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!