Pleasant Ridge runner Tony Weber making most of his offseason.

Pleasant Ridge runner Tony Weber has been busy this summer building off a successful cross country season in 2011, where he placed 29th at the 3A state meet.

Over the past two months, the junior has placed first overall in the Amelia Earhart 8K, first for his age group and 11th overall out of nearly 8,000 people in the MLB All-Star Game 5K and first overall in the Small Town Big Cause 5K in Tonganoxie.

He was also first for his age group and sixth overall out of more than 1,500 runners in the Hospital Hill run in Kansas City.

So far this summer, what has been the toughest race for you? What race did you enjoy the most?
I would say the toughest race I have ran this summer would be the All-Star 5k in Kansas City, because there was a lot of participants in that race and a good portion of them were college runners.

There isn't really one race I would say I enjoyed more than the others, because all the races were fun in their own way.

I enjoyed the big races like the Hospital Hill Run and the All-Star 5k, because of the exciting atmosphere and being able to line up and race against so many different runners from all over the United States.

Although, it was also fun just staying local and racing at the Small Town Big Cause 5k and the Amelia Earhart 8k.

What has your training regiment been like for these races? How do you deal with summer heat?
My training regiment for these races has been just getting in a certain amount of mileage every week. I make a goal of how many miles I want to reach for each week, and I set a goal of what time I want to try to get for that race.

I try to get a little bit better each week.

The way I try to deal with the heat is to run in the mornings and at night when it is a little cooler. I also try to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

For you personally, what do you concentrate on while running?
What I try to concentrate on while running is my pace. I have a goal for each race of what time I want to go for, and while I'm racing I try to push myself to stay on pace for each mile so that at the end I will reach my goal.

A good tip I would give to others is to run your race. There are a lot of different styles of running, and what you want to do is to set a goal for your style of running and what pace is right for you.

At the start of a race, you don't want to go out too fast trying to keep up with the front of the pack because it could lead to you getting worn out too soon. Try to set a pace that pushes you, but leaves you enough energy to finish strong at the end of your race.

Do you like running the longer distances? What is the toughest part of those races?
I like the long distance races better because I have found that I seem to get better the longer I run.

The toughest part about running sometimes is trying to find time to get all of your miles in.

Having other things going on such as jobs, being with friends and family and pretty soon having to go to school, it sometimes takes a lot planning to be able to work in everything and still be able get a run in.

What have you learned about yourself as a competitor both physically and mentally from these summer races?
This summer I have learned as a competitor ways to become a better runner, both physically and mentally. I have had a lot of race experience and have learned many different lessons on things I need to improve on.

Each little lesson has made me better in a different way.

I hope to pursue running and push myself to get a little better throughout high school and college.