J.L. Mann Runner Abigail Barrett 'Always Competing'

scrunners talks with J.L. Mann's Abigail Barrett about the sport and her journey in the sport.

When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?
My first race was an 8K on Thanksgiving in seventh grade. I did not train for it at all and ran it in 55 minutes. I started running my freshman year, however I didn't start running track until sophomore year.

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
I never really focus on what level I'm on. I just make sure that I am always competing. I want to try and get better everyday no matter where I'm at.

What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
All of the distance runners train together. Sometimes it gets difficult to balance workouts needed for the 3200 runners and 800 runners.

How did COVID-19 impact your training as you prepared for the season?
I am incredible grateful that we were able to have a cross country season. The great thing about running is that all you really need is a pair of shoes. It gives a lot of versatility especially with the COVID-19 protocols. Even without official practice, I can train pretty much anywhere.

If you had to pick: Track and field or cross country, and why?
I would definitely pick cross country. I love track, but the meets can get be mentally and physically demanding especially when you run the first and last events. Just having to warm up and cool down for four events and having to be mentally checked in for meets that can last all day can be tough. Cross country is more enjoyable and has more of a community feel. There are so many variables involved that can make anything happen. I like racing in a different course each week where your strategy might have to be completely different from the week before. In cross country I can have teammates from lots of different sports.

Dorman Distance Carnival 800-meter run (2020) (watch more races)

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
I would love to run a better 400. In my opinion, its the most fun to watch and race as its the perfect competitive distance. The last 100 meters of a 400 is just so exciting.

Who is your role model, and why?
It's hard not to look up to Eliud Kipchoge. He seems like such a humble person. He takes the sport for what it is and doesn't over complicate it too much. Watching someone run just because they love to run and having that much success is very inspiring.

Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of the things on your list.
I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail and run an Ironman.

Watch 2020 state cross country races

What is the best advice you have received?
It's just as important to be mentally strong on easy runs as it is on hard runs.

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
Drinking beet juice and doing our team cheer

If you could do a sport other than cross country and track and field, what sport would it be, and why?
I would do cycling or lacrosse. Now that I run its hard to see myself doing anything other than running but cycling is fairly similar as far as sports go. I would do lacrosse for the competitiveness.