Race Report - 2012 Alabama A&M Cross Country 5K

6/10/2012 09:35:00 AM

Go Green...or just a clever way to reuse/recycle race numbers?
This was the first time I was in town to run the Alabama A&M race and it was perfect timing. In its 41st edition, the course was shortened from 10K to 5K. In addition, the new RD James Falcon changed the course from a road course to a cross country course. If some folks were hoping to find a course flatter than the 10K road course, they were disappointed. The 5K had a couple of surprises in store for its participants and they were both placed in the final mile of the race.

I arrived just after 7AM after receiving a couple of text messages from Jason Shattuck about how to find the race start. I had never been on the A&M campus except for my wife´s Master´s degree graduation a couple of years back. Sure enough, I drove right past the race start even with Jason´s instructions. Luckily, I spotted a couple of runners in my rearview mirror, just in time to step on the brakes and ask for directions.

Jason and quite a few other familiar faces were already there wondering was this new race course had in store for us. After chatting with a few folks about there upcoming ultra adventures, we got ready to line up. The race started at the old historic A&M football field. We would return here to finish the race after running a final lap around the field. The race started at 7:30AM sharp and after leaving the field we turned left on the road before getting sent onto the ¨cross country¨ part of the course about a quarter mile further down. The race would take us across grass fields towards the lower area of the campus and towards Chase Road. The first mile was rather fast, which was expected considering that it was mostly downhill. I knew I would pay for that sooner rather than later. Sooner arrived just half a mile later. Jason started to pull away from me rather fast and I decided not to give chase. Truthfully, I was too exhausted to give chase, which is ironic, since we were now running along Chase Road.

Mile 2 was 30 seconds slower and still reasonably fast for a cross country course, but I knew the worst (or best;-) was yet to come. We would climb back to were the race started and rather than doing it in one stretch, we would go up, down and then up again. What a great way to finish this race. When I entered the football field with one lap to go, I was spent. I had backed off a little in pace, because I didn´t want to end up dry heaving at the finish line again. I finished at a steady pace for 16th overall (out of 137) and 2nd age group (out of 21). There were quite a few familiar faces finishing ahead of me today, another reason to train a little harder;-)

Receiving my age group award while supporting Germany for EURO 2012:-)

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