Erika Kemp

Ali on the Run Show Episode 428: Erika Kemp, Professional Runner for the B.A.A. & adidas

“That was the moment where I remember being like, ‘Oh, I’m not done yet.’ Like I know there’s more. It finally hit me, ‘If you just continue on, you have no idea where your ceiling is.’ So at that point, I just wanted to see how far I could go.”

This summer, Erika Kemp — like so many professional runners — had one really, really, really big goal race. Since going pro in 2018 and signing with the Boston Athletic Association and adidas, Erika knew she would want to compete at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in hopes of making her Team USA debut. When it came time to race the 5K at Hayward Field, Erika made it through the first round and advanced to the finals. But ultimately, she finished last that day, and didn’t make the 2020 Olympic team. But! Erika has gone on to have an incredible season since then. On this episode, Erika talks about her physical and emotional recovery from the Trials, and explains her motivation for continuing to race throughout the year. Since the Trials, Erika won the USATF New England 5-mile championships, won the U.S. 20K championships at the New Haven Road Race (it was her debut at that distance, and it earned her a second national title), won the Cow Harbor 10K (and ran a personal best), and finished fourth at the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K the following weekend. This girl is on fire, and on this episode, she talks about how she fell in love with running — and how she stays in love with it.

SPONSOR: UCAN. Click here and use code ALI for 20% off your entire UCAN order!

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How Erika plans her season (4:00)
  • All about this year’s Olympic Track & Field Trials (10:30)
  • On returning to running after taking a break (14:55)
  • Why the Trials felt so “big” (16:45)
  • Erika’s outlook on racing this season (20:30)
  • Try it: Erika’s favorite workout (24:30)
  • All about Erika’s childhood and how she got into running (27:45)
  • On falling in love with running (34:50)
  • On going pro (39:00)
  • Where to find Erika during Boston Marathon weekend (46:30)
  • Erika’s biggest hopes, dreams, and goals (49:50)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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