Thoroughly enjoyed the Ed Lowery XC Bash this morning at Bells Mill Park in Chesapeake. It turned out to be cross country at its best, with a rain-soaked course and several muddy areas to run through. Of course, Ryan Carroll, coach of the Western Branch XC team, made light work of the course and the conditions and romped home in just over 16 minutes. This is Ryan at about the half way mark making it look oh so easy:
I had a solid race considering my 6 and 8 mile training runs just a day earlier. The first mile felt very comfortable in 5:55 and I had fun chatting to high school senior Connor Doan who’d been up all night at a graduation party. How you can run that easily with no sleep is beyond me…
The second mile was also fairly comfortable (5:59), although towards the second mile marker I could tell my legs were starting to get fatigued. Here’s a short video of me running alongside Connor and a few other high schoolers:
Mile three I had to work really hard to stay under 6:00 per mile pace. By this time Connor had left me for dust (actually, left me for mud would be more appropriate) and I was left to battle it out to the finish pretty much on my own. I finished in 18:44 – good enough for 7th overall and 1st in the 40-44 age group. Not bad considering Friday’s training and the challenging cross country conditions.
The race was in honor of Ed Lowery, a local coach who lost his battle with cancer last year.