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Ballard Cross Country Meet

By , Grimes, IA
It started off like an ordinary day on Monday, September 16, but it was anything but ordinary. My cross-country team was going to have our first meet, and the bus was already running late. I was worried that we would be late for the race and not be able to run, but the bus finally arrived and all of the cross-country kids dashed up into the bus, eager to get to Ballard.






The bus ride was full of excitement and messing around. I didn’t really think about the race until we got there because I was a little anxious. As soon as we found our “camp”, I set my bags down and started focusing on the race. I started my usual warm-up, jogging a half-mile or so and then stretching. When I got done stretching, I saw just how many runners there were, just for 7th and 8th grade boys. There were 25 schools, and 261 runners running with me. That made me even more anxious. Then the starter told us to get ready to start.






I smelled the grass and I felt the gentle breeze in my face. I could feel the nervousness and excitement of everyone there, I was ready to start. Then the starter said the infamous words, “On your marks?” then a few second pause, BANG! Went the gun, and I started sprinting. My adrenaline started pumping and I felt exuberant. After I ran about a quarter of a mile, I stopped sprinting and settled into my usual pace. I was in first place and I was trying to keep my pace up so that I could stay in front.






My lead lasted for what seemed like forever, but was actually only one of two miles. The runner who passed me was from Ballard and he looked like a superb runner. Then right on cue, John C, passed me and eventually the Ballard runner. I thought he was going to win!!!






His lead didn’t last that long though because we got to the worst part of Ballard is the hill at the end, better known as “puke hill”. It was a really big hill at the end of the course that goes right into the finishing line. I passed him and the Ballard runner half way up “puke hill” and I sprinted as fast as I could for the last 200 meters. I got my best time ever! 12:07 for two miles. I won the race by seven seconds. After the race, I felt like I was going to faint because I ran faster than I ever had before, and “puke hill” didn’t help either.




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