Last week I had the pleasure of watching my cousin run in her first cross-country meet. Being a runner myself, I was obviously thrilled that she had taken up the sport! I was so excited to be there to support and cheer her on.
I couldn’t believe how “un-nervous” she was!
The total distance was that of a 5k, through one of the local parks. It’s probably one of the few places in the area that has a significant hill (at least significant to us southern Virginians). The course could be seen at many different points and made one curvy loop around. It actually is a great location because spectators can move around to different portions of the course to watch whoever they were there for. I caught Casey at each spot, starting line, first loop, downhill, the curve, and the finish line.
These girls (and the guys too) were so inspiring to watch! So much enthusiasm for the run, so much energy. If you ever have the opportunity to go watch a meet, GO! It was incredible. I know that you could find this energy just as easily at any weekend race, but seeing just young people out there, and so many of them, was awesome. It makes me happy to see that running has already become such a big part of their lives. It made me wish so bad that I had joined my high school cross-country team. (I was on the crew, or rowing team & ran all the time for practice, but it wasn’t the same)
I was so impressed with how well Casey did! For never having run distance before, and recently having back surgery, YES, BACK SURGERY, I didn’t have a clue as to how fast she’d be. And wow, was I completely and utterly surprised and impressed! She was born to run. Seriously. She held a great pace the entire race and didn’t start out too fast. She was consistent in her pace and hit every turn right when I expected her to be there. I was a very proud cousin.
And what a strong finish! She put all she had into that last stretch and finished her very first official race, and very first official 5k with a 27:35! Did I mention she’s in 9th grade?! Maybe I’m just bragging because she’s my cousin, but this girl has some major potential to be a great runner. I mean my PR for a 5k this year is 25:54, I guarantee she has me beat by the end of the season. And you know what, I hope she does.
If you’re looking for a boost in your running spirit, go to a local high school cross-country meet. If it’s anything like this one, you’ll definitely find some inspiration, a lot of passion, and you’ll leave with a renewed excitement for the sport. I mean this picture shows it all! Dealing with my ankle injury at the time of this race, I was dying to be able to jump in there and run with them. I gained a whole new love for a sport I was already madly in love with.
Casey, I am so looking forward to watching you progress and succeed as a runner! Can’t wait to come to some more meets! Lots of love and luck!
Did you run cross-country in high school/college?
Have you attended a local meet? Do you get the same vibes from going?