Today was my first big invitational with the Lynbrook Varsity team, and I was definitely feeling a knot of anxiety in my stomach. My parents could tell I was nervous because I had lost my sense of order, almost forgetting to bring my water bottle and bag of nuts.
Prior to this race, I wanted to run a 17:35 5K time on the Stanford Golf Course, since I had run a 17:46 at Toro Park’s hilly three mile course. In preparation for this race, I trained rigorously with my friends David, Andy, and Howard. Over the course of five weekdays, we had amassed more than thirty-six miles of distance running and intervals.
Today’s race was far different from what I have usually run in the past, mainly because it was my first race with Lynbrook’s Varsity team. Our team included:
- Andrew Kuo, a dedicated senior,
- Jason Jin, a wizened senior,
- Ian Wilson, a senior with a blistering kick,
- So Masuoka, a consistent junior,
- Anthony Huang, a passionate junior,
- Tom Sanders, a promising freshman athlete, and
- Me, the lone sophomore.
As I did my drills and warm-ups with Tom Sanders, however, the anxiety seemed to dry off me like sweat during a long run.
Since the race was large and was comprised of at least forty teams, the start was definitely a huge scramble to find one’s race pace. To combat this phenomenon, I assigned myself a small goal. In the developing stages of the race, I tried to stick with Anthony and Tom throughout the race. Still, even after the three-kilometer mark, it was difficult for us three to keep a suitable pace within a dense crowd.
As I turned for the last eight hundred meters, I could see another red-and-blue singlet. I thought it to be that of So’s, a junior who is considerably faster than me. As I saw the clock, which read 16:45, I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t expected to push the pace that fast! I could hear the ringing shouts of my mom, dad, brother and my Stanford cousin, who had made the trip just to watch me run. Mustering all the energy I had left in my tank, I passed So with about fifty to go. However, he reclaimed his position in front of me just before the finish, completing the course two seconds faster than me.
Naturally, I was happy with my time of 17:05 since it was much better than I had anticipated. However, my family noted that my final sprint, or “kick” was lacking. A few runners had passed me in the last fifty meters. Nevertheless, I took this within my stride, noting that there would always be someone better than me. In the future, in order to beat the few runners that passed me in this race, I’ll have to work on how much I really want to beat them in the next race. I’ll most definitely put more effort into quicker intervals and strides the next time around.
As an afterthought to today’s race, I’d really like to thank my family and cousin Sunil for taking the time off to support and cheer me on today. It definitely meant a lot to me. I would also like to thank my coach Jake and the varsity for being supportive and giving me the opportunity to run in this prestigious invitational today.
Be sure to check out the movie that my dad made of my race today in the link up top!
Offical results for the race can be found here: