Scratch my claim in the last blog that I was not nervous for the race. We show up to the train station in Kortrijk for the meet, get picked up at the station by some of the meet organizers, and stand in line to pick up our racing bibs (which turn out to be two large pieces of paper with our names on them to wear front and back of our jersey). All the 1500m runners arrive around the same time, and I notice a bunch of Trials 1500m finalists are here, the three Americans who made the Olympic in the 5k, and a few Trials steeplers. Turns out this is going to be a very good race.
The meet is very small and informal. 15 minutes before the start of our race, the 1500m runners began to gather at the start line. We knew there were going to be two heats of the race, but we didn’t know who was in which heat, and which heat was going first, until a couple minutes before the race. They decided to split the heats at a PR time of 4:16, so I was in the B heat. We had a pacer going through the 800m at 2:16, so it was a great opportunity to PR. From the gun I hung out in about 5th place. As expected, there was a lot of jockeying for space, with people moving in front of my people, and then I would have to go around them to try and stick close to the pacer. On the last lap, I got passed by my friend and fellow steepler, Bethany Nickless for her win, and I passed another woman in order to get second. I ran 4:25, so I wasn’t very happy with the time, but I was happy I had stayed competitive during the race, and I am hoping I can feel better after shaking off some more jet lag. I was happy I got to race in my sweet Oiselle jersey with a bright green bird image (USATF kept making the company change the image on the jersey for Olympic Trials until you couldn’t see the bird anymore). I wasn’t alone in not being happy with my race; unfortunately a lot of the Americans ran a few seconds slower than their PR’s. However, my Team USA MN teammate Gabe Anderson had a PR in the 800m at 2:02.83. Awesome! If you must see them, here are the results: http://servnetsport.be/2012/guldensporenmeeting/event007h01.html
Sweet Oiselle bird!