XC championship and Turkey Trot reports

I feel very behind in my blogging but I suppose that is to be expected with all the holiday travel.  I’m going to give you two race reports in one post so I can get caught up and move on with my life.  First up is the USATF-Niagara 8k XC championship/Pete Glavin Upstate New Your Cross Country Series championship or as I like to call it USATFN8KXCC&PGUSNYXCC day for short.

Championship Day

This was the first season RKR hadn’t won any of the races leading up to championship day.  That of course means we had not won any victory beer, which was sad.  None the less a spirited and ready to race Roadkill team showed up at Black Creek Park late Sunday morning.  We new that if we finished in the top 3 this race we could win cash, and as everyone knows cash can easily converted into beer.  And beer bought with victory money is victory beer, and everyone also knows that nothing tastes as sweet as victory beer.  For the final race we had Kenny, Brett, Jeff, Evan, Joe and me.  After a warmup that consisted mostly of running around the lake by the finish line watching the ladies come in we lined up on the starting field to do our prerace cheer.  There were 6 men’s open teams and 140 runners competing in the 8k to lap race.  The course was flat, and would have been very fast if not for the mud.  We were the last of 10+ races that all used some part of the course that morning (The Junior Olympic races were held earlier that day) and by the time we went off the already soft course had been completely shredded.

Kenny and Brett leading the charge.

Kenny and Brett lead the way with a fast start while I settled into a comfortable pace and stayed at the back of a pack of runners I knew I would have to beat if we wanted to win any of the prize money that was up for grabs.

Taking it easy at the start

Once we had completed the first loop I started making moves to pick off the competition.  Every time we hit a grassy patch were the footing wasn’t awful I managed to pass another runner or two, but a pack of 5 runners stayed stubornly ahead of me.  Kenny and Brett were just a bit ahead of me, but I didn’t know it until the finish, and I assumed Jeff and Evan were somewhere close behind. As we came out of the woods and began the 600 meter kick around the lake to the finish I managed to pass 3 of the 5 runners in the pack ahead of me, but had no idea if it would be enough.  I caught my breath in time to cheer in Jeff, Evan and Joe and then the long wait for the results began.

Final Results (link to results)

  1. Genesee Valley Harriers $250
  2. Syracuse Chargers $150
  3. Roadkill Racing $100 (and a case of beer)
  4. High Noon
  5. Syracuse Track Club
  6. GVH#2

It was a long and difficult season, but we fought the good fight all year and in the end were rewarded with both cash and beer (still not sure what we won the case of beer for).  In a few weeks we will meet to wrap up the season-with food, drinks and a few well earned awards.  I’m looking forward to getting to race on some roads in the coming months and expect Roadkill Racing to clean up again during the Freezeroo Series which starts on December 8th.

 Turkey Trot

Powering up the 400′ climb to start the Turkey Trot.

Going into this years Turkey Trot I had high hopes of finally breaking 27 minutes for 5 miles (my PR is 27:00.38).  I even went so far as to get a deep tissue massage on Monday to help me recovery in time for the race.  Thankgiving morning was as perfect a late November morning as a runner could hope for, 35 degrees sunny and not a breath of wind.  I knew I would have plenty of company at this years race as several college runners, and recent college grads were signed up for the race.  We started out the first mile in a reasonable 5:35, I say reasonable because the last half of the first mile is a very steep climb.  I was happy with the split but knew it felt like to much work, all the bounce I had in my legs on Sunday was gone, and the chance of it returning before we had to turn around and run more hills was unlikely.  We hit the 2.5 mile turn around in 13:47 I knew from previous years that it was possible to run back much faster than out (I had twice run the last mile in 4:50) so I just had to push the gradual 1.5 miles back to the crest of the big hill and I could fly to down the hill to the finish and break 27 minutes… or I could competely fall apart and run the 4th mile in 6 minutes which is what I did.

In pain down the hill.

I still managed a 4:50 final mile for a finishing time of 27:18 good for 4th place (full results here.) While disappointed I didn’t set a new PR I was happy with the effort, and think I looked rather stylish in Hazel’s leg wamers, although they were a bit short.