Should Mary Cain make a run at big payday?
Mary Cain could be a rich girl tomorrow, but she and her family are carefully weighing their options before making a decision about whether Bronxville’s 17-year-old track sensation will turn pro in the near future.
Cain still has a year of high school left, but she runs exclusively in high-profile competitions against elite professional and college runners. She breaks high school and junior records practically every time she runs, and last week she became the first U.S. high school runner in 10 years to earn a spot in the world championships.
At most events, she draws the loudest response from those in the crowd, who know they are watching perhaps the greatest female runner the United States has produced since Mary Decker hit the scene in the 1970s. Cain has received so much media attention that her parents have limited her access to post-race interviews.
In a nutshell, Cain is a big star to those who follow track, and she’s likely to become a household name nationally, if not globally, some day soon.
So Forbes magazine earlier this week posed the question: Should she cash in now by turning pro? Cain could run in the same exact events she does now, but be paid for endorsements.
The magazine cites an argument by Peter Vigernon, who writes for the running website Competitor, that Cain – don’t forget, she’s still a kid with designs on a college education -- might not yet be ready for the grueling travel schedule and responsibilities of discussing contracts that accompany the pro life. While she is likely to dominate the field on the college level, that experience might be more enjoyable.
“Is it worth the risk that someday the money might not come in order to have ‘normal’ growing-up experiences?” Forbes’ Bob Cook writes.