Feature Friday: Langon Having Historic Season On Trails

Charismatic. Confident. Blue collar. Iron will. Huge engine. Electrifying. 

What do you get when you mix all that together? 

You get Marco Langon, one of the most energetic, entertaining, and talented runners that New Jersey has seen in recent years.

Langon, a senior star at Bridgewater-Raritan, is the epitome of a blood and guts runners, and he's blended his never say die mentality with a strong work ethic to take his game to a whole different level this fall, which has resulted in him burning up every course he's run on during his undefeated campaign.

Here's a look at all five of Langon's races this season. 


Sept. 11 - 15:23 at the Roxbury Invit., No.  2 all-time at Horseshoe Lake Park history
Sept. 25 - 15:09 at the Bernie Magee Memorial, course record at Oak Ridge Park. 
Oct. 2 - 15:30 at the Shore Coaches Invit., No. 16 in Holmdel Park history and No. 1 in Somerset County history
Oct. 9- 12:13 at the Manhattan Invitational, No. 12 in Van Cortlandt Park history
Oct. 21- 15:36 at the Skyland Conference Championships, course record at Phillipsburg 

Langon's most recent triumph came on Thursday when he took down the course record at the Skyland Conference Championships on the rugged 3.1-mile layout at Phillipsburg, stopping that clock at 15:36. That shattered the CR of 15:45 that was set by All-Stater Joe Dragon of High Point at the 2015 Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Championships.  

NJ MileSplit caught up with Langon after his historic victory at the Skyland Conference Championship for an in depth Q an A. 

Langon, who has track PR's of 4:09.47 for 1600m and 9:03.50 for 3,200m, is a straight shooter, and he talked candidly about is huge goals for the rest of this season, including his dream to break the Holmdel Park CR, his upcoming showdowns with Jackson Barna of Ridge, how he got started in the sport, what makes him tick, and a whole lot more.      

Oh, remember all that stuff I wrote about how charismatic, confident, and entertaining Langon is? You are about to see for yourself, so kick back and enjoy our latest installment of Feature Friday as we shine the spotlight on the one and only Marco Langon!

NJM: First off, congrats again on all your great success. You are putting together an amazing season! What's your reaction to your course record performance at the Skyland Conference Championships? Did you know what the record was? Were you going for it?

"It was just supposed to be a tempo effort, andIi wanted to make sure I dropped my competition early so I could relax after the first half mile. The plan worked and right before the half mile i threw a light surge in and dropped the field and after that i just relaxed. And it's funny because i didn't realize I was going as fast as I was and i just ended up setting the course record which was cool! and I really just wanted the win because my friends won the meet in 2018 and 2019.

To run that fast during a tempo effort is amazing! What does this performance tell you about how fit you are and what you are capable of doing at the state meets and Foot Locker (Eastbay)?

Well, I definitely know that I'm fit, that's for sure! I mean I feel excellent after every run and workout and I feel great after everyrace. to me this performance definitely boosts my confidence because I ran fast on such an easy effort! And honestly my vision for what I'm capable of has not changed, I want to win MOC. I want to get the Holmdel course record, and I want to possibly win footlocker. I told myself ill do all that after MOC's when I lost and I'm still telling myself that now.

The race everyone has been waiting all season for is obviously you vs. Jackson Barna of Ridge. That will finally happen at the North Jersey, Sec. 2 Group 4 meet at Oak Ridge. What are your thoughts on that race. How fast can you guys go there? I think you will both go under 15! What do you think?

I'm excited to race Barna, he's a great competitor and we drag the best out of each other every time we toe the line. So I expect a good time, but I'm more excited for Groups and M of C.

What are your thoughts on how fast you think you can run at the state meets at Holmdel and what do you think of your chances to win the Meet of Champions?

I want the course record at Holmdel (14:53 by Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict's Prep at the 2011 Shore Coaches Invitational). That's how fast I think I can run. I have been dreaming of it since my freshman year,  and I always believe that I can win because why would I think about losing a race I have not run yet, and why would I toe the line thinking I'm going to lose? And what I've realized is that the races I have run thinking I'm going to lose, I have lost. I ran fast, but I lost, and that goes to show how big the mental side of running is! So the moral is to never count yourself out!

What would winning your first Meet of Champions title mean to you, Marco? It's something every NJ XC runner dreams of winning!!!

It would be a dream come true, I want a title so badly! It's in my head all day, and all night, and it's nothing that's outside my wheelhouse!

What's the biggest difference between yourself this season and last year? You've always had a lot of speed, but you are obviously much stronger as far as your base and endurance. What did you do to get yourself as fit as you are?

I stayed consistent and put in the work both physically and mentally I follow what my coach tells me to do and I do it exactly how he says. It's that simple but from this year to last year I believe that I'm more mentally in it and I want it more than ever but also the fact that now I'm averaging 35-40 miles per week.

What are your greatest strengths as a distance runner?

My greatest strengths as a distance runner are my grit, love for the sport, and mentality. I want to win more than anything, that's my mentality, I will push myself to the end to get a win because to me that's all that matters, I compete over everything and that honestly could be a reason to my success because I always want to win. I also think that my love for the sport is so important because I love what I do and I love the people that have come into my life because of this sport. Someone who I truly look up to is my coach and without this sport I would never have met him. Take me through what summer training was like for you?

How many miles a week did you run, where did you do your long runs, who did you run with, and did you go to any XC camps etc?

I ran 35-40 miles a week and I did my long runs all at river road because I believe that that is the best place to run and itll make you fitter than ever because of its constant hills and soft surfaces. I also ran with the Red Bank Catholic team and we had a great time and some amazing workouts together! I also did a couple workouts with Rob Napolitano, which was a great experience because I love the way that he runs.

What is your favorite long run (distance, place, and time) during the summer, and what is your favorite workout during the XC season?

My favorite long run was probably the one where I went 13 miles at River Road because it was an early morning before work and there was no one there. It was just peace and quiet and I just focused on all my goals and the vision of me breaking Holmdel's record played over and over. My favorite workout though is one that I do at Holmdel where it's a 1.5 mile loop that you progressively get faster on, and it definitely is one of the reasons I'm so fit now.

How and why did you get involved in distance running? How did it all start?

My mom said "do cross country" when I was in middle school. I said ok, and I didn't win a meet all year until the last race of the season, and that win made me get addicted.

What do you consider your greatest running accomplishment so far?

I honestly don't think that I have one because I have such a high standard and bar that I set for myself to keep myself motivated. But if I had to pick one, it would be coming back from injury my sophomore year or my bad performance at Adidas Nationals because it pulled something out of me that I didn't know I had, and it is a big driving factor to this day that keeps me going because I wanted nothing more than to prove that I was better than what people said I was in those moments. And I still have that mentality today.

You really burst on the scene and made an immediate impact with several red hot times in the 1600 as a freshman, including a 4:17.57 at the Skyland Conference Championships. Were you surprised by all your immediate success?

At the time no, and I still am not because I was just running to run. I was just that little freshman that would go out and race anyone and just wanted to win, and that's pretty much how I still am. I have not changed one bit - hahaha.

What has it been like to live up to all the hype after you ran so fast as a freshman on the track? Did you like all that pressure? Was it difficult to try to live up to it?

I honestly didn't feel the pressure and still don't feel the pressure because the bar they set for me is damn well not higher than the bar I set for myself. So it's not their hype I'm trying to live up to, it's my own.

What are your thoughts on how loaded NJ is with distance running talent? How much does the amount of talent in the state push you to work even harder?

To me it doesn't matter what state I'm in because i want to be the best in the country, but honestly I love NJ, there is no state that is grittier, and I believe that we are one of the best states for running because look at the amount of talent that's came out, and look at the amount that's in it now! Much love for the Garden State. 

What do you love the most about being a distance runner?

The addiction to running and goal chasing. No better part about it.

 What's your favorite XC course to run on and why?

Holmdel!  That course feels like home to me (no pun intended) I just love the vibe it gives off, and it's a real cross country course, not some flat golf course in Cali.

Tell about other big goals you have for your senior year, and your plans for the future? 

I'm focused on the moment, but my plans are to just reach all of my goals. I really want to break 4 minutes in the mile in high school, get the Holmdel course record, win all three M of C titles (XC and the 3,200 mile double indoors and outdoors), win a national championship, and just be the best version of myself as a person that I can be.

I for sure want to run in college and I have narrowed it down to four schools. I want to major in business management and I want to win NCAA's in the 1500 and maybe even get one in cross. Then after that, I would love to run pro, go to the Olympics, open up a restaurant which is a chef ranking, and then coach high school running and get kids to the next level.

Tell me again where you've visited and where else you will visit. Also, what are you looking for in a college? 

I took official visits to Penn State, and Georgetown and I'm going to go to Villanova, the University of Oklahoma, and UNC. What I'm looking for in college is a team that wants to win, a coach that is not only your coach, but also a mentor in not just running, but in life. But I also want a coach who wants to win. 

If you could go for a long run with any 4 pro runners (past or present) who would it be and why?

Prefontaine of course because he's the GOAT. Rob DeFilippis when he was in high school to see what he was like-even though he's not a pro, it would be cool. Rob Napolitano because I have yet to go on a long run with him, and Edward Cheserek to ask him how he broke 15 at Holmdel, and then tell him how I'm going to do it lol.

What is the most impressive NJ XC/T&F accomplishment you've ever witnessed, and what made it stand out so much to you?

Has to be the Liam Murphy - Devin Hart 3200 at the 2019 Indoor Meet of Champions. I had no clue what was going on because I wasn't that much of a running fiend as I am now, but I saw the determination on Liam's face and saw how bad he wanted to win the damn race and he just went for it. Once I realized the backstory to the race and what was going on and who the two runners were, it made me realize how fearless Liam was for making a move on one of the best NJ runners ever, and that stuck out to me, and it definitely made me look up to him as a runner.

Favorite running season and why?

Indoor track, it's such a vibe, dude.

Favorite subject in school and why?

English because I've always had amazing teachers and I love the creativity you can have with your writing.

If you weren't a runner, what sport would you be playing?

No lie, I'd be a lacrosse player.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Running pro hopefully with an Olympic gold and owning one of the best restaurants in america What advice would you give to younger runners who are first starting out in the sport? when it starts to hurt and or get hard, relax, dig deep, and enjoy the process. Also NEVER count yourself out and have confidence no matter what people say because the first step to doing something is having full belief you can do it.