ELIZABETH HS - MEET #1
1.5 miles, trail with hills
Abby - 19:30
Emma - 10:30 (2nd place)
Emma had a fantastic race at Elizabeth HS. It was an unusually hot day and the meet was about an hour away. I got there about 15 min before her race started and tried to look for the best spot to take photos. After walking off the beaten path Madeline and I found a spot right off the trail. As we watched the start of the race Emma had already pushed herself to the front of the pack and was sitting nicely in 3rdplace behind Bethany and Jade. As we waited for the girls to make their loop and come back, I was shocked when I saw Emma and Jade running down the trail not too far behind Bethany. Emma looked strong and I knew that she could grab 2ndplace if she pushed it at the end of the race. We cheered her on and I could see her starting to pass Jade and pick up the pace. I handed Madeline to a nice man over the chain link fence while I climbed up and over to hurry and make my way to the finish. Sure enough, Emma had pushed it hard enough to not only beat Jade by a sec or two but by 10-15 sec. Emma came in 2ndplace for 7thand 8thgrade girls.
Abby had a pretty good race considering the extremely unpleasant conditions. With her recent growth spurt and maturity, it has become harder for Abby to run fast like she was able to do in ES. However, there is nothing I like to see more than a kid who pushes themselves to their limit just to prove that they can do hard things. This was exactly what Abby did at this meet. She wasn’t in the front or even the middle of the pack when we saw her on the trail but was closer to the back of the pack of 6thgraders. As Madeline and I waited at the finish area for Abby, I was getting a little nervous when I didn’t see her come in. Eventually she made her way into the stadium and pushed hard that last 100m. She may not have had a top finishing time but in my book, she was a top finisher in how she persevered through a tough race. She was a bit emotional at the end because it was so hard for her. I couldn’t have been prouder of her for not stopping and just finishing the race.
Just shy of 1.5 miles, flat and downhill paved course
Abby - 14:10
Emma - 8:40 (2nd place)
This was probably Emma’s most exciting race of the season. Since this was the first time the teams were running up near the new Chinook MS, no one really knew the course. Luckily, one of the coaches showed me a map of the course so I knew where to stand and cheer on the kids. I first saw Emma about halfway through the race. She was sitting in 4thplace behind Bethany, Jade, and some other blond-haired girl. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but she looked strong. As I made my way to the finish on the track, I was shocked to see Emma come into the track in 4thplace and slowly pick off the girls in front of her. By the first curve she made her way into 3rdplace and by the last 100m she battled for 2ndplace and won. Unfortunately, Jade also thought she had won and there was some debate for a bit about it. In the end, Emma’s name was moved to the 2ndplace finish. It was quite the finish. It was the first time I realized how awesome of a kick Emma has at the end of her races. She is very similar to her brother Peter.
Abby had a much better race running on the pavement and slightly downhill than she did on the hilly trail during the first meet. She was in much better spirits when she started the race. I saw her at the beginning of the run and at the end. She happily ran along near the last half of the pack and when she came into the track at the end, I could see how much she was struggling to keep running. I could see her stop for a few seconds on the track and then she started back up again. By the time she rounded the last corner something overtook her, and she turned up the heat and sprinted to the finish. It was pretty amazing to watch.
1.5 miles, trail and hilly
Emma – 9:58 (3rd place)
Only the 7th and 8th graders ran in this race so Abby was off the hook for today’s race. Today was another unfamiliar course as this was the first time the kids were running at this venue. The race wasn’t well marked and not even the coaches really understood the course. That being said, Emma had a decent race today. She ran out and made her way right behind Jade. She kept a pretty close distance to Jade and I thought for sure that she would pick it up on the downhill so she could overtake her. However, she wasn’t quite sure how much further she had to run and so it was hard to know when to start picking up the pace. The moment she realized the finish was up ahead it was too late. There was no way she could catch up. She still ended up with a great time and a 3rdplace finish 10 sec behind Jade.
1.5 miles, trail and hilly
Abby – 16:05
Emma – 9:40 (3rd place)
It was hotter than expected at this meet and both girls were excited to run in the last meet of the season. Emma had been complaining of shin splints so I was a little unsure of how fast she could run today. All she wanted to do was beat Jade, but I told her to just run her best and that would be good enough. She started out so well. Halfway through the race I cheered her on the uphill portion. She looked strong and was right behind Jade. It was anyone’s game. After getting up and over the hill, she started to pick up the pace and actually passed Jade. Then, she tripped but luckily caught herself instead of falling on the ground. It threw her off her game a bit and she struggled to maintain a lead over Jade. As she came into the track for the finish, I could see that she was done. There was no strong kick at the end like she normally has. It was then I just hoped that she would be happy with her efforts and not disappointed in herself. When I saw her after the finish, she had a smile on her face. It was such a relief to me. She said she ran her best and that she was happy with her 3rdplace finish. I couldn’t have been prouder of her for being a good sport about not beating Jade. Afterall, not every race can be your best race. All that matters is that you do your very best under the circumstances.
It was fun watching Abby get ready for her race with her friends. They warmed up and stretched together. Even Madeline sat and stretched with them. As the 6thgraders were getting ready to line up I could tell she was not that excited to run. Bless her heart for finishing out this season. I was pleasantly surprised after the race started to see that Abby was not at the back of the pack coming up the hill like she normally is. She looked really strong. It made me excited for her. As I made my way towards the finish on the track, I was excited to see her finish. As she made her way into the track, she finished that race as strong as she had started. Her time compared to the first meet was 3 minutes quicker. With both courses similar in terrain, I was so proud of her for improving from the beginning to the end of the season. After the race she told me that she would not be running next year. I am totally ok with that.