This was kind of my first foray into cross-country racing other than a few tris with some off-road running, and I really enjoyed it. The start was pretty crowded, I would say I probably walked for a good 3-4 minutes and jogged for another 1-2 before I could really start running, and I wasn't even that far back. I can only imagine how long the folks in the back were walking. The first 1.5 miles or so were pretty tame on paved and unpaved roads and fields. Then the course snaked through some larger hills and into the woods. There were some decent sized hills and the trail was sort of slippery. I think the first creek crossing occured at around mile 3, and there was a little bit of a backup here. I was really moving toward the front, so I wish I had seeded myself closer to the front at the start. I think I could have knocked 3 or 4 minutes off my time by not having to fight through so many bodies. More trails, and the first hill that required a rope ascent were next. The next few miles seemed like non-stop creek crossings. Following the last of the creek crossings was a really tough hill. At the top of the hill was a reasonably flat stretch to the finish, which was uphill.
What would you do differently?:
Do some cross-country running before the race. Seed myself closer to the front. Get there a little earlier. Walk from the hotel.
Walked around a little. Drank some chocolate milk and hot cider. Had hot beef stew :) and a donut.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
10 lbs. overweight currently, lack of cross-country experience, genetics.
I wasn't sure what to expect coming in, but this is a first class event and it might be on my must-do event list every year as long as I'm in Iowa.
Last updated: 2009-12-08 12:00 AM
40F / 4C
Overall Rank = 334/6690
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 62/557
What an awesome way to spend the weekend before Thanksgiving! Left work around 4 to make the drive to Des Moines in time for packet pickup Friday night, then checked into my hotel. This was interesting, I went to the room they gave me, opened the door, and found an old ornery guy in his underwear with piles and piles of paper all over the room. Oops, I got out of there. That was awkward...and hilarious. After I got the right room, I threw my stuff in there and grabbed dinner and hit up Target for Powerade and something to eat for breakfast in the morning. Got to sleep at a decent time and slept well. Morning of the race I got up, ate, dressed, and left the hotel around 7:20, thinking an hour 40 would be plenty of time to travel the 1 mile to the race site and park. That was until I got to the freeway and realized I would be sitting in non-moving traffic for about an hour 20. I wish I would have just walked, it would have been so much faster. By the time I parked and got to the start line, guess how much time I had to spare? That's right, 4 minutes! Now that's cutting it close!
Ummm...does running from my car to the start line count?