This I Believe

Maggie - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe the 400 meter dash is the worst race ever created. It is too long to be a sprint. It takes everything out of the runner, who, while running, has trouble supplying enough oxygen to all of the muscles of the body. Sadly, I am not making this up. I am a sprinter and have experienced this horror. While I recall several races that almost killed me at the end, there is one that sticks out the worst in my memory.

It had been a long night. It was at conference, one of the most important races that I ever would have been in. I was warming up for my 4×400 meter relay race ,nervous, since I did not want to let down my relay group. The only small comfort I had was that I was running the 3rd leg and had someone behind me to, hopefully, make up any loss. However, it did little to comfort my anxiousness. I have extremely flat feet and that night, they were causing me pain, which I did not want to cause problems. Soon, the time to race had come. I walked up with my relay group, still fighting off the nerves consumed my mind. However, with the firing of one gun shot, I had no choice but to wait for my turn to run. The starter began running tremendously, putting us in first place. The second runner, however, grew tired and we fell back to 3rd place. As she came running off the curve, I began to block everything out but the runner and what was ahead of me. And in a split second, the burden of the baton fell onto me. With the 1st and 2nd positions a few yards ahead of me, I had my work cut out. Trying hard to ignore the cries of exhaustion from my legs, I kept up with them, trying to find the right time to pass. Soon, as they tired, I blocked all the cries from my mind and passed them as I sprinted towards the end. The only thing that I yearned for was to finish, and not about the weightlessness of my legs. As I reached out to pass off the baton, a burst of relief passed over me. I was done. And with one harsh stomp on the ground, all the damage that the 400 had inflicted upon me suddenly rushed to my consciousness. I collapsed, trying so hard to get oxygen flowing back into my lungs. I had to be supported by Coach Yount as I recovered from that murderous race. I felt as if I was run over by a thousand trains. It is truly a exhausting experience, which is why I loathe and am morbidly afraid of the race. It may seem ridiculous, but true. Knowing the cycle that I go through after every 400, only scares me more. That is why I truly believe that the 400 is the worst race ever created by mankind.