Maria Michta closed out her London Olympics experience with a blog post describing the race in detail.
"The gun went off, it felt kind of surreal this was the moment I had waited for and it was finally here. I had a half a second of delay and then my legs began moving instinctively. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking or if I was thinking at all. I went out controlled and feeling comfortable and loose."
Michta wrote about her game plan and about seeing her family in the stands cheering her on.
"Without even thinking I broke out into a huge smile, this was awesome, I loved the crowd! Then another few 100meters and I spotted them, my HUGE cheering section my entire family and Joey’s all festive with their flags, and hats and personalized Maria shirts. It was so incredibly moving that once again I broke out into another beaming smile, a smile that made me glow inside and out!"
As she neared the end of the race, she writes about how physically grueling it was, but still mustered the energy to send a message to Joe Coffey, her fiance, all while passing Mexico en route her 29th place finish.
"By the last lap I was still pumped and managed to shout out, “Happy Birthday!” to Joey. It was at that moment that I realized how hard of an effort my race really was because my Happy Birthday was more of a struggled croak then and exhuberent shout! I guess I was breathing heavy and working hard afterall. I was closing in on the Aussie but she had too much ground and I ran out of real-estate, another 2k and I think I would have caught her."
Michta's race finish time put her 2nd on the all-time American list for the Women's 20K Racewalk. Will she make a bid for Rio in 2016? Visit Michta's website and read her post in its entirety to find out.