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Shelby Davidson - What a Weekend !

Published by
DrBob   Sep 22nd 2011, 1:20pm

Shelby Davidson

WHAT A WEEKEND! Let me tell you. I’m sure if you are reading this right now, then you have already heard about all of the chaos that occurred on Saturday night at the Katie Caples race in Jacksonville… But I’m going to give my personal side of the story.

First of all, I was super excited going into this race because I had an awesome week of training. Also I was going to race my close friend Julie Wollrath, as well as Mary Kate Ponder and they are both such talented runners so really I think we were all expecting to have a crazy battle to the finish. Well all of that changed within not even the first half mile of the race, because Mary Kate, Julie and I were leading the pack and honestly I had never ran the course before so I did not know it well; minus the little drawing on the paper. When we got onto the track we were supposed to go straight from there and onto the grassy field, but the track was not roped off like it was for the other races, nor was there an official pointing in the correct direction. So we ended up running an entire extra lap around the track, probably about 1 minute and 20 seconds out of the way, before we heard someone tell us we were going the wrong way. Around the 300m mark Julie asked me where do we go, and I said I have no idea and neither did Mary Kate! At that point I think we all realized there was something going wrong, or something was about to go wrong.

      The lead pack being redirected across the infield (Photo by Randy Lefko for Jacksonville.com)

After we were directed back on course, I was so angry and embarrassed. By the way I do also take some responsibility for getting off course, it was not just the official’s fault or the meet director’s responsibility. I should have known the course better. Anyway back to my story, when we got onto the field and back on track we thought we were still ahead because I figured most people had followed us, little did we know that basically all of the girls were already going through the zig-zag thing and on their way to the mile mark. We were in legit dead last I think. IT WAS THE WORST FEELING EVER! Once I realized this, there were three options I had: 1. I could get super upset and have a temper tantrum, and completely bomb the race altogether, 2. Just drop-out of the race, or 3. Get angry and use that rage to propel my way back up to the front. I chose number 3, and I just got super angry and used that pent up emotion to sprint (or at least it felt like I sprinted) my way up to the front for the next 2 miles or so.

Honestly, I’ve never felt so mad during a race in my life. I was going so fast, weaving in between people, running through groups of girls, tightly coming around corners, gritting my teeth, doing everything I could to fight my way back. I was so used to being at the front, that being behind all of these girls really just got me even more angry; which actually helped because it motivated me to go faster. By the time I was approaching the 3 mile mark, I had caught all the way up to 3rd place. I didn’t know where Julie or Mary Kate were, but all that I was focused on was finishing as fast and hard as I could. I ended up placing 2nd behind Stephanie Kurgatt, who apparently turned around way before us when we got off course. Now that I reflect on the race, I am proud of myself for gutting it out the way I did. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it was more impressive to see what I did, than just to watch me take a win. I didn’t believe them at first, but now I see it and I have come to terms that being mentally tough really is an important thing when a situation like that occurs during a race.

This race was one to remember for sure. It was my first night time cross country race, which was really exciting, but I also went the wrong way on the course for a while and came back from last to 2nd place and that has made for a good story to tell a lot of people. That night I got over being angry quickly, because the race was in the past and it’s not like I could do anything to change it. All I can do now is look back on it and laugh at how stupid of a mistake I made, and attempt to fight off the jokes from my coaches, my teammates, and especially Coach Butler, which will probably continue for 2 more years… Aside from Katie Caples, I am looking forward to my race this weekend! I am racing in the Mountain Dew Invitational at UF, and thank goodness they will have a golf cart to lead the race so that I won’t get lost. I get to race, visit my brother Tyler who runs for UF, and I have my homecoming dance on Saturday night. Stay tuned for my next blog entry! Happy running.

P.S. I’m starting to get a really awesome watch tan, and I couldn’t get one before for some reason. So I’m super excited!



Editor's Note- Shelby will be keeping a blog for us this year as she is set to improve on a stellar junior year. Last year Davidson was a Footlocker Finalist and has had one of her best summers of her high school career. Click here to follow all of her blog posts.


More on Shelby

2011 Katie Caples Post-race interview with Julie Wollrath from Holy Trinity


Post-Race Interview at the 37th

Astronaut-Rotary Invitational




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