(*Updated 7/8/16 to be in compliance with Rule 40 by the USOC. Read more here).
This morning over the most amazing waffles, coffees in hand, we ruminated over the day before. July 2nd was a big day. A day of starting new traditions and heart stopping track action. Day two of the Track and Field Trials. Oiselle’s first annual Runners Against Doping (RAD) Day. An emotional 10k final and the semi final of the 800m. Oh! And Power Hour at the Wild Duck and the First Annual Linda Prefontaine “High Flyer” Award.
We met for a big shake out run, followed by Jasyoga session in the park. A perfect way to get right before the day unfolded.
Over 100 birds flooded into Hayward Field RAD shirts on. And people noticed. Asking questions, asking for interviews, or just giving high fives. Getting the word out about Clean Sport is essential to the health and growth of this sport, and we’re proud to be a part of it.
We were in our seats early, anxious and ready to watch our warrior, Steph Bruce, line up for the women’s 10,000m final. If you haven’t been following, her journey has been so inspiring; honest and open. She qualified for the 10,000m just 5 months after the birth of her second baby boy. And her road hasn’t been smooth, but she was ready to honor the journey with her Trials 10,000m. And we were ready to honor her.
The 10,000m was hot, long and by the end strung out. If you haven’t experienced this event live it’s more akin to the marathon than the 5k. The pack starts close, and lap over lap, breaks into groups, then strings out into lone battles for the finish line.
Steph tucked into the middle of the pack, then hung on the back of the front pack, and as they pulled away she found people to run with until she stood alone. Running her race, finishing this chapter.
The last lap as she passed our section, she put her hand to her heart and then waved. Not a dry eye after that. We stood to our feet to cheer our woman to the finish line.
Photo: How Lao
There was no time to recover before Kate Grace was being announced for the first heat of the 800m. Emotions were high, nerves off the chart watching her acknowledge the camera as her heat was introduced. Ajée Wilson and Chanelle Price were in her heat. Top three from each heat automatically advanced, then the next two fastest times.
The gun went off. By the time they cut into lane one, Kate was near the back. Gotta say, knowing her closing power, we weren’t hugely panicky. We screamed as she came by our section.
That first lap clocked in at 58.78. Kate was last. The group was tight. Then with 200m to go she threw down, came by our section with the look of confidence that gave us nothing to worry about as she swung wide and sprinted to second place. Right behind Ajée Wilson, followed by Chrishuna Williams. She was going to the final!!
Our mascara streamed faces left Hayward for some downtime before the Power Hour.
Power Hour starts on the rooftop of the Wild Duck. Women only. We recounted an amazing day at the track, and got to know the birds from near and far. Then Sally took the floor to announce the First Annual Linda Prefontaine “High Flyer” Award. There were four recipients, women influencers in the sport.
1. Beth Sullivan
Head coach at U of Tennessee for Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country. A true pioneer.
2. Lauryn Williams
A two-time Olympian who now advocates for Clean Sport and helps athletes manage their financial futures.
3. Taylor Dutch
A woman among bros at FloTrack reporting on our sport with finesse.
4. Allie Bigelow
Volée member who inspires and pours her heart into the sport she loves.
Phew! Now that’s a day! Onward to day 3, stay tuned for the recap on the Master's 1500m Exhibition with Jen St. Jean and Donna Mills!