Farnham-Rose makes home in TuscaloosaBy Matthew Speakman | 11/12/2015 9:33am
Robbie Farnham-Rose played soccer most of his life before switching to cross-country. UA Athletics
This environment has become familiar to Robbie Farnham-Rose over the past three years, but at one point seemed like the most foreign place one could be. Junior cross country runner Farnham-Rose is 4,390 miles from his home of Borough Green, UK.
“I came here on a visit and absolutely loved it,” Farnham-Rose said. “Ever since that visit, I wanted to come here.”
Farnham-Rose made the decision to go to college oceans away from home, making the transition from Europe to the United States – a place far away from his family and the place he called home. Before his move to Alabama, the most time he spent away from his mother was a three-week trip to France.
“I was feeling really homesick my first semester,” Farnham-Rose said. “My phone didn’t work out here. I remember I finally got to Skype my mom, and she was just crying her eyes out. That made me very homesick.”
His current teammates are the group of friends that helped him become comfortable in such a foreign environment. They helped him have an immediate group of people to hang out with to help him get used to Alabama. They are able to provide him a family away from home.
“Coming from a long ways away, definitely having a sport helped him have a lot of friends that he could be around outside of the locker room,” said Parker Deuel, a senior cross country runner.
Farnham-Rose came to the University to run cross country, but growing up he was a soccer player. He played the sport for most of his life before making the full-time switch to being a runner. His eyes light up when he talks about playing and watching his favorite sport.
“I loved playing soccer,” Farnham-Rose said. “I didn’t really want to give it up for running, but I realized that I probably should.”
Farnham-Rose balanced soccer and running in his prep school years. He never lost sight of his goals in either sport but realized that he would have to make the switch to better his career. In one instance, he saw himself get the best of both worlds.
It was the day of the county meet for his prep school in Borough Green. That same day he had an important game for his soccer team, which was two points ahead in the league lead. Being the competitor he is, Farnham-Rose decided to play in the first half of the match, then drive to the meet to run. He won the county meet after playing in half of a soccer match in the same day.
His competitiveness is not only in his athletics, but in everything. He wants to be the best at every activity he does. He is serious in everything, and he hates losing.
“He is one of the most competitive people I know in everything,” said Justin Ahalt, a senior runner on the team. “Even if we are playing pool in the locker room or playing ping pong, he is competing, trying to be his best.”
Farnham-Rose has been a successful runner while being at Alabama. This year already, he has finished in the top 50 in two races so far, including the SEC championship. In 2014, he finished 18th in the NCAA South Regional 10k.
This year, he is trying to match and build off his success from last year. Being one of three runners from Alabama to finish in the top 50 at the SEC Championships, he will look to have a strong showing at this year’s NCAA South Regional, held in Tuscaloosa this weekend.