0 min: 00 sec
It’s 37 degrees out but it doesn’t feel cold to me for some reason. My stomach is twisted in knots. The runners around me are getting warmed up… some jogging, some sprinting. I don’t want to waste my energy so I concentrate my thoughts on the race.
I walk up to the starting line. I try to position myself toward the front but the other runners are all pushing to be first in line.
I scan the crowd of people watching. My mom said she would be here, but I don’t see her anywhere.
I look down at my shoes. I got new shoes the other day but I decided to wear my old ones because I’m more comfortable racing in them. They are a little small, but they are my favorite.
A man is talking now. The crowd is quiet. He is giving instructions on the race and telling us to stay on the path around the city park.
I’m hoping someone at my school will place high in the rankings. Last time I got a seven minute and five second mile. Today I’m going to beat my record. I’m going for a seven minute mile.
“Runners, take your marks!”
I was off.
1 min: 06 sec
I’m in the middle of the pack. Some people started off sprinting as fast as they could. I’m trying to pace myself.
There is a lot of pushing and shoving out of the start. Up ahead, I see a boy trip and fall. I am trying to distance myself from the other runners.
“Looking good! Pace yourself!” I hear a familiar voice. Is it in my head? I look around and see my mom standing under a nearby tree. She’s here! I pick up my pace.
2 min: 17 sec
I’m starting to get a little tired. Still not at the halfway point yet.
Suddenly something feels weird. What am I kicking? I look down and see my shoelace bouncing around. Oh no. I can either stop to tie my shoe and lose time or keep going and take a chance on losing my shoe.
I stop on the side of the path. Hurry up! My hands won’t work fast enough.
As soon as the laces are tied, I feel a little better. The break actually helped me. I feel rested after the 20 second stop.
I cross over the little bridge and keep heading through the park.
3 min: 34 sec
There are a bunch of beautiful trees above. I am hoping that the pretty scenery keeps me distracted, but I’m struggling.
I need to think of something to keep me motivated. My mom said she sings to herself when she runs. I’m trying to think of a song.
Crap. The only one I can think of… Oh no. Please don’t be this song.
A… B… C… D… E…F… G…
This is terrible. Now it’s stuck.
H… I… J… K… L… M… N… O… P…
I look around hoping for another distraction. There are no people playing on the swing set. I turned and check the runners behind me.
Q… R… S… T… U… V…
In front of me runners are starting to get tired. People are stopping to walk. I’ve got to keep going!
W… X… Y… Z…
I’m about halfway through the race.
4 min: 30 sec
I am starting to get a cramp. The pain shoots through my stomach with each step. I can’t slow down because I’ve already stopped once. If I’m going to beat my record, I have to run through the pain.
I have to stay determined.
A… B… C… D… E… F… G…
5 min: 42 sec
I see the finish line ahead. I have to make my move soon.
A crowd of people line the sides of the running path. Everyone is cheering.
“Nice job, keep going! Sprint it out!” I hear my mom’s voice above the others.
My legs take off. I’m flying. I’m passing people, one after the next. I have to keep this pace to the finish line if I want to break my record.
My chest feels like it’s going to explode. My legs feel numb. I still feel the cramp in my stomach.
6 min: 37 sec
I have to give it everything I’ve got. I don’t know if I can make it.
I am sprinting as fast as I can.
I take my last few strides, leap across the finish line and fall to the ground. I close my eyes. The race is over…
Now I know my ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me.
7 min: 00 sec
My name is Reed Luppens. I am 9 years old and in 4th grade. I play soccer, lacrosse and I run cross country for my school. I live with my parents and my two brothers, Nick and Gabe. My favorite thing to do is play Fortnite. When I’m not playing Fortnite, I like to write stories and draw. I have been doing a lot of writing and drawing because my computer got taken away.