Flying to Florida today I have some hours to sit and pause and think about the last year; so much has happened in bird land! This last weekend was a perfect celebration of a lot of hard work with #oiselleteam. Club XC Nationals symbolized to me what Oiselle racing teams have come to mean: a feminine fierce collection of both professional elite runners to someone just like me – competitive in spirit, still training, still racing, getting out the door to train and to feel the thrill of competition and the satisfaction of eventually meeting one’s goals. Our team of 27 women was a beautiful blend of these two worlds and in a bigger sense represents our 225 member team.
Thinking back to two years ago when Club XC Nationals was in Seattle, we had 3 athletes racing and now we were fielding four teams. Oiselle-WA Master (Sarah Lesko, Sally Bergesen, Paula Montgomery, Kristin Metcalf, Susan Ward, Regina Joyce, Shelley Neal), Oiselle-WA Open (Sarah Robinson, Kayla Evans, Natty Plunkett, Cathleen Knutson, Jena Winger, Amanda Johnson), Oiselle-OR (Lauren Fleshman, Mel Lawrence, Christine Babcock, Jen Luebke, Emily Halnon, Jocelyn Bonneau), Oiselle-CO (Allison Krausen, Deanna Ardrey, Jessica Harper, Rebekah Adams, Lori Stich) and unattached but of course in the super fly Oiselle kit: Kristine Burgess IL, Ashley Miller ID, Megan Rolland CA and Allie Bigelow with her Oiselle accessories proudly flying! To be honest, watching the open race with 3 of our teams gave me the most joy, more than the personal victory of finishing the Masters race only a few hours before them. We felt so proud watching them excitedly step to the line, pushing hard, battling the terrain, and competing with guts and heart on display! This is why I loved coaching cross-country for 15 years. This is why I love what I am doing now: being a part of this incredible sport, supporting one another as we push toward our goals – together as a sisterhood of runners.
It was an extremely successful day surviving such an epic course. Something that will make great stories to tell in the future. Not only that but being able to see in person for the first time our Little Wing gals competing amongst a great field of women. It gets me pumped to think of what will come this winter and spring! Great things are to come in 2014 – I am inspired and jazzed about watching all of the great racing that our flock of women in all parts of the country have in store for us!