The Portland Track Festival is coming up again on June 9-10th and I started to remember all of the great middle school races over the years. The very first year young Tate Schienbein and his family came out from Indiana to run the middle school mile. That was in 2008. He still holds the 8th fastest time. We first noticed Tate as a ten year old in the Junior Olympics and he was on the cover of Youth Runner in 2004.
Back then at age ten "TJ" had been running for just two years and entered some fun runs and the Hoosier Games. When he gave the 1500m a try he ended up 1st at state in 5:38, 2nd at regionals, then at nationals he ran a 5:27 for 25th. Pretty sure that's where we first saw him.
Recently we found Tate on facebook, messaged him and he got back to us. We asked him and few questions and here's what he had to say.
The Portland Track Festival is coming up June 9-10th. What can you tell me about that overall experience of coming out to Portland from Indiana and running the middle school mile.
I can’t believe it has been 10 years since running at the PTF. It was such a great meet then, and seems to have gotten better every year! I always try to watch it live. I can remember that it was the first true mile that I ever raced. I had raced against a lot of the guys through various USATF or AAU events at the national level so I was well aware of the magnitude of the race. The event really opened my eyes to track and field at a National level and helped me realize that this was something I would do for a very long time.
What do you remember the most about it?
Honestly my favorite part of the whole weekend was going to two professional meets and watching guys like Galen Rupp, Centrowitz, Kara Goucher and others race. We went to a small all comers meet on the Nike campus the first evening we were in Portland and then ended with some fast distance events that Saturday night under the lights.
Can you give me an overview of what happened from age ten until now with your running. List any best times or accomplishments you're proud of.
Since running at Hayward field when I was 10 years old, I feel like I haven’t stopped running.
My bests times are:
-Set National AAU meet records in 1500 & 3000 for 13 year olds at 4:21 and 9:21.
-4:38 mile in the PTF middle school mile
-9:08 3200 in high school
-USATF National Junior Champ 2013 3k steeple and represented USA at Pan Am Juniors
-Set Purdue Mile School record of 4:03.6 mile
-Collegiate Bests: 14:06 5k & 8:53 steeple
- 2:25:26 marathon best
- 17th place finish at 2018 Boston Marathon
I noticed that you started a business making delicious donuts. How did all of that come about? Sounds like every kids dream job.
I’ve always wanted to create and own my own business and donuts just made sense due to my love of sweets. It all started on a training run during my senior year of college. For my birthday, all of the distance guys on the team brought a dollar to practice and ran to the closest donut shop ( 4 miles away) stopped and ate a donut, then ran back to practice. We realized on the way back to campus that there were no donut shops near us, so my one of my best friends and I decided to put together a business plan that we could execute to make our own shop on campus. About a year later, Hammer Donuts opened its doors on Purdue’s campus.
Any advice for the ten year old or high school runner?
I’ve always found that running is the greatest metaphor for life. What you put into it, is what you get out of it. Don’t expect anything to just be given to you, you have to go out and put in the amount of work that is going to get you where you want to be. If you can carry this attitude over into all aspects of life then success will find you.