Caroline Talarcek, from Austin has been running with Texas Beef Team for more than eight years. To date, she has completed countless races, ranging from track distances to half marathons and is no stranger to the podium. An impressive feat and show of hard work, commitment and talent for anyone, let alone a 13-year-old.
“I’ve run all kinds of races,” explains Caroline. “I did my 5k at four years old, my first 10k at seven, and my first 10 miler and half marathons when I was 10. I have also competed in youth triathlons.”
Her parents, Alison and Phil Talarcek, are also formidable athletes and long-time members of the Texas Beef Team. The pair were right by her side as she toddled through her first kid’s race at just 18-months old. They train with the running club, Born to Run, coached by Paul Carrozza. The family is frequently spotted at local (and far away) races running together – or, at least high-fiving and hanging out together afterward in the festival area now that Caroline has become the family speedster.
This fall, Caroline will be in eighth-grade at St. Francis School. She runs track on the school team, specializing in the 800-meter and mile events, and also participates in cross country, with a focus on the 2-mile distance. She enjoys nearly every school subject, but says that P.E. is typically her favorite part of the day because the “coach is great and the workouts are super fun.” After this academic year, she is looking forward to new challenges at Anderson High School, where she also plans to be involved in running.
“One of my favorite sayings is ‘Shoot for the stars but aim for the moon,’” says Caroline. “To me this means that I shouldn’t hold myself back, but at the same time set reasonable goals that I know I can accomplish with hard work. For instance, in 10 years my huge goal is to go to the Olympics. But my more reasonable goal is to be a pharmacist or work in pharmaceutical sales and be a professional runner.”
There’s a popular saying that says strong women raise strong daughters, and the Talarcek’s obviously illustrate this sentiment well.
“I’m inspired by my mom,” Caroline elaborates. “She’s a fast and strong runner with a heart as warm as Texas. She has always encouraged me to chase after my dreams and helped me get to the place I am today.”
Outside of running, the mother-daughter duo also like to cook together when time permits. Making Beef Stir Fry is one of their favorite dishes to whip up. Sirloin steak, Brisket and hamburgers are also favorite beef-focused meals that fuel their lifestyle.
In her spare time, Caroline likes to babysit, shop, and hang out with her friends like a typical teenager. Treating herself to a Boba Tea is a favorite reward after a great workout or race. She also enjoys playing with her two cats, Taco and Salsa.And she isn’t quite ready to give up her oversized, plush ‘Squishmellows’ and beloved family of stuffed-animal foxes that she started collecting at four years old.
Read on to learn more about this spirited, unstoppable, up-and-comer on the Texas Beef Team who is currently training for the fall-season in cross country and the San Jose Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on October 1, 2023.
Interesting Fact: The furthest city I’ve “run” in is Amsterdam, 5076 miles away. The furthest city I’ve entered an official race is in Anchorage, 4095 miles away.
Beef Team Memories: I have so many great memories with all the friends I’ve made over the years, like Montannah Kenney and others.
Favorite Austin Race: It’s the Capitol 10,0000 because there is always a table of my Beef Team friends cheering me on in a really hard part of the race!
Motivation: I’m motivated by the goals I set and want to achieve. I just keep pushing.
Personal Records: I recently competed at the 2023 USATF National Youth Outdoor Championships in Ohio and finished with my best times in the 800m and 1500m. I ran a new PR of 2:34 in the 800m. I also recently broke my best mile time with a new PR of 5:42. My 5k PR is 21:17 and my 10k PR is 45:24.
Dream Celebrity Running Partner: I would pick Usain Bolt because he is the fastest man on Earth.
Pre-Race Snack: I’ll eat a granola bar.
Best Advice: Never give up, it will get hard at times but that’s when you dig down deep and bring it.
Favorite Gear: The Brooks Hyperion Tempo shoes are great.