Grace Forbes has come a long way since arriving at Rice. No matter the stage, she continues to show up and impress.
When Grace Forbes lines up for the 5000m at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday night in Fayetteville, Ar. she’ll already have accomplished reached a milestone that runners across the nation could only dream of achieving. But after taking home conference titles in the mile and the 3000m races last season, she’ll arrive as a bonafide contender on one of the sports’ biggest stages.
For Forbes, it’s part of a process and a legacy that has permeated her family for generations. Her Grandpa was an 800m runner. She wears one of his sweatshirts as for good luck before every event she runs. Her dog is named Pheidippides, a nod to the soldier who ran 25 miles from Marathon, Greece to Athens, thus inspiring the name for the sport she loves.
A runner deep in her bones, Forbes hasn’t gotten caught up in the moment. “I’m not putting too much pressure on myself,” she said in the week leading up to the meet. “I just want to go out there and do the best I can, try and make Rice proud and my parents proud.”
A freshman by classification, Forbes has outpaced even her own expectations. Thanks to the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA, she has the chance to be a national qualifier five times, a feat few will ever be able to duplicate.
Still, Forbes works with diligence and focus. “I hadn’t really expected these times,” she admitted. “But I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work, trying to do everything the right way. And as time progressed my times got better.”
After competing in the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday, she’ll travel to Stillwater, OK for the 2021 Cross Country Championships where she’ll run the 6K. “I’m just trying to have some fun out there,” she said, taking in all that’s transpired in her racing career. No matter the result, Forbes certainly has been appreciative of the journey. And she’s just getting started.