Tatum Peskin ’24, an environmental economics major from Basking Ridge, N.J., is amidst a competitive junior cross country season. In this installment of seven questions, Peskin discusses how she got into the sport, her favorite pre-race traditions and her hidden gem running spots.
Charlie Keohane: How did you start running?
Tatum Peskin: I started running when I was really young with my parents because they would force me to do 5ks ever since I was like eight years old. This was when my dad was training for a marathon, so it became the family thing. I absolutely hated it, and I would literally complain about my cramps the whole time. But then, I started liking it more when I realized that my favorite part of soccer was the running. So I converted.
CK: How is the season going so far?
TP: My season has been going pretty well. I’ve felt a lot stronger than in previous years, and I think it’s nice running with the pack this year. I think our pack running has been really good. We’ve only had one race where we were racing all out, so I’m excited to see what will happen in the next races coming up. It definitely went a lot better than expected for me because I was able to stick with the pack more than I expected.
CK: Do you have any fun pre-meet rituals or traditions you like to follow?
TP: Aside from blasting music before races, I also have this superstition that I started in high school, where I have to wear a pre-wrap headband for every race. I’ve been told it makes me look like a soccer girl, but that’s my one soccer thing that’s carried over. I know it actually doesn’t affect my race at all, but it’s a fun thing and makes me feel race-day-ready.
CK: What is something people might not know about cross country?
TP: I think a lot of people don’t realize that cross country and track are not the same thing. Basically, all cross country runners run track, but cross country is through the woods and not on the track. It’s all long distance, so we’re all running the same event, a 6k. Men run an 8k.
CK: What do you like about the Middlebury team specifically?
TP: I love the Middlebury team’s attitude toward running. I think in high school, a lot of people were dreading working out and races, but Middlebury is the direct opposite. Everyone gets very pumped and excited to work out and race, and I think a lot of people have said as they see us warming up that it looks like we’re having a little party, blasting music and singing along to songs.
CK: What is your ideal pre-race dining hall meal?
TP: For the morning, I usually have a bagel with peanut butter and banana — that’s always been my little pre-race meal — and coffee.
CK: Favorite spot to run in Vermont?
TP: I would say a nice South Street run is one of the greatest things, especially when the leaves are turning. Also, Ridge Street is very pretty. I also love running by the cows. When South Street has cows and leaves, I just love it.
Tatum Peskin ’24 and the Panthers are competing next at the Connecticut College Invitational in New London, Conn. on Oct. 15.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
Charlie Keohane ’24 (she/her) is an Editor at Large. She previously served as the SGA Correspondent and a Senior Writer.
She is an environmental writing major and a psychology minor from Northern California. Outside of academics, Charlie is a Senior Admissions Fellow at the Middlebury Admissions Office. She also is involved with the women’s track team and hosts Witching Hour, a radio show on 91.1 WRMC. In Spring 2023, she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching Greta Gerwig movies, polar plunging, sending snail mail, and FaceTiming her rescue dog, Poppy.