Oak Park, Mich. senior Ersula Farrow was runner-up at the 2014 New Balance Indoor Nationals over 800m and after spending most of the season hovering in the top ten rankings, finally took over the US #1 spot this past weekend with a 2:09.21. She is one of only four preps to break 2:10 so far this year and looks to chase the Michigan State Record of 2:08.77, set by future Olympian and two-time NCAA 800m Champion Geena Gall, at the MITS State Finals this weekend. No stranger to big-time racing, Farrow owns a personal record of 2:06 for the 800m and competed at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in the event. She is also US #2 2:48.39 at the 1k - but we'll let her tell you the rest.
MileSplit: How are you feeling about your fitness at this point in the season?
I am feeling good about my fitness! With the help of Coach Jiles and my dad, I've been prepared mentally and physically for this season.
What events will you race at the Michigan State Finals this weekend and what are your goals?
I'm not sure about the relays yet but I know for sure I will be the 800. My goal is to get under 2:10 again the best way I can.
The Michigan State Record for the 800m is 2:08.77, set by future Olympian Geena Gall in 2005. Do you have your eye on that time this weekend?
Considering the curves and the competition.. I know it will probably be me versus the clock, so I feel it might be a little bit difficult, but I am still most definitely going to go after it.
What would it mean to break that record?
I would not only be so happy that I have gotten this record but I'm on the right track to great things just like Geena Gall has accomplished as a Olympian at that age.
You placed runner-up at state in the 800m as a an eighth-grader, running 2:16. How long have you raced track and how has competing as a young athlete helped you now?
I've been racing since I was 7 years old, so I'm still learning but I've been through a lot and I know what's it's like to win and what it's like to lose. I know how to focus and to run under pressure. I will always keep trying and never give up.
Run us through a typical training week.
Monday- distance run
Tuesday- distance run
Wednesday- I start my sprints
Thursday- depends on meets (short speed workout)
Saturday- run in a meet
Sunday- rest on Sunday
What's the hardest workout you've ever done?
1 mile runs with little rest in between
Where are you going to school next year?
Right now the colleges are still in the air but I have come down to my top 2 which is either Oregon or Clemson.. But it's still undecided.
How did you make your college decision and what other schools were you considering?
My decision will be made by academics and coaching to help me get to the next level.
Tell us about your experience at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in Ukraine.
The experience was great and it has made one of the best accomplishments of my life. The funny thing is, I just went to the trials for competition and to try to get a faster time at the end of the season. And I thought to myself that there was no way I was going to have a shot, but when the gun popped, my mindset changed instantly and it was completely different. I get to say that I have raced against different countries and competed against people across the world. And it was such a great feeling. I got to meet the best coaches including my own and great friends that soon gained close bonds and relationships that will last for a lifetime.
How did that experience affect your mental outlook and perspective?
It lets me know that I can run with anyone that comes my way, and that I have a great experience and background in running.
How did you grow as a person?
Running has taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that I'm on the right track to becoming one of the best 800 meter runners in the world. I've come too far to give anything up easily.
Do you have any funny stories of being foreign in Ukraine or from the meet itself?
Yes actually, we were just getting off the plane to Ukraine and I had my hair in braids, so I guess this lady never saw someone with braids like the ones I had, so she just randomly comes up to me and starts touching and feeling in my hair, it was a great kodak moment :)
You placed runner-up in the 1k at the Armory Track Invitational earlier this season. What did you think about the meet and about the 1k as an event?
It was my very first 1k so I had really no idea how to run it to be honest, but it was great competition and everyone did very well. The meet was fantastic, I enjoyed all the pro runners and especially my good friend Ajee Wilson. Ajee and her mother have taught me a lot and she is my inspiration.
Will we see you in New York again at New Balance Indoor Nationals?
Yes, you will! I'm so excited!
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
My goals are to work hard and to achieve everything at it's greatest. This is my last year and I definitely want to come out with a bang!
Favorite pre-race pump-up song: I have so many songs an I love them all!!!
Favorite post-race meal: Steak with a grilled chicken salad
Last book you read: The Sun Also Rises by: Ernest Hemingway
Favorite movie: McFarland, USA
Favorite activity besides running: Idk anything beside running :) track practice is the greatest!
If you could live in any city in the world, you would live... I would live in New York City
If you could go running with any 3 people (runners or non-runners!), they would be... My family : my mom, dad and my sister :)