Finish Time: 18:49
Average Pace: 6:04/mile
Final Place: 62 out of 595
This was my first time ever running a cross country race, and I loved it. The purpose of this was to serve as a tune-us for my upcoming Chicago Marathon. As I was heading into my taper period, the idea was to reinforce my ability to maintain pace and turnover as I enter a period of reduced mileage. My marathon plan called for a race distance of 8-10k; but due to schedule constraints, this XC 5k would have to do.
I entered this race hoping to be able to comfortably run consistant splits in the 19-minute territory. It was a nighttime race, cross country style, and I was completely unfamiliar with the course.
Fortunately, I was able to get to the course an hour or so early. I retrieved my bib, ran into a few run friends and spent some time warming up and stretching.
cross country races start with a wide start line (perhaps 100 or so people across and 7-10 rows deep). The start of the race is a mad dash for positioning before the course narrows to 20-30 feet wide after a quarter mile or so.
It was tricky trying to get out fast enough to secure a good position without going out too fast and blowing up later in the race. I found that balance and got through the start with an initial position around 115 or so.
The course was over grass with a two sections that included a series of jumps over hay stacks (cross country stuff). I ran this race methodically at ~6:00/mile pace. Due to my conservative start and consistent effort, I spent the entire race passing people without ever being passed... not once. My splits are below
So the race ended up going just as planned. I finished in 18:49 and felt great post-race. Next up Chicago Marathon, where I will hopefully mirror the same sort of consistency in my splits.