Oct. 11, 2011
Jeremy Rae is in his third year as a member of the Notre Dame cross country and track and field programs. The Fort Erie, Ontario, native was a standout in high school at Lakeshore Catholic where he earned all-conference, all-city, all-state and all-Canadian honors as a senior. The national indoor champion in the 1,600 meters in high school, he set high school outdoor mark in the 1,600 meters at the prestigious Penn Relays. As a sophomore last season with the Irish, he earned all-Great Lakes Region honors in cross country and earned All-America honors as a member of Notre Dame's distance medley relay team. He also posted the nation's best time in the 1,500 meters at the Stanford Invitational. UND.com's Victoria Jacobsen recently sat down with Rae for an exclusive one-on-one interview.
When did you start running competitively?
I started running competitively when I joined my local track club in the eighth grade, but didn't really commit until I quit playing hockey and soccer my sophomore year of high school.
When did you realize you were fast?
Ha! It was more like I realized I was slow and wanted to get better. My freshman year (in high school), I placed fourth in the 3,000 meters in the provisional final with very little training and told myself I needed get more serious about running if I wanted to place better.
What is your favorite season - cross country, indoor, or outdoor track?
The track seasons are easily my favorite, with a slight preference for the outdoor season because of all the neat places we travel to throughout the year. This coming outdoor season, we're heading to California twice and Florida twice. The indoor season also is special because of the Meyo Invitational, which always will forever be considered my favorite meet. During the cross country season, I enjoy the awesome long runs in the fall down quiet dirt roads in Michigan.
What is your favorite event to run?
My favorite event is the distance medley relay. There aren't many chances for a distance runner to get to run relays with teammates, so the DMR is a special opportunity. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be on the school record-breaking team that placed fourth at the nationals, which was an awesome experience. One of my major goals this year is to lower that record even further.
What accomplishment from your track career are you most proud of?
That's easy. I am most proud of running my first sub-four minute mile last year. The feeling I experienced coming around the final bend in the lead with all my teammates cheering me on was like none other. I crossed the finish line and without looking at the clock, knew I had broken the four-minute barrier just by listening to how the crowd reacted.
If you could run any race over again, which would it be and what would you do differently?
Two summers ago, I was fortunate enough to qualify for the World Junior Championships in the 1,500 and my one goal was to make the final. In the heats, I ran tactically the worst race I've ever run, kicked too late, and because of it missed the final by 0.15 seconds. I was given the opportunity to represent my country and absolutely blew it. If I got to do it again I'd be much more aggressive from the start to give myself a better shot at qualifying.
What is your favorite workout?
I love anything that involves 300m repeats. I absolutely love that distance.
Where is your favorite place to go on a training run?
My favorite trails are northern Michigan dirt roads. Running long runs up there in the fall makes you forget the pain associated with running over 100 minutes.
What is your favorite cross country course or track to race?
My favorite place to race is always the Stanford Invite at the end of March. After a long South Bend winter, nothing is better than going out there and seeing the sun for the first time in what seems like months.
What was the most enjoyable meet you've attended?
The most enjoyable meet is the national championships. One reason I love qualifying for national championships is that I get to see the highest level of competition the NCAA has to offer. Last summer, I had an awesome time watching the 800 meter and 5k races after I was done competing.
Why did you decide to attend and run for Notre Dame?
I took my visit in what must have been the coldest winter day South Bend had that year, and still thought it was a special place. I figured that if I liked it then, I'd love it when it was warm. Turns out, I was right.
What has been your favorite class at Notre Dame so far?
My favorite class is my Portuguese class with Professor Teixeira. Best 50 minutes of my day!
North or South Dining Hall - which do you prefer?
I prefer South. I haven't been to North since first semester of my freshman year.
Who is your favorite cartoon character?
My favorite cartoon character is T.J. Detweiler from "Recess." I'd watch that show nonstop as a kid. But more recently it's probably been Brian from "Family Guy."
If you could switch places with one person for a day, who would it be?
I would switch places with either Bradley Cooper or Jay-Z.
What is your favorite sports-related movie?
My favorite sports movies are the "Slap Shot" series.
If you could visit any country in the world, which would it be?
I would visit Monaco.
What is your favorite Notre Dame tradition?
I love the student section cheer after big defensive plays at football games. You also can't forget to listen to Officer Tim McCarthy give his public safety warning before the fourth quarter.
What will you miss most about Notre Dame after you graduate?
I'll miss team traditions like dinner at South Dining Hall or football game watches. Having such a close-knit team is something that I've really enjoyed and will surely miss after I graduate.