This week I had my final school cross country competition which was the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships held in Palmerston North. This was my first year competing in the senior age group so it was a new distance and new competition.
This year it was also a larger amount of competitors, 117 compared to the 60-80 I had last year. With this and the fact that this year the competition was a lot harder than usual I knew I needed to be more realistic with my goals.
I knew I needed to go out hard from what happened last year and getting stuck behind others from not getting far enough in front. I got out in a good spot in the start which helped me comfortably fall into a spot with similar speed girls to pace around.
I felt strong throughout the whole race which I was happy with and there was little to no problems that occurred throughout. I held a strong pace and naturally slowed down over the course but it was equal to what everyone around me was doing.
I knew I was at a position I would be happy finishing in and knew I had to keep pushing to keep this spot. I finished strong and knew I had given it my all with the way I felt when crossing the finish line.
I placed 53rd out of the 117 and my time was above the average which I am pleased about. With my result within the Waikato runners I was invited to be apart of the Senior Girls B Relay where there was 4 of us who each had to run a leg of 2km.
I was the fourth and final leg so had to finish of the race. This was again very fast and with the amount of longer distance I do these feel like a sprint.
I again knew I had given it my best with how I felt by the end of the race and we finished 2nd out of all the B teams in NZ and 11th finishers overall.
Overall I learnt a lot this weekend and definitely felt my improvement of my fitness and ability to structure and run a race successfully and am looking forward to doing it all again next year.
– Jessica Bray