Rory Tunningley competing in the 2020 Austin Half Marathon

Ready to Run is excited to announce that Rory Tunningley has been named store manager, starting this week. A big thank you and shout-out goes to Jennifer Hall, who is stepping down as manager. She hands off the position to Tunningley with the store in fine shape after her tenure.

You’ve no doubt seen Tunningley mentioned before in this blog, as he has made a name for himself as one of top runners in Texas. Read on to find out some more fun facts about him.

  • Favorite inspirational quote: “The battle lies within.”
  • Favorite song to run to: Boyfriend
  • Favorite book: The Dark Tower
  • Favorite TV show: Breaking Bad

He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his parents are Kirk and Paige Tunningley. He has a brother, Noah and was president of the German Club at Lockhart High School. He began running when he moved to Texas at the age of eight following his father who would run local road races.

In 2007, as a senior at Lockhart High School (coached by Ready to Run owner and Lockhart High teacher Scott Hippensteel), Tunningley won the state UIL Cross Country Championships in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to take victory in 15:19 on the rolling 5,000-meter course at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock. He also won state in the 3,200 while at Lockhart, making him a two-time state champion.

“Scott taught me to love running. He still helps me, and I would definitely consider him one of my mentors,” said Tunningley.

Tunningley went on to compete in cross country and track at The University of Texas from 2008 to 2013 and had the honor of serving as cross-country team captain his senior year. While at UT, Tunningley, who majored in physical culture and sports, helped the UT men win back-to-back regional titles. During his collegiate career he posted times of 3:54 for the 1,500, 14:15 for the 5,000, and 29:33 for the 10,000.

Rory has continued to excel in his post-collegiate running career. He was a 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (qualifying with a 1:04:51 at the 2015 Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon). In 2018, he won the Thundercloud Turkey Trot Five Miler in 24:43, and last year he was part of a three-man pacing team that led female elites aiming for an Olympic Trials Qualifying “B” Standard time at the 2019 Austin Marathon.

Last June, Rory, 30, qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials with a personal best of 2:16:25 at Grandma’s Marathon 2019, and today (Saturday February 29), he’ll be competing in Atlanta in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

We wish him the best of luck in the Trials race. But no matter what the outcome, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands with Rory as Ready to Run store manager.

Upcoming Races: Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 a.m., the Hope to Hero Half Marathon at the HEB Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars in Cedar Park. Saturday, March 7 at 8:30 a.m., the Run the Ranch 5K at Steiner Ranch in Austin.