Well today is the day. All my training, all my time and all my sweat and tears have lead to this moment.
I am standing on the track at the Sacramento City College and the first thing that is going through my mind. Thank god we are racing late at night as the track is in darkness and its cooler than its been all week. We were lucky and got 25 degs for our race but there was an annoying steady breeze and I was warned it was very draining. As I walked along infront of the stadium I was surprised to hear people calling out my name and waving frantically at me. OMG it was people I had met while in Sydney at the Masters Games and they had come to watch me and cheer me on. We went to the call tent and registered and it was now that we could check out the competition. Up until now these people had just been names on the website. Some had put their times up but you were still never sure that the times were correct. My wild card was the Russian. Her time was very simular to mine and I could not find any info on her. When I saw her, my heart sunk and for a moment I let doubt creep in. She was taller than me and probably less than me in weight and it was funny to see her checking me out just as much too. It was only when she moved out of the crowd that I saw she had her hamstring taped up.
Tammy and I went out to warm up and we pretty much kept to our selves from that point. I let her do her thing and she let me do mine. We would make eye contact from time to time and we both knew what the other was going through and thinking. Its really hard when you are racing a friend and one that is pretty stiff competition to boot. Being room mates and virtual training partners that share the same coach......made it tough to want to beat her......but I had to put all that aside and make up my mind that it was the gold I was here for and its the gold that I want.
We got called out on to the track and we lined up. It was hot and for a moment I imagined what the earlier walkers had faced when they walked in 34 deg heat...man too hot. I was number 29 so I was way out on the out side of the track and that was a good thing and I had a direct line to the corner. "on your marks" and then 6 secs...and the gun goes off.....my heart is pounding and my knees are shaking just waiting for that gun. I press my watch and off I go. In my head I can hear my coach......take it easy settle into your pace fast ... if you are out in front on your own then forget about time and just cruise...if you have someone on your tail then race. Well amazingly, I was out front for my age group and no one was on my heel. I hit the 100m mark a little too quick so pulled back a little taking my first km in 5:22 which was a little quick for this heat but time to settle into it now.
I got one verbal warning from a judge on the second lap but after that....not one comment and in fact after the race two judges commented on my style saying how nice it was (so thanks Jim) I still had no idea where that Russian chick was and was totally blown away to find my self passing her at the 4km ... awesome.... but that then meant that Tammy was near by. I didnt look back once but as I crossed the finish line I would listen back to see if I could hear them call her laps to go.....but at this stage I couldnt hear them.
I looked up a head and saw the USA walker Katie Grimes W45 age grade just a head of me ... with 2 laps to go I thought, hey I can catch her. So I set off chase to catch her and i did on the finishing lap at the back straight. I passed her and headed to the finish line but I knew she would pick it up and fight me all the way. Sure enough she pulled up beside me with 50m to go and says " race ya" and took off. I dug in and gave it my ALL but there was no more to give and she beat me by 1 sec ... all of 1 metre....but it didnt matter as she was not in my age group. OMG.....................it suddenly dawns on me. I have just WON the World Masters W40 5000m and got a track PB
My time was 27:33
so it is off to the track tomorrow for the medal ceremony but for now..............we DRINK!!!!! Napa Valley Cab Sav and See's Chocolates.......mmmmmmm does it get any better.....yeah.....it would have been better if my hubby had been here to see it!!!!
Official results here.
5000m Track W40 World Masters