|Unfortunately, I only had time to run the 5K distance.|
I arrived 30 minutes before race start, giving myself and my lonely supporter (my son Mace) enough time to check out the course. There were two courses, a 1K loop to be run 5 times for the 5K race, and a 2K loop for the 8K race. Both would cross a creek multiple times, making both events extremely challenging and definitely not a place to go for a PR. The 5K course would have racers cross one waist deep section of the creek as well as a more shallow knee deep section. I would find out soon enough how I was going to handle that.
I lined up at the starting line just before 8AM. While there were over 150 runners at the starting line, I only recognized but a few folks. Jason was one of the familiar faces and I decided to stay just behind him early on and to just let him go, if I perceived my effort to be too strenuous. I wanted to have fun, I didn't care about anything else. Of course, as soon as I crossed the first creek and I saw my son cheering for me, I knew I couldn't just walk it in, I had to at least make an effort for a respectable finish. I kept my sight on Jason, but I wasn't going to be too concerned if he pulled away.
Before I knew it I only had one loop left to run. I still saw Jason, but he had pulled ahead. I decided to push a little on the final quarter mile. When I crossed the finish line, I had completed my first Eurocross 5K in just over 23 minutes, just about 30 seconds behind Jason, good enough for 14th overall and 3rd in my age group (40-49). Jason was able to add another top ten finish to his resume (well done, buddy!).
Hopefully, my son will be able to run this race himself next year, if soccer tryouts fall on a different weekend. I know I can't wait to do this race again next year, when I plan to do both the 5K and 8K distances. I haven't had this much fun at a 5K in a long time, if ever. Thanks to the RD and the volunteers for putting on such a fun event.
|A perfect coaster for the post race summer ale;-)|