Fleet Feet: Tell us about your decision to run professionally.
Gabby Thomas: It happened very quickly. Going pro wasn’t something I had been thinking about at all. It happened after the NCAA indoor meet where I won the 200m and broke the collegiate record. After my junior season, I ran in the IAAF Diamond League meet over the summer. It was a free trip to Europe, and I got to have a lot of fun. I talked to so many agents, and opportunities were presented. I thought, “Is it better to go back to the team and run one more year at Harvard?” Within a few months, I was presented with several options, and I decided that New Balance was the right choice for me. I’ve always been a New Balance girl. I love their shoes and clothes. They’re also right here in Boston, which makes things easy.
FF: What are you most excited about when it comes to being a New Balance athlete?
GT: I was really excited about meeting all the New Balance fans. It’s such a close group. They sent me messages and reached out. Meeting them all was really fun. Being able to influence people and have people look up to you for your running is meaningful. You’re much more on the map when you turn pro. People reach out and tell you how inspired they are by your running. More parents reach out than I would have expected, saying that I set an example for their kids. It’s really nice to hear.