2013 IAAF World Chamnpionships - Moscow, Russia - Photo Story

Erin Gray
Erin Gray

What are your goals for this race?
I have several goals for this race, which include walking a personal record, finishing in the top 20, and most importantly, finishing with a smile on my face!  No matter what happens in the race, I have decided that it's a complete waste of time to be upset or disappointed in the result.  I am so incredibly excited to be competing at the World Championships, and so appreciative and thankful for all of the support USATF has given us for this event, and I have been focusing on feeling good and savoring every moment here. 

How different do you think the race between the three American women will be from the Olympic Trials now that you will all basically walk your own races.
The race will be a lot different from the Olympic Trials, because we will have a lot more women walking at the same pace that each of us will be walking.  I think that we all can walk fast times, given the conditions are not too warm, because we'll have more people to work off of and more opportunities to catch people in the latter half of the race.  It will most likely be warmer the day we race here in Moscow than it was in Eugene, but hopefully not too much warmer.

How much do you feel being in med school effects your training?
There is no doubt that medical school affects my training.  My energy is constantly taxed physically and mentally, and I struggled early on in school to juggle training with studying.  But after getting into a groove of how to study and train effectively, I was able to handle both workloads a lot better, and I think that it will be easier for me to train this coming year, now that I know what to expect with school.  I'm not sure what my times would be if I weren't in school, but I have seen improvement this year from last year in my workouts and time trials on the track, so that's positive.  Ultimately, training provides a great outlet for me from school.  I am terrible at studying for hours on end, so the training breaks give me time to relax my brain and move physically.  I'm not sure how training will work once I start my rotations in 3rd and 4th year, but I'll just have to cross that bridge when I get there. 

How does it feel to qualify for a World Championship team and to be racing in Russia?
I AM SOOOOO HAPPY TO BE COMPETING HERE AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN MOSCOW!!!  That's why one of my goals is to finish with a smile on my face.  It is very exciting to think that I made it to the most prestigious track and field event in the World, second only to the Olympics.  I am very fortunate to be here and to have so many positive things happening in my life right now, including being in medical school! 

And I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think of all the help and support I have had from family and friends over the years.  I never would be here without the help and guidance from my dad, who encouraged me to try race walking in the first place.  And my mom, who has always supported every endeavor I pursue.  And my partner, Aaron, and all my friends have been incredibly encouraging through my race walking career.

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