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Reisverslag Pilots sweep Roy Griak Invite!
26 september 2016
Pilots sweep Roy Griak Invite!
I knew for months that we were racing this meet, and I wasn’t happy with it. Before Saturday, I didn’t consider myself a real cross country runner, as all my good races happened on flat, easy courses. But Roy Griak wasn’t flat, nor easy! We had prepared well, with multiple hilly workouts. But still, when we jogged the course on Friday, I was in shock. I could barely keep up with my teammates jogging up all those hills, let alone at race-pace! Since we were also doing one big loop, it was pretty overwhelming and all the confidence I had tried to build up over the preceding weeks quickly disappeared. After the shake-out, I went back to the course and did multiple strides up and down the hills, and that made me feel a little better. But then we left and it started raining, and it kept raining for the rest of the evening. Mud! As if it wasn’t hard enough yet! But hey, even though this course was difficult, we knew we were fit. Really fit. We had all absolutely crushed our tempo the week before, running 30+ seconds faster than any Lady Pilot ever on that course. And then Ian made us run up Ridge (steep 3 minute long hill) right after. Not to mention the terrible hill we had to run up the week before. Oh, and we knew we had eachother. I knew all my teammates wanted this just as bad as I wanted it. We knew this could be the first step towards Nationals.
Race-day. Since the guys raced 75 minutes before us, we could cheer for our men’s team before starting the warm-up. They crushed it. White and purple everywhere! They used the exact same tactic that we were planning on using; go out as fast as you possibly can, get in a good position, and then just hold on to that spot as best as you can. And it seemed to work!
Since I am a good starter and not very easy to miss, I was tasked with taking my team out well. With about 350 girls on the starting-line that is not necessarily that easy, but somehow I immediately ended up in the front, and found a fairly comfortable position somewhere around the top-15. Comfortable?? That is not how I had expected to feel! I got a kick from being so close to the front, and another kick when I noticed that no-one was running away from me on the uphills. And with maybe 1,5 kilometers to go, I got another burst of energy when my teammate Parkes came from behind. Just like in practice! The last kilometer or so was amazing. Parkes and I worked together and we were able to pass girls left and right. It was only after our cooldown that we heard we were 5th and 6th, and it took even longer before we heard we had actually won the entire thing!
Of course, we shouldn’t get complacent now. Of course, there is more work to do. Of course our spot to Nationals isn’t guaranteed yet. Of course, we have to get back to the grind. But this weekend, I celebrated. Saturday was a special day, I am so happy to be part of a very special group of girls, and I can’t wait to stand on that starting-line again in 3 weeks.
Pre-season video here:
Foto's bij verslag (3)
27 september 2016 18:57 | Door: tante els
wowie! wat een stralende foto's. Daar word ik zelfs blij van. Mooi dat jullie zo goed op weg zijn!
Ga zo door.
27 september 2016 20:39 | Door: Anja
Het was echt gaaf om jou en je team live te zien lopen tijdens het 21 diner van je zus. Trots op de Pilots!