In His Own Words: Steven Cross - The Foot Locker Nationals Experience

Hey Flrunners, I just wanted to share with you a little bit of my experience out at footlocker, due to how phenomenal it was. Getting off the plane in San Diego they had me feeling like a professional athlete from the start. Being escorted from the terminal to a charter bus to take us to Hotel Del Coronado just made me feel special. Looking up at the massive hotel, and walking in to receive a bag-full of 'goodies', so we could properly represent Asics, made me at a loss for words. This was just the first hour in San Diego, we had two and half days of this. 

Getting to meet up with all of the best runners in the country and become true friends with most of them was an experience that I will never forget. Then came the level-headed professional Asics athletes that we all got to not only meet, but hang out with on a personal level. Just being in their presence made bigger goals in running more realistic and seemingly more attainable. Them sharing their stories of experiences that they had from the same race that I was competing in was an eye-opening moment to say the least. 

The race helped to continue the feeling of a being a professional athlete and do so grandly if I do say so myself. Being live-streamed nationally, being introduced, and put on the big screen. Things I did not think would happen for a long time, if at all. The prestige of the whole thing made everyone I talked to and me very nervous. Looking back on the race itself, I was not feeling ideal going into it. I felt oddly weak going through the mile mark, and I knew it just wasn't going my way. 

Mid-race I heard someone yell something around 35th place, and I got filled with a lot of anger and forced myself to make up at least six spots to be in the top 30. I saw several of my south teammates and that really drove me to push on through the pain. Going through the finish line, knowing I was 29th, I had a strange mixture of anger and satisfaction. Satisfaction from achieving my comeback goal, but anger from not being near my original goal of top 20. After reevaluating everything, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with joy. Realizing that right now the most important thing was making it to this meet, and getting the experience that will help me have an advantage over many of the runners next year as I hopefully make it back.

I would be truly shocked to hear anyone deem this trip as anything less then outstanding. The friendships I have made, and knowledge I have gained will be with me forever. On that note, I would like to thank Foot Locker and Asics for bringing all of this together and essentially making this possible for many runners like myself to have this experience.