Friday Night Lights at the Raleigh Relays: IT'S TIME TO RACE!
The women of Raleigh Distance Project have noticed… I’m a little more excitable than usual this week. That’s not a hard bar to clear for me, but this week I’ve cleared it by a mile. As a former NC State runner and local post-collegiate athlete, the Raleigh Relays has always been the one opportunity for me to compete against the best on my track.
For RDP, the excitement for tonight’s distance events at the Raleigh Relays is palpable. Racing on the track is real. Excuses and weaknesses are nullified and exposed on each and every lap. The mostly-college athletes we’re racing - some of the best in the nation - are ignorant of their limitations and are totally ruthless. And for the women of RDP racing at home, the spotlight is on.
For the past 2 years, this group of enterprising runners has been building towards a revival. Their struggles have been well documented on this blog, but the whole point of such exposure is to establish a pathway to overcome. To that end, these women assembled themselves into a team, one-by-one asked me to coach them, and have given me leeway to do my most important job: to twice a week put 6 of them in the same place at the same time doing the same reasonably-sensible workout. Together.
Pro distance runners are born for nights like this. ‘Tonight’ is the answer to the question that non-runners always ask: “what do you think about when you run?” At 8:24 PM, Sammy and Andie are searching for their best 5ks in more than 3 years. A half hour later, Kim - as she does at every practice - is scheduled to guide younger runners chasing elite marks by pacing the first half of the 10k.
Ok, finally! Blogs are done, messages sent, fans engaged... now it’s time to do what we’re in the sport to do. It’s time to race. Time to overcome.
Click this link for live results and a schedule of the meet!!