Today the local Jr. High and High School cross country teams had their first meet of the year. Before they raced they opened it up to the public to race the course as a fund raiser. I had no idea where my running fitness was so I was excited to get out and race. It was a two lap course through one of the local courses. I warmed up jogging one lap of the course with some friends. The course had a lot of ups and downs and turns and some sandy areas and some rutted grassy areas and some overhanging trees to dodge. It was going to be a lot of fun.
We opened up with a quick first mile in 6:02 which felt pretty comfortable. One runner was way out in front but there were about 10 of us together at that point. Quickly many of the pack started to drop off till I was running with 2 other runners (the guys I warmed up with) with 2 runners ahead of us. I hit the halfway point in 9:45 and started to feel my lack of miles this summer. By now it was just two of us running together in 3rd place and we could see the guy in second about 50 yards ahead of us. The second mile was slower in 6:25. At that point I was done. My friend (Jeff) then made a surge and quickly caught and passed the guy in second. I was just in survival mode hoping nobody would pass me from behind. I ran mile 3 in 6:45 and held on till the end for a 4th place finish and 1st in the 40-49 age group and a finishing time of 20:15. Everyone's garmins read 3.2 on the course so I would have probably been sub 20 if it were 3.1, but either way I was a bit disappointed in my time. Oh well that gives me room for improvement before the Turkey Trot. It was fun to race again, but I have a lot of work to do.