Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Master's USA Cross Country Championships 8K

I planned to not write reports for races less than a half marathon this year, but I will make a few exceptions and this race deserves a report.

I ran against some of the best Master's runners in the country and was hoping to not embarrass myself too badly. I knew it wouldn't be pretty even if I was in top shape. I felt pretty good going into this other than feeling out of shape to run an 8K. It was ridiculously cold and I am guessing around 20F with wind chill in the single digits. My feet were numb from walking around before our race. We watched Nancy's race and she brought home the gold for the 50 - 55 year old women. Our male master's team race was at 10:45. Warmed up a bit on the course. The ground was pretty solidly frozen but a few spots feeling slick with the sun warming them up. It snowed enough to cover the ground a bit last night but the sun quickly had melted it away.

I wore 2 long sleeve shirts and my Columbia Track Club shirt over the top. I opted for shorts but if I had brought tights I would have likely worn. I wore some wind shorts underneath the shorts. These shorts were 1.5 inch inseam so pretty skimpy. My legs were fine and wasn't as cold as I thought it might be. The course was divided into Ks and there was a clock at each 2K but used my GPS. My first mile was 6:19 so faster than I expected. I settled into a pace and not a whole lot happened. We had to run 4 loops but it was a curvy course. The middle two loops we had to merge out and then merge inside on the first and last so I was hoping I wouldn't lose track. It wasn't a problem since I had lots of people to follow. I passed a couple guys back and forth and was able to out run them at the end since they were much older than me.

The course was hillier than I expected but the hills were short. My foot didn't bother me during the warmup but was a little painful running at the faster speed on the grass and some uneven ground. The cold and not being in shape were probably my the best excuse for not running as I wanted. The 2nd and 3rd miles were under 7 minutes, 4th mile just over 7 and last under 7 minutes. GPS had 5.1 miles at 34:26. Tough course, but would have liked to run at least 2 minutes faster. We had to wear our age groups on our back and I didn't see any 40 - 44 around me. I did see a lot of 50 and 55 and a few 60 and 65. The reason I didn't see anyone else is I finished DFL in my age group . I did manage to beat all the 70 and 80 year olds. I was 31 of 31 runners in 40 - 44 and 81 of 96 overall. To further rub salt on the wound they had my age-graded results as 91 of 96. I'm glad I ran it and it was fun and I am proud to take last place among this stiff competition. Dan E. on our team was next to last in our age group so I saved him from being last. Our team placed 6th 1 point behind St. Louis. 

Results here

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