The Dragon Run (19:28)

The dragon run kingsway highschool

After a “not great” week, I wasn’t sure how the Dragon Run would go. I’ve run the race for the last two years.  In 2016, it was the first time of the season breaking 19.  Last year, I ran around 19 too.  This year was much slower for me, but the first year I won, so I have no complaints. Anyway, as I mentioned in my training log, I had a lot of anxiety the last week, and it took a toll on me both mentally and physically. I burnt the candle at too many ends and just felt exhausted for most of the week.

I got to the start around 7:30, warmed up and got to the start around 8:25. I like the Dragon Run because it has a lot of high school kids.  It’s a very fast race.  Usually, the cross country team doesn’t participate because they have a meet.  This year they were there.  This meant, there was no way I was toeing the line on the first row because the Kingway Team has both males and females that are much faster.

The dragon run kingsway highschool

The race got off, and I immediately found high schoolers sprinting by me. Some I knew would fade, but others I knew were stellar runners. Kingsway is one of the best cross country teams in South Jersey, and I would get my butt handed to me by many of them. My legs felt stiff, I felt better than the previous week, but I didn’t feel 100%.  I hit the first mile in 6:20 and thought if I can hold that I’ll be pleased because it would be under 20 minutes.

Around the first mile, I looked over in the field to see wild turkeys. I laughed at said: look at those guys, but the high schoolers around me weren’t amused. The second mile has a 180 turn around, and I got caught behind a large pack of people which made it hard to turn. I almost stopped while turning.

While not ideal, it wasn’t the worst thing. I powered around the turn and headed into the second half of the race. There was a pack of three high school women all running side by side. It seemed as though they were doing a workout and they made it impossible to pass. It reminded me of college all over again. I hit the second mile in 6:17 and was pleased with that.

The dragon run kingsway highschool

I wanted to win, and I knew the difference of me winning or getting fourth was the 5 feet in front of me and pack of high school girls. With about half a mile to go, I floored it. My kick is one of the worst so it could end badly or well depending on how the girls responded.  If you are ever within .25 of a race with me, you’ll probably outkick me. I’ve attempted to work on it.  I knew it was a risky move, but I went for it and ran my third mile in 6:05.

The last .1 is hard because you can see the finish line from over 1/4 mile away. It feels as though it never gets closer. I was hurting hard, but I knew I just needed to hold on.  I knew they were on my tail and I crossed the finish in 19:28 and won by a few seconds. I was pleased, and I felt good about my effort. I had to work hard, but I’m happy with how it went.

The dragon run kingsway highschool

Questions for you: 

Do you have a strong kick?

What is a race you do most years? 

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  1. OMG YES!!!! That is awesome Hollie!!! I love that you out kicked high school girls – I mean, what? That is awesome and you should be really proud. I have to say, high school teams scare me because I once followed the lead pack of boys the WRONG way in a 5k and it cost me the win!! It was super frustrating at the time but lesson learned. Anyway – congratulations!!!

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