Regionals from a Runner’s Perspective
by Jill Byars The Prowl News
The man in front of about thirty to forty girls in runner’s stance yelled this command, followed by a deafening squeal of an airhorn. I take off and I try my best to cover more ground than the other girls. The course included several sharp turns in the initial mile, so being ahead was for my benefit. It was hot that day- definitely warmer than the usual October weather- and it showed in my stride. I was slower than usual. I couldn’t let this happen: I picked up the pace and endured the heat waves to the best of my ability.
I was soon greeted by a steep downhill path into heavy woods. I was thankful for the boost and tried to pass the runner in front of me. I was successful, but I had no idea what was to come.
It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon a series of sharp curves, muddy ground, uphills, downhills, and overall trail inconsistencies. These factors slowed me down, and frankly, everyone else as well. My legs ached, my breath remained short, but one thought persisted in my mind: State. This race determines whether I attend the state meet or not.
I had to admit. This wasn’t my race. I didn’t feel well. I wanted to stop and give up on the race. However, I persevered.
At the end of the race, I was gifted with a bottle of water and a “Top Finisher” t-shirt. My time wasn’t amazing: I was about a minute and a half slower than my best time. Regardless, I was hopeful.
During Fall Break, I learned that I qualified for the state meet.