PTXC Journal: Emily Carter On Cancelations

Out latest PTXC journal entry comes from Emily Carter. The Bethel Park junior is one of Pennsylvania's top distance talents. She is coming off an impressive junior XC and indoor track season. 

After the indoor state meet, Carter had planned to race at New Balance Nationals Indoor before starting what would likely be a big outdoor season for the reigning PIAA Class AAA 3,200 state champion on the track. She wrote about the time leading up to the cancellation of NBNI and beyond.

Have a read of her entry below.


After competing in my first outdoor track meet of the season, which would turn out to be my only meet of the season, my family and I began to drive to New York City for New Balance Nationals Indoor. Even though I had only raced the 1,600 and 3,200 just fast enough to win in that outdoor meet, I felt like I was ready for a big PR that weekend.

I dealt with an injury most of December, and by the state meet in early March, I finally felt like I was back to my normal self and more prepared than ever to compete against some of the best runners in the country. Article after article that I read on MileSplit during the drive previewed the competition for the upcoming weekend. Despite the threat of the coronavirus displayed in the media, I was certain that the meet would go on.

We planned to split the drive up into two days, so we stopped at a hotel late that night somewhere in central Pennsylvania.I went to bed visualizing the various scenarios of how my two races - the 5K and 2 mile - could happen.

However, I never imagined the sinking feeling that I felt the next morning when I learned that the meet was cancelled. Like the hundreds of other athletes who had been looking forward to this meet the entire season, I can only imagine what could have been.

Carter's last race before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3K at indoor states

Once we drove home, it was only a matter of days before schools and businesses closed until further notice. Every day, it seemed like my season was slowly disappearing. First, Penn Relays was cancelled, then the Baldwin Invite, and eventually the entire PIAA season.

At first, it was hard to keep training without the support of my teammates and races to look forward to. I longed for the locker room conversations with my teammates, the late-night bus rides and even the crazy number of push-ups we do at the end of practice. However, throughout this quarantine, I have realized that this is not our new reality and eventually all the little things that I once took for granted will return.

Until then, I will keep doing what I love, and be ready to race again when the time comes.