knowing I just have to do one lap makes it so much easier mentally, and I just love the feeling of going fast and discovering that next gear. 

Which meets will you be running this year?

I'll be running in all of the local races that we have done in the past, and our away meets will be Pre-State and FLRunners. I've never ran at FLRunners, but everyone tells me it's such a fun meet with great competition so I'm probably most excited for that race. 

Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state?

My favorite course is the FSU course, I love the hard pack sand and the downhill finish. The toughest course is hands down the Estero 3D course. You have to run over a monster hill twice, through a sandpit twice, and even jump over a hay barrel twice. Also, the course is almost always underwater.

 Out of all your running accomplishments which stands out the most?

My biggest accomplishment was medaling in the 1600m and 4x800m at states. My goal for cross country was to get top 10 and medal; I ended up getting 16th, so I was determined to get a medal in track.

What are your upcoming cross country season goals?

My goal this cross country season is to beat all my course PR's and run with the front pack during races. We have a really strong team and I want to be in the mix to win states as a team.

What do you love most about running?

Joining cross country was the best decision I've ever made. Looking back on my high school years, all my best memories are associated with running. My teammates became my best friends and I've made so many great friendships with other runners all around the state. I love running because it keeps me focused and has taught me to be hardworking and dedicated.

The Low Down

What is your favorite quote?

"There's light at the end of the tunnel"

Do you have any pre race rituals and routines?

Frosted Flakes for breakfast and if it's a track meet, Publix sub for lunch.

What is your favorite Food?

Salad. Haha just kidding, I love Cuban food.

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

The last movie I saw was Megan Leavy. You know it's a good movie when it makes you cry.

What brand of shoes do you train/race in? 

I train in Mizuno Wave Riders, and I always say i'm going to buy cool looking spikes, but I procrastinate buying them until the night before my first race, so I just end up getting whatever spikes they have left.

What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?

 I'd love to meet David Beckham (and his son Brooklyn!!)

Are there any interesting things people may not know about you?

Hmm, I'm not really sure. I always get told I'm super quiet and shy, but when I'm around my friends I never shut up.

Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?

I'd have Iced coffee, food, and friends.