Jenny (Barringer) Simpson: the RBR Interview, by Larry Eder


Jenny Simpson, after her debut at the NB Armory in 4:28:60, WL for the mile, January 22, 2011, photo by

Running in the armory that Dr. Norb built, Jenny (Barringer) Simpson started 2011 off on the right foot, running a smooth 4:28.60 for the mile, at the New Balance Games. When your sponsor supports such a sanctuary of indoor track & field, it is appropriate to run well at the NB Games, and Jenny did her friends at NB proud.

I was unable to interview Jenny face to face, due to a funeral in my family. Jenny was kind enough to answer thirteen questions that I sent from my stop at the Chicago airport. Jenny Simpson is just starting her second year as a professional athlete. And, she has quite the dilema-should she run the 1,500m, the 5,000m or the steeplechase, or  a combination thereof?

As the American record holder in the steeple, Jenny Simpson has the speed, endurance and technique to break 9 minutes, and battle for a world and Olympic medal. She also has the wheels to run 3:55 for the 1,500m, and 14:35 for the 5,000 meters. It will be fascinating to see how she makes her decisions.

She is good hands with coach Juli Benson, so we at RBR will wish her luck! We hope that you enjoy the interview!


Jenny Simpson flying down the NB Armory straightaway, photo by

Jenny Simpson

RBR, #1.       How did you get involved in the sport?

Jenny Simpson I started running in local 5k road races when I was in elementary school. Track Shack in Orlando puts on a series of road races in the area I grew up and attending those race events quickly became a favorite weekend activity.


RBR, # 2.       Tell us about your first race?

Jenny SimpsonI was in 3rd grade and I ran a mile around a soccer field. I got second in a close race and my competitive fire was lit!


RBR, # 3.       What did you do during your injury?

Jenny SimpsonI spent a lot of time rehabbing the injury and planning my wedding.


RBR, # 4.       How is your training going?

Jenny SimpsonGreat! I'm enjoying being healthy again and have a renewed sense of joy for training.


RBR, # 5.       How is being a professional athlete diff from being in college?

Jenny SimpsonI have a lot more time to spend taking care of the "little things." I can recover better after hard workouts because I don't have to rush to class or home to work on assignments.


RBR, # 6.       What a major goals for you in 2011? 2012?

Jenny SimpsonI would love to have another season where I can produce several PRs like I did in 2009.


 Jenny Simpson & Morgan Uceny, Payton Jordan 1,500m, May 1, 2010,

photo by

RBR, # 7.       What do you train in? Race in?

Jenny SimpsonI train in the New Balance 759 and 890 and race in their 1000 distance spike.


RBR, # 8.       Who was your high school coach?

Jenny SimpsonJay Getty


RBR, # 9.       Who was your college coach?

Jenny SimpsonMark Wetmore


RBR, # 10.   Who is your professional coach?

Jenny SimpsonJuli Benson


RBR, # 11.   What do you love about running?

Jenny SimpsonI love the independence each runner can have in this sport. Everyone has their own style, training routine, and preferences. Everyone has their own road to the starting line. I also like knowing that it's a sport I can participate in for many years beyond my professional career. One day I'll have to hang up my competition spikes but the next day I hope to be healthy to continue to enjoy community races and local trails.


RBR, # 12.   Which do you like more, xc or track & field?

Jenny SimpsonBoth have exciting qualities but xc will always be my first love in sports.


RBR, # 13.   Will we see you run the 10,000m?

Jenny SimpsonSomeday :)


Jenny Simpson runs 4:28.60 WL, January 22, 2011, NB Games, photo by

Special thanks to Kristen Sullivan, NB Communications/PR, and Jenny Simpson for her wit and candor. Photos by

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