Start Line Stories Straight From the Elites
Watching runners leave the start line is kind of like watching a bird in the second it starts to take flight - effortless and powerful all at once.
The Haute Volée share their start line thoughts leading up to the moment the gun goes off.
"You’ve prepared for this moment. Don’t compromise on anything. This is your moment execute and breathe Whit. You got this." - Whitney Rowe
"The starting line used to be a major anxiety point for me. I always wished I could warm up then just be about 200m into the race already! My nerves are at an all-time high and I'm usually jittery from a combination of the nerves and pre-race caffeine. A few minutes before the gun goes off, and post starting line strides, I like to take a moment and remind myself of a few things. I remind myself that I put in the work, I belong on this line, I have a race plan and to stay in the moment. I tell myself it will be uncomfortable and that's ok. I pick a few key workouts or moments in my training where I felt strong and confident and visualize and embrace that feeling. Those brief seconds between runners on your mark and the gun I take 1 deep breath in and out, then it's go time!" - Megan Rolland
"Start lines are a place where the real art happens. All of that hard work - the early mornings, those reps at the gym, the laps of the track - this is where the art gets to take shape into something really, really special. This is the moment you savour, it’s that space between what was and what will be. It’s scary. It’s beautiful. Put your badassery face on and go get it! And every time I step up to a start line I am thankful for the gift of what I get to do - the ability to go running every day and train for the events I love." - Sasha Gollish
I was thinking “Get Out Fast, Get Out!” I usually envision my race plan and constantly go over it in my mind so at the start line I’m thinking of what my coach and I talked about doing the first 100-400 & the rest of the race. Execution is really important so I chose to focus on what needs to be done! So when that gun goes off I’m ready to Fly! - Kendra Chambers
“It’s going to hurt, embrace it and execute the plan, one mile at a time.” - Becki Spellman
My thoughts at the start are simple. By this point I'm prepared to put up a fight from start to finish so I usually try to calm my mind and take a deep breath. In past races, I’ve been so amped up on nerves and adrenaline I honestly don’t think anything but “GO!” But every so often my mind is clear enough to do a little mantra that stresses aggression and precision in my first few steps out of the blocks: “Aggressive, react and push out. Aggressive, react and push out...” - Jasmine Blocker
"This photo is from 8th grade, on my favorite cross country course aptly named "the torture course" because of all the hills. I took a lot of pride in the fact that, unlike everyone else on my team, I wasn't afraid of this course because I thought hills were fun, and I knew I was strong. I can't remember exactly what I'm thinking, but I'm sure it had something to do with making sure no one was able to stand too close to me on the starting line!" - Anna Weber
My exact thoughts on this start line "It is pouring rain and so cold I wish the gun would go off so I can start moving. Despite this terrible weather I am still going to push hard and compete. This race won’t be about time but about placing and effort. Remember that you love racing and pushing yourself. Don’t look at your watch as you won’t be happy with the splits. It is time to show your toughness and grit. Be strong and focus on the moment." - Catherine Watkins
"Once I step on the runway, I don't think about anything technical anymore. All of that I leave for my body to figure out. I hype myself up with the chorus to "Lose yourself" by Eminem. It's the tune to the 'three clap' that I do to get the crowd involved. Then I say to myself, "Fuck it up" and I'm off." - Tori Franklin
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Head up, wings out!