by runningwithethiopians

Its early about 8:35am to be exact, I did not set my alarm last night as today is Saturday my day off from personal training, but something woke me this morning. Today I was awoken by the desire to overcome myself, it would happen in a 5k race held in my local park. I am lying in bed and the minutes are passing by quickly, I must make a decision, do I stay in bed and relax or do I throw on my running kit, lace up my Nikes and hope if I run fast I will make it to the start line before the race begins. Decision made, I am out of the front door before my brain can interpret the pain I am about to put myself through. Its 1 mile to the park where the 5k is held and as I come around the last corner, I can see a crowd of about 150 runners all lined up and ready to go, I join the front row of young, fit and competitive runners. 3…2…1…GO…about 5 of us are running shoulder to shoulder leading the race, in my mind I go through the options, shall I play it safe by staying with the pack and then if someone breaks free follow them hopping I can stick with them to the finish or do I put myself on the line and go for it now by running as fast as my lungs will allow me. Too late my legs have already made the decision I come around the first corner leading the race in 1st position but I can hear someone is following me, I do not look back I just push myself as hard as I can. Up ahead is the first hill when I arrive at the bottom of it I start sprinting like a mad man until I reach the top, I can still hear my competitor behind me but my lead has increased, ahead more uphill but I am possessed and inside my head I hear a voice telling me “do not let anyone catch you”. Finally some downhill and a chance to catch my breath, I take large strides being careful not to fall as the ground is wet, at the same time I am controlling my breathing saving it for the second lap. The wind blows hard and slows me down but I say to myself “Don’t worry the wind is also blowing whoever is behind me too” I pass the start line and turn right eventually I am at the base of the hill again, running towards me are other participants one of them says go on Kristian, I do not recognise him I just see he is wearing a red top and a hat. After the up hill I lap somebody, I recognise her its Clarice a personal trainer who is going to cover for me whilst I am in Ethiopia, I say hi and proceed to the down hill where I lap more runners who offer words of encouragement like, ‘Wow first runner go” a father tells his son “Look here are the runners this one is first place”. I am at the final stretch but I have not won yet I can still hear someone behind me, I start to panic its flight or fight now, ether I give it all I have got or I let this guy pass me, demons in my mind are whispering to me “Its not possible, you cannot do it” “You are too tired” then another voice enters my head “Kristian this is your time, go for it” So I run as if my life depends on it, I cross the finish line in 1st place then for the first time I turn around to face my competitor but he’s quite some way back after about 10 seconds he crosses the line. I wanted to shake his hand but he walked off he seemed bitter and looked broken.