The Rocky’s Run 5k & 8k brought back a lot of college memories for me. I’ve done a lot of trail races since college, but this is the first “cross country” race. So many things about it were similar to a cross country meet.
Location – a golf course, we ran on a few golf courses throughout my career, most notably the Notre Dame Invitational.
Format – this event was a 5k and 8k. The women’s USATF race was the 5k and the men’s was the 8k – just like in college. NCAA men run a 10k championship race, my alma mater was NAIA so we stayed at the 8k all year.
Weather – this was like an early season race, warm and sunny! My first collegiate 8k was at Purdue on an extremely hot morning.
Team – This was part of the USATF Team XC series. We cheered for our female teammates (and Kirk who ran the double so he could score in the Grand Prix) and they cheered for us. All of the other factors heightened the team feeling.
Ok, but what about the race? This was my hardest workout since Twin Cities so I pretty much had no expectations going into it. When you have no expectations you can come out happy! I ran a 34:40 which is just at 7 minute pace and we actually cut off a little piece of the course. How does a golf cart mislead the race leaders?? I finished 44/87, just missing the top 50%. But I was a 1:20 faster than the average!
The course was fairly hilly, nothing major but lots of little ups and downs that wear on you over 5 miles. The course had a lot of turns and made numerous loops (see picture). Since this was my first year here I had no idea where in the world we would be going next, except for seeing the string of people ahead of me, occasionally.
I think I may have been a little dehyrdated. The sunny conditions took some out of me. The nicest thing though was how short the race felt compared to the marathon. And the rest of the day I wasn’t sore or tired. What a nice feeling. It did help that I had an hour to lounge around after the race talking with Nathan and Mike, while we waited for AAA to retrieve Nathan’s car keys for him!
Another little highlight of the morning was the fact that the Rocky’s Run raises money for the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Cross Country Team‘s scholarship fund. After the 5k it was announced that their Varsity team won Big Ten Championships! You can read more about the story of Rocky here.
[tags] Rockys Run, University of Minnesota, XC [/tags]