This race served as the USATF-MN Cross Country Championships. As with collegiate championships this year it was a 10k. Fitting for the mid-November race, it was cold and snowy when I awoke. By the time we got to the race course, another golf course, the snow had stopped falling but the ground was very wet and soggy.
The course was 4 laps meandering around the golf course hitting a few good sized hills each time and rarely more than a couple hundred yards of flat terrain. Knowing the course would be hilly and wet I secured a new pair of cross country spikes. They did a good job for me. I didn’t slip and fall and I don’t really remember sliding at all while climbing the hills. The Nike Zoom Waffle XC 7 did an excellent job. With the waffle it is only a 4 spike bed. My toes hurt a little bit from jamming but I think that is due to the hills and I should have cut my toe nails!
Each lap was 2,500 meters long and the only distance marker on the course was the 1 mile mark. So if you wanted to do that math that’d be 1600 meters which means that each lap after passing it you had about 900 meters to get to the finish line. This was helpful on the last lap. I felt really good at the start and went out with a few guys from my team. We sorted around a little and ended up with a pack of 3 until about midway into the 3rd lap. At that point I started dropping back a bit. I tried not to let them gap me too much and we all finished within 20 seconds of each other. It was a little disheartening to see Chris pull off the course in front of me during the 3rd lap as I was starting to get tired, but I struggled on and it looks like he’ll be ok.
I didn’t have much of any kick at the end but the finish was also kind of uphill. The cold made it a miserable day. On the way home a bank thermometer said “32” so it was right around the freezing mark for the run. Most of us ran in long sleeves and shorts. Once you got moving your legs weren’t too cold, until you stepped in a puddle or something! There was no precipitation for our race, it was snowing/sleeting for the women’s 5k.
The course had 2 bad spots. One was over a 90 degree turn around a tree that was on the edge of the rough. The other was a hairpin turn around 500 meters to the finish. Both of these caused me to slow down a little, even though I tried running them a little wide.
I finished the race in 43:09 which is 6:57 pace. (That is faster than last week’s 6:59 pace for a shorter run!) I was 6th on our 3rd place team and 32nd out of 39 overall. The winning time was 33:23 by Christopher Erichsen of Collegeville TC. As I was coming around the hairpin turn on my 3rd lap I saw the gator in front of the leaders and vowed not to let myself get lapped. (I didn’t!) Our women’s team placed 4th in their 5k (which was 2 laps of the same course, run after our race).
[tags] USATF-MN, Cross Country, XC [/tags]