My First Cross Country Race: A Story

September 4, 2006

It’s been a day since my first cross country race. Amazing how time flys by.

Anyway, my first race of the year (and my career) was Saturday, September 2nd. I got to Delaware Valley College (which looks COMPLETELY different in the summer, by the way) around 9:30 and then sat around for a long while. I ate a turkey sandwich (I know… and later that day I ate a tuna sandwich… I’m just falling apart…), talked to some of my teammates, and generally was dreading the race.

Why? you ask. I don’t know if anyone remembers the weather from Saturday, but it was wet, cold, and windy. The ground was literally mush. You couldn’t find sure footing on about 30% of the five mile course. And wearing really short shorts and a singlet in rain and wind doesn’t amount to much clothing.

But then the run started (around 11:30). The amazing thing is, once the run started, nothing else really mattered. I mean, it was still cold and windy out, and the ground was still like quick sand, but when I chugged along, everything just fell to the wayside. I started way behind everyone else, though I did have a few (maybe three or four) people behind me. Everyone else took off.

I could describe in vivid detail the race. But that could get boring, for you and for me. The best part comes in the end, anyway. After the 3 mile mark, I had no idea how much longer I needed to run. Del Val’s course doesn’t have very clear mile markers. So, I ran for the next two miles and when I came to the last 200m or so, I saw my team cheering me on. I had a lot of energy left in me (I ended up running a 47 minute 8k, nothing all that impressive at all), so I kicked it into high gear for the final stretch. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where to find the final stretch, so I ended up turning around about three or four times before I found the finish area. Unfortunately, just before I went down the straigh-away, I slipped and fell into the mud. No lie. About 30 seconds left of me running, and in that final 30 seconds I manage to slip and fall, covering my entire right side in mud.

Then, I finally crossed the finish marker, walked back to my team, and relaxed. The best finish ever! as I put it.

I figure next time I’ll try to run closer to a 40 minute 8k. And I won’t slip and fall at the end. Though, that part really makes the race memorable. I’ll always remember my first XC race as the one with my right side covered in mud.

I definitely enjoyed the race. Despite the mud and rain and cold. Only five more to go this season. Wow, that’s amazing.

Hope you enjoyed my story.

Namaste.

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One Response to “My First Cross Country Race: A Story”

  1. Dave in the West said

    Damn Dave… that’s sexy. Congratulations, you made it the whole way, I’m so proud of you man. And the falling thing, it just made it that much better. It was like a battle with the elements. Kinda sucks that that was your first race though. Next time should be a little prettier perhaps. Plus, you run a lot faster when its not raining. The ground offers more spring when its dry so you don’t waste all of your energy pushing off. I should know that one because I when I ran in a hurricane, my time was about 1:00 slower. At your distance, that difference will be magnified to almost twice. Plus, you’ll improve since it will be your second race. Well, congrats again. You are now officially an athlete.

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