Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2016 Racing Season: Pal-Mac XC Booster Club 2.3 Mile Spring Run, May 21, Palmyra, NY

The start at the Pal-Mac XC Booster Club 2.3 Mile Spring Run.
A week after my first race of the 2016 season, the Thom Bugliosi 13K, I drove over to Palmyra, NY, for the Palmyra-Macedon, (Pal-Mac) XC Booster Club 2.3 Mile Spring Run. The race was a fundraiser for the modified, (junior high), and high school XC teams at Pal-Mac and was organized and put on by the coaches, including my friend Ben, who invited me to the race.  This was a low cost, ($5), traditional XC race on a course around the grounds at the middle and high school properties.  The bibs were simple yellow strips with our registration info that we pinned onto our shirts.  There were 24 of us ranging in age from younger kids to older adults.  Weather was nice, perhaps a little humid.

The course started out looping around some of the various playing fields on the edge of the middle school with one short downhill.  As I approached this, the leader had already ascended back up the hill and was running the other way.  (I would later find out he was a young man on the XC team and likely will grow into a great runner.)  As we ran uphill, we came back around the baseball field and behind the track/football stands on a paved stretch and past the water station for the first time.

Then we headed down a little hill before going back up a steep one and into the parking lot connecting us to the field where the lacrosse team was practicing.  Fortunately, as we ran along the side of the field, they paid little attention to us, and I didn't get beaned in the head!!!  Then, after running behind one of the buildings and turning around, we went back past them on the other side of the field where they were practicing and downhill to the woods alongside the lower baseball field.  Finally we ascended uphill, past the water stop for the second time and onto the track for the last 200-300 meters.  At this time I was running about 5th but there wasn't quite enough space left to catch either 3rd or 4th.  The three of us seemed to be perfectly separated just right to ensure we couldn't catch each other.  

Finishing 5th on the track as my friend Ben calls out the time.
Even thought I was 5th overall, 2nd place was a man in my age group, so I missed an age group award, but had a great time, finishing in just under 20 minutes for a course around 2.3 miles. It's been a while since I raced that hard and fast, but it was good in the end.  They had some bananas for the finishers and you could buy inexpensive snacks at the concession stand where the profits also went to the team fundraiser.  The kid from the XC team took first overall, finishing in 15 minutes and change.  Ben, his fiancee, family, and fellow coach did a great job putting on a simple old school XC race and raising around $200 to help the team, not bad considering that it was done on a shoestring budget and without a ton of PR. Looking forward to the next one and bringing some of the family along with me!

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