Saturday, July 4, 2020

Firecracker 5K–Anna-2020


7/4/2020 Auburn, CA


5K (just under)


19:38 (New Female Course Record)


1st (Female), 5th OA


Cossentine: Bailey & Matty; Gallo: Emily, Enzo & June; Ganzenhuber: Gannon, Steve, Zachary; Nickel: Ben & Ellie; Soares: Ariel, Robin & Troy; Anna, Bernie, Krista & Julie Sopky; Mona Baughman, Caryn Galeckas, Suzanne Hartley, Jennifer Wright

I get to the starting line and get ready to race. I tell some high school friends of mine to beat the record. They tell me back to beat the girl's record (19:43). Great, I think sarcastically.


106746463_3167528566699434_2238899081152400137_nI look to God and know that I'm going to do my best for Him. Karen Nickel counts down to the start of the race and it begins. We run along the neighborhood road then turn off heading towards Auburn Folsom. I'm running with Enzo right now at a pretty good pace. I move a little farther ahead though. Bailey, the record-breaker last year, runs past me with her son in a baby stroller. I might have an advantage this year because she has to push the baby stroller up the hill after this downhill. I might even finish with her! I turn on Auburn Folsom and head towards the fire station. There are many different chalk marks on the ground telling which way to go and cheering you on. I see the names of many people on the ground,  I know only some of them. I turn off Auburn Folsom and start heading up Maidu Road. I know it's a long steep hill but on the other side, there is a big downhill. I push up the hill hard in order to keep my pace and to be able to catch up to Bailey. I catch up to her about halfway up the hill and pass her. I keep my eyes on the boys and keep up the pace. I get to the top of the hill and am relieved. On the ground, there's a chalk sign that says 1 mile. Yes, only two to go and I'm feeling pretty good.

I run on the flat ground looking forward to the downhill that I can see just up ahead. I remember to push over the top of the hill like my mom said. I push into the downtown start to feel gravity pulling me down. I continue to see more chalk names and then I see my name and Ariel’s name on the road. It was very nice of the Nickels to write our names down to cheer for us during the race. I get halfway down the long hill and hit the flat section. I'm starting to hurt but I focus on God and push through. I see the boys up ahead altogether. Two boys are from out of town that are the Nickel’s friends and the other two are two Placer high schoolers trying to beat the record. I get to the green gate and start down the last half of the long downhill. I'm keeping up a good pace and I try to stay ahead of my goal Pace 6:40. I know this next long uphill will be hard but it'll be just about the last big hill there is. I pass the mile-and-a-half sign saying “I'm only halfway there”. It's weird, I thought I would already hit mile two by now. I don't let that put me down and I keep running and looking to God. I get to the bottom of the hill and start going up. I can barely see the boys, they're so far ahead. I push up the uphill and know that this is the hardest hill left. I try to cut off the corners as much as possible so I don't add on any extra mileage.

I get to the last corner and know that I'm almost to the road. I turn onto a super steep little road (“50 Meters of Fun”) that leads up to the main road. I get the top and feel relieved. I try to get as much energy as I can back as I go down small downhill. I start heading up another hill again but it's not as long or big like the one I just went up. I get to the top and now I'm at the home stretch. I try to give everything I can and run hard. I get to the stop sign and cross the crosswalk. I am so close and there is a chalk mark that says 400 left. One lap around the track. I got to push it. I turn into the neighborhood and run down a short hill.  Up ahead I see a hill towards the Finish area. I push up the hill hard and it really hurts. I turn the corner and see the Finish Line. I sprint with all my might and give the glory to God. He helped me through it. I knew that if I wouldn't get my time I would still do my best for him and he blessed me with a great time. My two high school friends did beat the old record, but the Nickel’s nephews won the race and set a new record. Thanks to God I got a pace of 6:38. It was only 3 miles, not a 5k.


Praise the Lord for he is good his love endures forever.