From the moment of arrival, I knew that today was not a day in which I intended to stay warm, or dry. I was ready and prepared to race in this type of weather, I had vivid flashback to states the previous year. We set up our usual tent, but added another sheet of tarp, to keep out the sideways rain from coming in. The dads stood holding the tent during both the boys and girls race.
The boys warmed up straight after our unattached ‘team’ got our numbers. We were unattached as our school district had told our school we could not run. A few of our team decided that if parents allowed we would run unattached, not in school kit but instead with a bright pink headband!
The boys set off on their race, as we watched whilst warming up. Finishing quickly, they told us that they had “run PR’S!!!”, which gave us 3 girls some hope for our race. Later we found out that the boys race had been shorter due to the officials sending them the wrong way during the race.
When we had finished our warmup, our clothes were already soaked from the elements of Matthew. We stood at the start line with the wind and rain pelting into our faces. It was going to be a hard battle to get out fast and position well against the weather and other runners.
The course was very muddy. I settled into my pace and was in the top 15. At one point it was running through a grassy river, ever step was heavy with soaked spikes. Around 2 miles I heard my Mum yell and tell me that I was positioned 12, it gave me the motivation to push through the storm. I laughed at myself as every part of my body was dripping wet but I was so thirsty and had a dry mouth.
As I turned the corner onto the last 200 meters I could see the finish line and pushed past a couple more girls as I crossed the line. I walked the shoot and was so happy to hear a man tell me to collect my medal – I came in 9th position and was overjoyed that I had done so well in such bad weather. My Mum insisted that it was my English genes that made me impervious to the weather.
Overall as an unattached team we did really well. Out of the 8 of us, 3 of us received medals and the rest of the team were pleased with their overall times. Most of all we had a fun experience.