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Race Result

Racer: Amanda Shuman
Race: Fall into Winter 10K
Date: Sunday, December 12, 2004
Location: Reston, VA
Race Type: Run - 10 km
Age Group: Female 20 - 24
Time: 0:23:52
Comment: 5k --> My Girls on the Run team picked up awards!!!

Race Report:

Note: I was under the impression that adults were *not* getting awards for the 5k and I was not expecting anything - so when they gave me 2nd place female with a gift certificate it was an unexpected and pleasant surprise, especially since I was helping one of the girls I've been coaching pace.

Morning of:

I raced Saturday morning and was prepared to take it fairly easy for the 5k. I've been helping coach the Girls on the Run program at Wakefield Forest elementary near where I live in Fairfax, and this day is for them. We met in the cafeteria before the race, 10 girls + tons of parents and siblings milling around two small tables... "where's my free shirt?" "can you tie my ribbon for me" "how do you put this race number on" "amanda, I have to go to the bathroom" etc etc for nearly an hour prior to the race. We grabbed a quick snapshot about 20 minutes before the start in the middle of a mob of people! It was insane.

I grabbed a few of the girls who really like to run and took them outside for a quick 5-8minute warm-up on the track. They were bouncing off the wall with energy, like usual. I was hoping the 5k would hurry up and start :)

The faster ones lined up near the front. A few of them had running buddies, but the fastest/most experienced girl on our team (Natalie) didn't have anyone in particular to run with; her mother had surgery on Thursday and was going to walk. I pulled up next to her, but I know how they all go out too quick at the start, so I held myself a little behind. Before I knew it, the thing started. Little girls and boys SPRINTING around the track. I knew it wouldn't last long. We entered the woods on the trail oh, about 1/4 mile later, and sure enough people were already dropping back and huffing and puffing.

About 3/4 mile into it, I passed our team's sprinters and came up next to Natalie, who, around mile 1, was breathing hard. I said "Hey Natalie, can I run with you?" she said something like "yeah yeah" back to me and I said "ok... if I go too fast tell me to slow down". She didn't tell me I was going too fast ever, but I did slow down for her a couple times, and around mile 2 I pulled back beside her and said "you got this... just pace off of me" and I ran right in front of her, glancing back every now and then to make sure I kept her nearby.

Of course, nearing close to mile 3, I could tell she was having some breathing issues so I said to her "keep going you'll be fine" and then I did my usual over competitive thing and sprinted the hell out of the last quarter mile or so. After crossing the finish, I went up and shook the hand of the little girl who had been right in front of us the whole time, then turned around and Natalie was finishing! It was awesome, I congratulated her, she was the second girl to finish, and did an awesome job (many, many people still behind her!). Soon after, two more of our team's girls came in, they did great times too. After the next set finished I grabbed them some towels and drinks and we headed over to cheer on the rest of the team coming around the corner.

Everyone cheered for the rest of the team after they finished, and everyone we sent finished, I was so happy about that!! :) After we gathered everyone up we headed back to our table in the cafeteria and grabbed some food along the way. I thought I ate a lot but some of these girls consumed more than I do in a whole day! At the awards ceremony, I was surprised that I got an award, it was totally cool ($25 gc to Reston Town Center) but I thought only 14 and under got awards... and they sure did. 3 of our girls placed in the top 2 of their age group!

Official Results:
NATALIE JOHNSON 12 F Wakefield Fo 24:35 7:55
JENNIFER ALLSHOUSE 11 F Wakefield Fo 25:39 8:16
STEPHANIE ALLSHOUSE 10 F Wakefield Fo 25:40 8:16
JAMIE HOOVER 11 F Wakefield Fo 30:41 9:53
CASSIDY MERCIER 9 F(Wakefield Fo) 30:44 9:54
LAUREN SHUTLER 9 F Wakefield Fo 38:26 12:23
LAUREL CUMMINGS 9 F Wakefield Fo 38:41 12:27
MELANIE MCADAM 9 F Wakefield Fo 39:27 12:42
ERICA ANDERSON 8 F Wakefield Fo 43:55 14:09
RACHEL HILL 9 F Wakefield Fo 45:18 14:35

All in all, I had a great time with the girls this season and I promised them I'd be back (at least as assistant coach) again next season. Some of them want to keep running, but they all think I'm nuts because I ran 26.2 miles in November :) Either way, I'm just glad that they're out there doing this to begin with, I wish I'd been doing this at 8-12 years old!