Unger Announced 2019 March Athlete of Month


Athlete of Month-March

7th April, 2019

Boston, MA

T.J Unger Earns March Athlete of the Month


TJ Unger of the Hurtin’ For Certain Striders, “HFC” for short, has been voted the 2019 USATF New England March Athlete of the Month! TJ receives the award for his performances at the USATF Indoor National Championships on March 1-3 in North Carolina. TJ tripled in the 3k, mile, and the 800 over the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the meet. On Friday, TJ placed first in the 40-44 age group with a 9:05.46 mark in the 3K. Saturday, a sore TJ Unger pulled out a 4:31.77 in the 1500, also good for first place. For his third event in as many days, Unger placed second in the 800m 40-44 age group, running a 2:04.41 on Sunday. When asked what it felt like to triple, Unger responded, “I'm not 22 any more! All of the ice and IPAs in the world couldn't help.” Well, we think you did excellent, TJ! Full interview below.     

1) Could you tell me a bit about your races at the Master's Indoor? Could you tell me a bit about your mindset heading into the races, i.e., what you were hoping to accomplish, any goals you had set for yourself?

Masters Indoor National Championships was held in Winston-Salem, NC from March 1-3 at the JDL Fast Track. I registered in advance for the 3000m (Friday night), 1 mile (Saturday afternoon), and 800m (Sunday morning) thinking that if I was going to travel for the meet, I would try and make the most of the trip. What I failed to process is that I'm not 22 years old anymore and what was once easy (3 races in 3 days), isn't as easy anymore. Going into Nationals I had seen the entry list for each event and knew there were guys that had equal or faster times than me, and certainly better pedigrees. My goal was simple - I was going to try to hang in the mix for as long a I could, and when the time was right - go for broke.

1b) You "tripled" in the 3K, Mile, and 800. How did these feel, and did the earlier races affect your later races?

The 3000m on the first night took a lot out of me. Maybe I'm pampered by running at BU, Harvard and Reggie up here, but the flat, hard track at JDL really beat up my legs. I was sore for the mile the next day - and was completely shot for the 800m on Sunday. All of the ice and IPAs in the world couldn't help.    

2) What is your favorite event to compete in?


I love the mile. I feel most comfortable racing at that distance.

3) What are some of your favorite things to do outside of running?

In fairness, running is a big part of my life and I commit a lot of time and effort to the sport. Besides running, I'm a scientist and a father. I spend a lot of time thinking about medicines to treat human diseases (it's what I do for work), and I have two daughters that I enjoy watching be kids - and do all of the fun things I wish I could do again.

4) What’s up next for you? Any races on the horizon that you will be running in?

Health permitting, I plan to race the USATF-NE road series, the NE Runner Pub Series, the James Joyce Ramble 10K Masters Road Championship, maybe a Battle Road Twilight meet or two, and XC.