After much thought, I decided to enter the Charlotte Running Company XC Race at Myers Park for a couple of reasons.
First, and foremost, I am now a Charlotte Running Company (CRC) Race team member so I need to support their colors. More than just supporting the colors, it is important to support their events. Throw in the fact that several of my new teammates were running. What better way to form new friendships and bond. But most importantly, being seen trump all other reasons because Scott and the rest of the CRC crew have gone above and beyond to make this team happen. Asking only for me to wear their gear and support their events. Besides, I love running and pretty much love racing as much so this entire situation makes it a win – win for both of us.
Second, maybe qually important to me on a personal level; my hamstring has been feeling better so why not try racing again. The soft surfaces i.e. grass and dirt should be just the ticket for a test run. I do have to say that the Myers Park XC course is tough. Way tougher than I figured.
Everyone lined up on one of the Myer Park practice fields for our 8 AM start. Tom fired his starter pistol, and runners sprinted off the line. Not wanting to get caught up in this sea of runners, I let them go. Having run against runners of this caliber in the past, I knew most would come back. The point of return would be where lactic acid burn exceeds desire. By half mile into the race, I was picking off runners. Eyeing Flavia, Sophia, and Steve ahead of me, patience had been my friend. Just before the mile, I passed Flavia. A little after the mile, I passed Steve and Sophia. Another quarter mile in to the race, the 5k race splits from the 2 mile racers. 5k racers make a second loop over the toughest section of the 5k course.
My first mile had need nearly 7 miles while weaving my way through the field. My second mile went by 6:43. Runners were really strung out now. After passing a couple more, I was pretty much left to push myself to the finish.
My last mile went by in 6:28, and I finished the course in 20:43. This placed me 6th overall out of 92 racers.
My Garmin measured the course in 3.11. Given my experience with Garmins and trail races, I would say the course is a good 3.2 miles or maybe 3.3 miles long.
I missed getting back for the awards ceremony, but I found out that I finished 3rd overall or this is what they called out. They had my name but Drew’s time and number. Somehow, they had mixed up our names and numbers in their timing system. I have no idea how this happen. Considering Drew registered race day, and I preregistered. Anyway, I did get the number and time situation figured out but I will have to follow on the awards later.
Overall, I would give this course a B. The shade was nice. There are some tough sections to the course, but there are some very nice sections to run. Having this 5k as a preliminary race to the HS teams running creates such an electric atmosphere. It is a shame more runners don’t take advantage of it.
Look for this race to return my schedule for next year.
Kicking up some XC dirt,
The Cool Down Runner