We made it back from The Penn Relays this morning. All in all, it was a successful trip, I am happy to report. First, the hurdle guys did end up setting that World Record in the men's 110m shuttle hurdle relay. They went in with that goal and it was just a fantastic feat that they were able to pull it off!!! CONGRATS guys...I was as proud as if I was a part of the team myself!!
As far my own participation goes, I chose not to specify why I was going to Penns because I was truly nervous, beyond what was normal apprehension prior to a competition. About 10 days ago, one of the National coaches from The Bahamas called me late one night to inform me that they needed me to run on the women's 4X100m relay!!! OK, again, since I wrote a few weeks ago that I ran on a relay in Gainesville, at first glance this should seem like a piece of cake!!! Ahhh....wrong!!!
In Gainesville, I ran the first leg of that relay. This time I was being asked to run the third leg. Again, what's the big difference, you say??? Oh there's a huge difference. The main one revolves around the fact that on the first leg, you only have to hand off the baton to someone, whereas on the third leg, with a running start, you have to receive the baton within a 20m zone and then you have to hand it off in the same zone distance on the other end. I have not run the third leg on a relay in over 10 years, that's right 10 YEARS!!!
To say that I was nervous, would be the understatement of the year! In addition, the race was being nationally televised on ESPN and then to top it all off, two of the ladies on my team were members of the Gold Medal winning 4X100m relay team for the Bahamas from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. They were since dubbed the Golden Girls both by the Bahamian press and the International press. So the standards and precedents they have set are high.
I had one day to practice on Friday and just hoped and prayed that I would handle myself with professionalism and carry out the job that I was asked to do. Thank the Lord that I did a decent job!!! We ended up finishing 4th, behind 2 USA teams and one International All Star team. Of course, it wasn't perfect and there's room for improvement, but it was definitely acceptable and I am proud of myself for having the courage to debut my relay participation in such a high stakes arena. Now that it's all over, I must say that I actually enjoyed the challenge. It was a completely different experience for me and one that I would definitely do again, if called upon later in the year by my country!!!
Here's a picture of my teammates, in the order that we ran from left to right: Timicka Clarke, Debbie Ferguson (original Golden Girl -she ran the anchor leg in Sydney), me, and Chandra Sturrup (second Golden Girl - she ran the 2nd leg in Sydney). It was truly my privilege to run with these ladies and they really took the time to make sure that I felt a part of the team. Thanks ladies!!!
I gave my best...
4 years ago