Another hot morning in NC with a race start temperature of 88º. We were stood at the start line with the blazing sun on our faces, going over the race rules and making sure feet were behind the line. There were 327 Invitational Girls stood waiting for the gun. I know this course quite well and have a love, hate relationship with it. I know I have to run out really fast otherwise I get pushed around and elbowed. I enjoy being in the wooded part of the race but hate the two very long hills we have to climb – especially to the finish line.
Last year our team came in 2nd place overall. However, this year we were missing a couple of runners due to other conflicts.
The gun went off and I went out fast and was pleased to be in the top 40 pack. We ran down the wide open field and started to narrow off as we entered the woods, it was nice to feel the temperature suddenly drop a few degree’s and be away from the cheering crowds.
I was comfortable with my pace and was happy with my first mile, my teammates were behind me pushing me on to lead them. As we approached the long hill for the first time I set my sights on passing a few girls, the cheers from our team on the side lines pushed me on and up the hill. Just before the 3 mile marker by two team mates were up and close behind me as the three of pushed ourselves up the hill again to the finish line. I was annoyed with myself to be short of under 21 by 9 seconds.
I crossed the finish line in 21:09 an improvement from last years ADIDAS race time of 21:20 on the same course but not the time I wanted.
We will be running this course again at Regionals so watch this space!
On Saturday night I ran my first and last Jungle Run: the original night time race.
It was an exhilarating experience especially because the first Jungle Run I came to was in 9th grade and I was injured so I could only cheer on my team and didn’t experience the race first-hand.
The race started off fast it was 8.45pm and pitch black, the course was lite in various areas by the tall, loud generated lighting. There were lots of tight corners causing the influx of runners to bunch up and slow down the pack. Eventually the race spread out after the first mile and I was able to pack up with three other girls from my team (this turned out to be a very crucial move for our team to win the Invite race).
The second mile we spread out a little and began to pick other runners off- we started the race being around runners number 40 or so, and by mile 2 my Mum had shouted out 27, 28, 29 so we knew if we kept picking of the girls in front we would have a chance to medal.
On the last mile we could hear our team cheering for us through the trees, unable to see them as it was so dark. We hit the track and I could see the clock out of the corner of my eye and was happy to see 20 something, I sprinted round and took 12th place and a medal. As a team we were so proud to win The Girls Invitational, plus 3 of us medaled. We had one JV girl and boy to medal, plus one of our varsity boys came in first place for the boys invitational.
Just a few medals and plaques
Picking up the girls team plaque
The team left on the bus around 10.30pm and I stayed to the end of the awards so that I could pick up the well deserved hardware for our team.