USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals 6k 26:13

USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals 26:13

The USATF XC Club Nationals is the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. It’s a national championship race sponsored by USATF. This means some of the best of the best professional runners come out and race. The USATF club cross country championships is where a lot of post-collegiate runners come to showcase another fast race. Plus, it’s broken up into open women and men, masters men and women, and even 60+.

Since many professional marathoners decided to sit it out (for the marathon trials), it meant it was a little “less competitive,” which made no difference in my race. This year it was held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.

USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals
Our SJAC team

Anyway, what a day! It was a lot of run to race a cross country race again and in true cross country weather, it was extremely muddy. I can’t begin to explain how challenging it was to run through inches of mud the entire race. There as no hard or compact ground and it was more of a mud run than anything. Was it fun? Of course? Was it maybe my slowest cross country race to date? Maybe.

Anyway, my husband and I arrived at the race around 12:10. It was later than we should have and we rushed to pick up our packet by 12:30. We were one of the very last people too.  I jogged about a quarter of a mile and before I knew it, we were checking back in, and getting into our box.  I wanted and needed more of a warmup but there wasn’t the time. I saw Katelyn Tuohy do a few strides, which was neat. (Katelyn Tuohy is one of the best young female distance runners).

The gun fired at 1:15 and we were off. I knew I would be nowhere near the front and in fact, based on my current fitness would probably be in the back. The first mile was packed and I couldn’t move at all. You couldn’t avoid the mud and it was like your shoe was always getting sucked in. I hit the first mile in 6:41 and was shocked. It didn’t feel that fast.

USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals me running

The next two miles were a blur and I just focused on running as hard as I could. It was sloppy and I couldn’t even get a lot of momentum. I mean, who probably could? I found myself running with a group of girls and we kept each other going. The 2nd mile was the muddiest and my calves were screaming at me. Not in an injured way but a “you’re running through so much mud way.”

USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals me running

I like to think of the 6k as a 5k with a bonus round. At 5k, you’re like “omg this race is not done,” and I just made the best of the last k. It seemed like I woke back up during the race and just powered to the finish. It was misting, and I was hoping to finish strong.

I crossed the USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals finish in 26:13.

USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals Thoughts:

I was hoping to average around 7-minute miles and ended up averaging 7:04. I can’t complain because those conditions were rough and it was like running 7 min miles in a mud run. Some of the pros said they ran 30 seconds per mile slower. Who knows, it was still a lot of fun.

I’m looking forward to continuing to build workouts.  I had so much fun hanging out and seeing people I don’t get to see often.

Thanks to my good friend Linda P. for the photos!

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Questions for you:

Have you ever run a cross country race?

Hae you run the USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals?