Former Vandal Kinsey Gomez is living her dream. She just moved to Rochester Hills, Michigan, after signing a professional contract with the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project, sponsored by Brooks running.
“I’m so excited to be here, it’s like my dream come true since kindergarten,” Gomez said in a news release. “It’s so surreal, but I’m so excited to see what happens now.”
Gomez ended her career as a Vandal with Second Team All-America honors in the 10k at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June.
Her first professional race is the Cow Harbor 10K Sept. 17 in Northport, New York.
“It’s a 10k on the road, which I’ve never really run,” Gomez said. “It’s so exciting because it’s something that I’ve never done. I have no expectations.”
Gomez competes again Nov. 13 in the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas.
In February, Gomez will run the US Cross Country trials in an attempt to make the U.S. team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
One of Gomez’s teammates, Desiree Linden, competed at the Rio Olympics in August. Linden placed seventh in the women’s marathon.
“Obviously the Olympics are every four years so you have that time to build up to those goals and there are so many races along the way to there,” Gomez said. “You can have those huge, giant goals like that, it’s one of my bucket list goals, but you also have so many other, smaller goals. You need those stepping stone goals to get to the big one.”
Gomez’s new team is focused on group training. A majority of the women’s team lives together and runs together once or twice a day.
Right now, Gomez is trying to adjust and stay balanced.
“My life has been pretty running-focused this past month,” she said. “I’m really excited about what’s to come. Right now I’m really trying to solely devote myself to training and not spread myself thin with too many other things. When you’re running 80-90 miles per week naps are your way of being well-rounded.”
Tess Fox can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tesstakesphoto