The Eurocross is a GREAT race! Forget about your time in this one and have fun! This is a very family friendly and spectator friendly (but not necessarily runner friendly!) race. Today, the water was DEEP in the creek crossing. It was well above waist high on me and above chest high on some of the kids running it. Nice!
I ran 23:11 for 17th of 180 overall in the 5k. In the 8k, I ran a 36:54 for 10th of 75 overall and 3rd in the 30-39 age group. The overall results for the 5k, the age group results for the 5k, the overall results for the 8k, and the age group results for the 8k are available at the HTC website.
Congratulations to my friend Madelyn Patton for picking up two Female Masters wins today. She is having a great year and is becoming the perennial female masters winner in the area.
The race director said at the start of the 5k that the turnout today doubled the record turnout for this race!!! WOW!! There was a good turnout, and for good reason. The weather was neither too hot nor humid this morning (though the heat is here this afternoon).
There were a few Athens runners there. I had time to visit with Matt and his son Jacob, Lanier, Scott, and Mark Y. before the start of the race. I also got an opportunity to meet some runners whose names I've seen in results of other races. Shane Oneill keeps getting faster! My times this year are close to his last year. I hope I can improve half as much over the next year as he has over the past year! It was good to meet him. Also, it was good to meet James Falcon. We had a little good natured competition in both races. He whipped me in the 5k and I edged him out in the 8k. It was great fun!
My girls weren't feeling well Thursday and Friday, so we decided not to let them run, much to their disappointment because they felt better today. We're all still a little tired from Disney. They would have loved this race!
The 5k is a 1k loop that is run 5 times. My Garmin measured this well short at about 2.94 miles instead of 3.1. There are two creek crossings, several hay bales to jump, and a short single track section through the woods on each loop. I didn't really start this race agressively and didn't really push as hard as I should on a 5k. I was just having fun. I'm sure I can shave some time off of this 5k time next year. I hit the loops in 4:32, 9:16, 14:00, 18:41, and 23:11 (if memory serves). The 3rd and 4th loops were drudgery!
It took until the 3rd loop to figure out where to cross the creeks. I really struggled with the creek crossings on the first two laps. And knowing was only half the battle! I still had to execute! Knowing that there was a natural step up and actually hitting it in stride were different! The biggest surprise to me was how much the creek crossings took out of me. Even though you have to walk through them, it drains you! Walking is no break! Then, you have to climb out of them.
There were so many runners, that I really don't know who I passed and who passed me. I didn't start with the leaders because I knew I wouldn't stay there. I lapped several runners, and I got passed a few times. I didn't know anyone who passed me. I came up on Lanier during the 3rd lap, I believe. I lapped Jacob and Matt on one of the creeks, but I don't remember which lap.
This was Jacob's first race ever, and he did a great job! He placed 3rd in his 0-9 age group! Congratulations Jacob!!
GREAT FUN!! I'll go at this harder next year unless I'm running with my kids.
The 8k is a 2k loop that is run 4 times. It has 3 creek crossings per loop and shares much of the 1k loop with the 5k course. There is a steep descent to a drainage ditch and a couple more hills on the 8k course.
I decided to run a bit faster in this race. I started at about the pace I wanted to run and pretty much held this pace through the race. I hit the loops in 9:12, 18:20, 27:50, and 36:55, if memory serves. All of those laps felt about the same, but I did finish with a sprint to break 37:00.
I started with Matt and we stayed together through the crowded start. The steep descent to the ditch with the crowd was tricky. There was a rope to use, and I did on the first and second loops, but decided that it just slowed me down. Just before the first creek crossing (the only new creek crossing) I was developing a small lead on Matt. I knew that if I wanted to finish ahead of him that I would have to get a lead early because I have no chance to out-sprint him. After the second creek crossing, I saw Scott up ahead. I was able to reel him in up the hill to the railroad track and separate a bit down the hill to the creek.
From that point on, I saw James ahead of me, and I wanted to keep him close so that I could make a move at some point. He kept a steady pace, and I was only able to slightly close the gap on each loop. Nobody else passed me, and I only passed runners that I was lapping from this point on. On the second loop, I had to stop and tie my shoe just before the first creek crossing. I considered leaving it untied, but decided that it wasn't worth the risk of falling of losing my shoe. James opened up a little more of a lead (obviously) here, but I was determined to catch back up.
On the third loop, I had all but eliminated the gap between James and me. Going down the hill to the last creek crossing on this loop, I was even with him and tried to make my move going into the creek. That was a really dumb mistake. I fell in the creek, showed James the step up (by missing it) and took too much effort getting through and out of the water. I had to walk a few muddy steps to recover and James regained his lead.
On the fourth loop, I was able to get by James on a flat section just before the first creek crossing. I was concerned that I was too early becuase there was almost a mile left to go. I thought that he might be able to make a move later in the race, but I was able to hold on. I really kicked it in through the woods and sprinted from there around the sharp turns to the finish.
James later joked that if he had known that age group placement were at stake, he would have held my head under the water when I tried to pass and fell in the creek on the 3rd loop. :) It was good to meet him and he was a great sport before, during, and after the races.
GREAT, FUN RACE!!! This is a must repeat!