The Feeling of Race Day in Victoria

It must be the tingling sensation. That feeling in your gut that you get, the butterflies flying up your digestive tract, and the way your head nauseates at the thought of what you’re about to do.

The feeling of looking down at a white line, signalling the start, and lining your neatly tied up spiked shoes against it. The feeling of looking across the start line, at the other competitors that are trying to beat you, their faces mixed with a tinge of worry and excitement.

Yes, that is what it is. That rush of adrenaline- it’s so hard to describe unless you feel it in the moment- it makes you feel superhuman, that you can accomplish anything, that keeps on bringing me back.  

Just under a week away from arguably the biggest race of my life, U Sports Cross Country Nationals, and I feel nothing but pure exhilaration.

You see, when it was announced Cross Country Nationals would be held in Victoria at Beacon Hill Park, it added that extra motivation for me. As a child, I spent two years living in Victoria, and my parents would often take me to Beacon Hill to run around the park and visit the petting zoo. (I do remember tugging on my mom’s coat wanting to run out of the zoo, in fear of one of the goats biting my hand.) Although I moved to Vancouver shortly thereafter, just being able to run on a course where I have so many young memories thrills me.

It’s ironic in a sense. Running is very much a individual sport. It’s not like basketball or hockey, where you have benches of teammates ready to enter the game. Yet, I think that is what makes running so beautiful. Although to the naked eye it seems like you are not a team, since there is not a coach organizing a line of players to enter the game. When you see another blue and gold singlet on the course, it makes you work harder to keep up with them, and work as a team to cross the finish line together.

As for my own race routine, it’s a lot like running — pretty simple.

I like to start race day morning off with a shakeout jog of ten minutes, to get the legs juiced up for the race. Breakfast? A bowl of oatmeal, that is the appetizer to the main course. Two pieces of toast with peanut butter oozing off the crust, and a sliced banana squished in between the bread. The rest of the day is set for relaxing. I know a lot of people that prefer to listen to heavy metal or rap music, but I crave the calming music of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond or “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, to relax and calm my thoughts before it’s go time.

On November 12th, I am grateful that to be giving the chance to represent UVic at such a prestigious event.

I can’t wait to have that tingling sensation move throughout my body all the way to my finger tips, and represent UVic the best way that I can.

– Josh

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