By: Laura Mitchell
Last weekend I traveled with the Ladies of TRE to race USATF Club Cross Nationals in Seattle. For me, traveling out of town for a race is always fascinating. It’s always exciting to explore a new city while at the same time compete at a higher level against different runners other than from just Austin. What I didn’t expect was how much I really benefitted from the experience. Traveling with a group of ladies that are so fit and like-minded is very motivating.
I knew I had my own race to run, but I found myself feeding off the team. Their tenacity: some stoic, some upbeat, yet all showing up to the course ready to put their fitness to the test, not afraid to risk failure in order to succeed. Something my SMU coach said of me, as I think back. It had awoken a spirit within me. When you have been competing or even just training for so long it’s moments like these that can be so rejuvenating.
It came across in so many moments. The quiet concentration during warm-up…the pre-race commotion of all of us dealing with the same colder conditions…the lightheartedness that calmed us all down.
I have raced Club Cross twice before, but for mostly all the rest of the ladies this was their first time. The day before, a bottle of champagne was bought by one of the girls. She said, “either we are going to be popping this in celebration or drinking it in misery!” But it was this subtle confidence that was so inspiring. After racing their hearts out, they find out that they did in fact win! They got to pop that bottle in celebration! Their smiles…their sense of accomplishment…spread over me like wildfire. As I was taking pictures of them I was so happy and proud. Because I felt that feeling before, because I know what it feels like to put your body and mind to the limit. That feeling is amazing and reminds me of why I continue to have such a great passion for this sport. Wow, it’s inspiring and addicting and I can’t wait for this next phase of racing! I hope to pass down what the ladies of TRE gave to me.