Congratulations to Coe-Brown’s Elisabeth Danis on placing 68th at Nike Cross Nationals in 18:23 this past weekend in Portland, Oregon. She has been gracious enough to offer video diaries and pics for all to gain insight of what it is like to be a participant in a National XC Championship! Her final contribution is written below. Enjoy and thanks Liz!
Hi New Hampshire,
I was fortunate enough to spend five amazing days at Nike Cross Nationals. I not only got to meet and run with some of the best athletes in the country, I was able to meet some of the best athletes in the world, and spend time at the ever-impressive Nike World Headquarters. Racing at Glendoveer was an incredible end to my senior year, especially with a forty-two second PR on the course. I got to use some pretty cool gear (the bright yellow bag being my favorite) and learned about how other runner’s train, eat, and live.
I think the best part of the entire experience was getting to meet new people and see the variety in the types of training successful athletes do. Every day, each Northeast girl had something almost completely different to focus on. One day I did a light fartlek, at the same time another girl did a ten minute run. It was incredible to get to spend time with the other girls; it was almost like having teammates out there (though still not as good as if my team had gone). It was so cool to watch one of the Northeast girls get ninth place at Nationals. I mean, that’s really fast.
I think one of the greatest things I got out of the experience was another chance to run at a high-level meet. A lot of us are planning on running in college, and adjusting to the importance of each meet is a big step. I’m thankful I’ve gotten the opportunity to run at those big races, particularly where adjusting to a time-zone is involved. I also realized a lot about running as an individual versus racing with your team on the line. Racing with a team is just something that makes an athlete push so much harder as there are people relying on you. Not having my team to count on, laugh with, and embrace the moment with was bizarre. Finally, I came to grasp the idea that, no matter the level of race, or who is or isn’t there, an athlete must trust in their training. I was really nervous before the race, but, honestly, it was the race I was waiting for the entire year. Every horrible 400m repeat was worth the pain in order to make it to Nationals, and what I did to prepare for that level of race was no different than how I prepared for Brown Invite or Meet of Champions.
I am so incredibly thankful for the support of my parents, teammates, coaches, and athletes across New Hampshire who have supported CBNA (shout out to Violet and Leya, who spent time with CBNA at Regionals and were super excited for us before we didn’t get the at-large). I am also thankful for the experience I had in Oregon, and I can’t believe I’ve finished my high school cross-country career.