Saturday was another beautiful day, although a little warm for cross country racing. The day started with a breakfast at the hotel and a quick bus ride to Balboa Park. After warm ups, all the athletes were introduced one by one to the crowd. The girls race was first and Claudia Lane took the lead from the start and never looked back. She was amazing to watch.
In my race, I had a tough start and was pushed to the back. The course was dry, and the dust made it difficult to breathe. Going up the steep hill was just as challenging as I thought, but going down the hill was even more difficult. I almost lost my footing on the downhill and nearly fell. At the first lap, I felt relaxed, but on the second lap became tired. By the time I went up the hill the second time and was ready for the race to be over. On the downhill I sprinted down as fast as possible, using the momentum from the hill as a boost of energy for my kick to the finish line. I was able to pass a couple of people on the home stretch to get 33rd place in the race.
The afternoon was spent doing interviews and hanging out with new friends. We even went ice skating right next to the beach! The night ended with an awards banquet and then dancing. I had a great time! Even though the result of my race was not what I was hoping for, this weekend has been an experience of a lifetime. Thanks to Foot Locker and New Balance for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully, next year I will be back!