December 3, 2008
By Jessie Drake, Thompson Falls, MT

Bang! The gun goes off; I begin to feel my heart beat faster as I see the first leg my team mate take the lead. I see the first leg on my team take the lead. My adrenalin starts to pump, I know when the baton touches my left hand its all up to me to run fast and finish hard.
As I’m waiting for my turn, flashes of my coach lecturing me play in my head. “Don’t take off too early!” I look back at my mark, a thin ripped piece of tape that is twelve steps behind me. When my team mate reaches that mark I then begin to take off at a jog until she catches up to me and then I speed up.
I can taste the water lingering in my mouth being to absorb as I inhale thick wads of air. In all of a matter of time it will be my turn. I can’t mess up one slip of the baton and the race is over. Then at last I see my team mate running the end of the corner of the track, I look at my line of tape and know it’s almost time. I begin to encourage my self because I confidence is everything, if I lack it I know I will not run the time and race I desire.
Finally it’s my turn I take off just in time and not to fast so my team mate can catch up to me to pass off the baton to my left hand. When receiving the baton Zoom I’m off! I begin to correct my running posture so I can run faster. I see the finish line and I know I’m ahead. My confidence bursts at the last seconds of my race, I push my self as hard as I can to get my desired time. Then at the end of the race I lean as far forward as I break the ribbon and finish strong.
Joy begins to overwhelm me as I walk back to the finish line to see our first place time. My team mates rush over to celebrate the victory of our race and see the time we got. Not only did my team mates and I win the race but we also achieved our personal best. After cooling down as a team we all walked to the tent where our other team mates awaited. While walking over to the tent I begin to think what must go through my team mate’s minds as they wait for their turn to complete their leg. Whatever it is it works!

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