Monday, October 25, 2010

Mayor's Cup Recap

Photo by Julian Saboisky

Sunday, Oct 24, I took part in my second ever B.A.A. Mayors Cup cross country race at Franklin Park (Boston,MA), which happens to be my main training grounds for the past 10 years.
My history on this course include:

2005-26:19, 54th at New England college champs (ran 15:19 in 5k 6 months later)
2006-24:51, 5th at New England college champs (ran 14:39 in 5k 6 months later)
2008-24:36, 2nd at New England college champs (ran 14:05 in 5k 3 months later)
2009-24:23, 7th at Mayors Cup (ran 13:56 in5k 3 months later)
2010-24:06, 5th at Mayors Cup

***2007 was left out because of extreme weather
***course was made longer after 2008

I can't really recall this race in play by play format, but I 'll try to describe what happened in the front. This race reminded me a lot of the 10k championship race I ran at D2 NCAA's last spring. The leader for the most part (a runner from Westchester TC) kept doing fartleks, sprints, float, sprints for mot of the race, which took a lot from myself and BAA teammate Tim Ritchie. We went out in roughly 4:39 first mile, with the second pack not too far back. However, the there was a big difference in effort there. While the second pack was running even for most of the race, the front pack was surging back and forth and I was caught up in all that taking a lot of energy from my legs. The fastest mile rep I have done this season was a 4:54, now never mind going 4:39 on a XC course while fartlegging it! The entire race kept the same format as the first mile In the woo sections, the leader go interchange between 4:40's and 5:10's - causing major shock to the legs.

I am unsure how to feel about my performance. I am satisfied with how I fought back many times to get in the lead pack after being dropped. I am also satisfied that I improved on both placement and times from last year. On the other hand, I feel that if the race was more evenly paced (in effort) I would have performed better. I can only use this is as a good test to championship races that I need to be tougher mentally and trust that I AM just as good as the leaders to match whatever pace or surge they throw.

Finally, this past week, I had the opportunity to hold the finisher's tape, present the awards and be a guest speaker at the Boston Middle School championships, which is hosted by my club - the BAA. Being a xc runner from an inner city school is very difficult. No one wants to run xc. It's just not the cool thing to do around here. The BAA understands that and that is why they keep trying to bring and introduce the sport to city kids at younger ages. I appreciate that and am thankful that the BAA does it. If it was not for this initiative I would have never been introduced to the sport of XC when I took part in the championships in 2000 (see biography). I thank the BAA for doing their part and now I am happy to be able to contribute back to the running club's success. The club had a great performance in winning the Mayor's Cup and is looking good for the USATF club nats on Dec. 11. in Charlotte, NC. When was the last time BAA had 3 guys under the age of 24 in the top 10 at Mayors Cup? I am excited also because there are some very young and fast runners on the team, which means the teams future could be even better.