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.
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.
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.”
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!
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.
Questions for you:
Have you ever run a cross country race?
Hae you run the USATF 2019 XC Club Nationals?