Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gent Steeplechase


I’m going to write a short blog about my Gent steeple.  I am taking two on-line classes this summer, and I am trying to finish final papers for each class.  I’m getting a bit stressed out trying to fit everything in!

                I was feeling uninspired going into the steeplechase race in Gent.  I was coming off a laborious 1500m, and I wasn’t sure this steeplechase would feel any better.  The weather was outcast and windy as we entered the stadium in Gent.  I was made fun of for all the clothing I had packed (it was sunny in Leuven, just an hour train ride away), but it turned out I was the only one from our group who was prepared for bad weather (very unusual, compared to other Minnesotans I am never ready for the weather). 

                The steeplechase started 20 minutes behind schedule, so everyone in the race was jogging around on the backstretch, doing strides.  When the gun finally went off, the pace was conservative.  No one wanted to take the lead in the wind, but Americans Stephanie Garcia and Aisha Praught worked together in the front.  Because the pace went out slow, it was very crowded the first mile. 
                                                                                                        Chaos!
One woman who had been causing Bethany Nickless and me problems in the 1500m in Kortrijk was up to her old tricks again: swerving, speeding up to get in front of you, then slowing down, and clipping other racers.  With three laps to go the group finally thinned out.  Aisha Praught, Great Britain runner Lennie Waitte, and started to break away.  My shoe came untied with two and a half laps to go.  I was considering dropping out because my feet are so easily hurt, but I was feeling too good to stop.  I took the lead with two laps to go.  Lennie and Aisha passed me with 500m to go, and I passed Lennie over the last steeple barrier for a 2nd place finish in 9:57.  I felt very good during the race, and I was happy my body was able to go sub-10:00 without feeling awesome. 

                For a prize, I was given a bottle of champagne and $60!  They should do that more often in American track and field races!
                                                   At the train station with my champagne!

                The only downside was my foot was hurting pretty bad following the race.  I am scheduled to run the 1500m today in Ninove, but I’ll have to see how my foot feels after warm-up.  I don’t want to mess it up any more than it already is, but I only have two races left, and I want to run them!

Link to results.  Scroll down to mid-page. http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=1026&year=2012&do=info

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