When I was younger, I competed in several races just for fun. Races such as the Daddy-Son Race, the Turkey-Trot, and many more; in all of which I would finish in the top 10. The person in charge of the races told me that I should join the track team because I was a natural. Well this year I decided I would join the cross country team to get in shape for the upcoming wrestling season. I have now found out that is is always great to try something new, and by doing so, I found my new passion.
The race was the Auburn Downtown Mile. It was only the second week of practice when this race would take place. The first week was pretty bad. I didn’t run all that much throughout the summer and having to transition into running around 8 miles a day really wore my body down. But when the second week came I was begging to get more adjusted to these longer runs and wasn’t having such a rough time. Then coach told us about the Downtown mile and we began to practice the course and he gave us some pointers on what we should do at certain points of the race for the best results. The last mile race that I ran before this one was when I was around eight years old and my time was around 6:54. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to get much lower than that because I haven’t raced in such a long time. When the race day came, coach had us do a four mile run in the morning and then had us meet up near the YMCA again around 6:30 PM. Our team then did a light jog up to the starting line and then did a small run just did get our bodies warmed up and ready. At this point I was already very nervous. I kept pacing back and forth in anticipation for the race to start. Then a man had us all line up at the starting line and some of my friends from the cross country team and I got in the first and second rows. I was in the second row and became even more nervous when a lady behind me told me that I better be fast because she may have to pass me. Then the countdown started. My heart racing out of my chest, but at the same time, I was trying to breath smoothly so that I could have enough energy. And then the race began. The first twenty feet we all stayed pretty compact and then I saw some racers begin to push forward so I decided to follow. The race began on a downhill slope so I tried to use all the momentum I could to push my body forward and one by one I began to move ahead of people, even passing a couple of my teammates. Now we were at the end of the hill and then we started to go back uphill. I was so scared at that point because there were only about 20 people ahead of me and I thought I used way too much energy early in the race and that I would soon slow down. But I kept pushing forward. I kept pace with the group of people in front of me and I’m sure that they could hear my loud breathing.Remembering the course that coach had taken us on, I knew that the finish line was close. Suddenly, I began to see and hear a crowd of roaring people telling the racers “Come on!” , “You got this!” and much more. I was so exhausted at this point, but when I heard loud, thumping footsteps approaching me from behind I decided to give the last of my energy and sprint to the finish line. The wind was rushing through my hair and my hands were clenched together tightly, just rushing to the finish line.
Coach told me that I finished in seventeenth place out of a group of 250 with a time of 5:23. I was so shocked and couldn’t believe it. Many of my teammates, coaches, and grandparents congratulated me and said that I did great. Although I couldn’t really feel my legs for the next thirty minutes, I had a great experience and I was glad I joined the team to find a new passion. I look forward to the 5K races that we will soon be starting each weekend! It is always important that you try new things because you never know what your true passion may be, you just have to go out and explore your options.