Leonard Tardiff balances life and cross-country


Leonard Tardiff, running an event. “My personal best time is 18 minutes and 5 seconds in 5 kilometers.

Gryffin Mauss and Joel Warren

Leonard Tardiff, 12, participates in a handful of extracurricular activities. He plays in the school band, is on the wrestling team and runs cross country. He has been running cross country for 4 years and doesn’t plan on stopping soon.

“I plan on running in college, and after that, I’d run recreationally.” says Tardiff. “I don’t plan on competing after college, though.”

Practice is every day after school and it runs an hour and a half.Cross country meets, which run for three hours, are spread throughout the season, lasting from August to December, then resume in January for the rest of the school year in the form of track and field. The most recent track meet has been Norris Penrose Events Center versus Cheyenne Mountain High School, the race is called the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede. 

“That time I don’t think I performed my best, the girls placed 3rd and the guys didn’t place at all.”

Even though he lost he continues to strive to be a better runner despite how strenuous it can be, not even taking into account that he has all his other activities on top of school that he has to keep up with.

Even though he is stressed, he still loves to run. He considers his better times in running a personal accomplishment, and enjoys taking leisurely runs.

“We are a team competing in five elite races right now, so for everyone that’s been with us for a while, it’s very important that we train hard,” Tardiff said. “It’s mostly running on trails, and my personal best time is 18 minutes and 5 seconds in 5 kilometers.”

His drive to run comes from his love of freedom and nature. 

“I like the freedom of running, the nature too. I really enjoy outdoor trail running, randomly picking a trail and going down it.”