Unusual start to my Saturday morning. It was freezing and windy in the month of July unfriendly enough to freeze my fingers, I could not even feel the laces on my trainers as I put them onto my feet. I am still sleepy. Missing my bed, so much I even forgot my water bottle in my bag pack hanging on my hook in my dormitory. Honestly me leaving my bottle did not bother me because I knew water pits were set up I knew this from tour de France a program I enjoy watching in my free time. The fact that this was the first time in my life running a marathon; it kept lingering in my mind and forcefully got me to respect the challenge ahead. I quickly made a dash to the truck that was going to drive us to the starting line; the start was 21 kilometers away from my school. I could hardly talk as I was in fear that I could almost smell horror, this was quickly replacing the little oxygen I had in my body.
It was mind blowing and anxiety quickly kicked in.
The driver got the engine running and my bloodstream hurriedly got invaded by adrenaline and glucose in no time. The drive to our starting point seemed to be the shortest in about 45 minutes we arrived only how I wish it took longer. My heart only doubled its pulse rate making me jumpy, clumsy and unable to stay still. Everyone was off the truck; instinctively everyone was stretching showing me this was not their first time doing the challenge everyone could hardly stand, but got their muscles warmed up. 15 minutes were not enough to get all my muscles warmed up I could still feel piles of lactic acid in me any athlete knows it is the worse feeling. I could not do anything but find myself amongst our schools elite. Our positioning was in a way that the fastest athletes obviously took the front row and the rest followed which was the only logic way about it. My knees whacking against each other on any other day possibly I would have fractured my knees. Sounds funny but truth be told I was in fear, ambushed emotionally, and physically unable to do it at this point, a tear rolled down my cheek I couldnt believe it almost regretting why I had signed up for it.
Five… Four… Three… Two… One GO! I was off.
I could not believe I was in a life-longed competition
The atmosphere was amazing. The mood was nerve wrecking all I could hear were sneakers crashing sand grains. In my foresight, I could only see an avenue of trees as if it was a guard of honor – knowing that I was already the winner of the race. I found my stride after I had tucked a few miles underneath my belt. I turned my music on to block out the sound of agonizing footsteps all around me and I was in my own little world; me against the world, I knew this was my time to shine. The trees were waving from side to side; brushing against each other making me want to join their synchronized wave. I decided to call them my cheerleaders: giving my legs an electric boost and that was just what I needed to freshen up my mind even though consciously I knew sooner or later I had to be charged up again.
I reached cross roads in about half an hour. A reminder that I was half way through my rock ridge challenge. Everything seemed to be getting harder at this point. My eyes, nose and legs all could not handle the intensity rock ridge had brought along with it. But what could a sixteen-year-old runner do besides overcome it. There was no turning back at this point but thank you to sweat that evaporated leaving me feeling cool like I just had a dive into a swimming pool on a hot sunny day.
The road was now clear. Contestants now spread out along the road; all I could see was a road that was; bumpy, uneven terrain that went up and down. I knew things were to get only harder. Like a roller coaster ride in Rio, birds flying above my head made me forget the pain my legs were in. Fitness was what separated the sheep from the wolves at this point victory seemed impossible, as every contestant seemed to be getting stronger as we got closer to the finish line.
Two minutes later, I was running down a hill yearning for water.
At the touch of the cup full of water, my eyes flashed out in excitement. A drop was all I needed to make my mouth water once again. At this point thoughts of giving up started to gain momentum but I refused to give into my negative thoughts, I had been running a practice route for a couple of days a week as practice, the idea of putting my hard work to waste was what kept me going. It would be easier for me to stick to the race than face the shame of quitting and know I am a loser. I know I did not have to act like running miles or two was not difficult for me this was one of my biggest challenges of the year.
The last curve was all I had to overcome but Peter Holding had already took the race home. He won the race for the second time running now. As a first timer coming in second place was overwhelming even though I did not perform to my expectation and level of hard work put in.