USATF Cross Country Club Nationals – November 19th

Somehow I ended up in Rochester NY on November 19th lining up with 350 other guys ready to start the 2005 USATF Club Cross Country National Championship. The one 10k I had done previously was the Groundhog run in Kansas City; I had thought it was too far to travel for such a short race, I never would have dreamed I would travel all the way to Rochester NY for my second 10k. My 10k PR from the Groundhog run was only 40:42… Yet there I was, ready to race. Well, at least as ready to race as I could be for someone who has had Achilles tendonitis in both Achilles for the last two months and has been running a maximum of 20 miles a week…

There were six of us guys from Columbia as well as six girls that had made the trip. The girls had just finished their race as they had started at 1:00; we were running at 1:45.

A week earlier the six of us guys had run a 5k in Columbia. There had been 18 people in that race; I finished in 17:45 in 9th place. I wasn’t too disappointed with the time, especially with my injuries, but finishing in 9th place made me realize I would be way out of my league at Club Nationals.

The time reaches 1:45 and the gun goes off. The runners surge, I started running. This was only my 3rd time wearing spikes, and the first time in a race. So I started out conservatively, and quickly found myself behind just about everyone. After the first 300 yards, the pain in my Achilles began to subside so I tried to stay with Matt Dreier. Matt is definitely faster than I am, but he’s the closest to my ability on the team, if he had a bad day and I had a good day, I might be able to stay with him.

The first kilometer mark came and went at 3:38. At this pace, I would run a 36 minute 10k, definitely a little faster than I should be running, but everyone else was running even faster, first mile in 5:48… Matt began pulling away somewhere around this point. For the next few kilometers I tried to keep him in sight at least, but eventually I couldn’t see him anymore.

Three kilometers came at 11:10. With my limited training, I knew my endurance would be suspect. The course was a 2k loop, with the best runners probably going under 30 minutes; I knew it was likely I would get lapped. By the 4k mark it was a certainty as I heard the announcer say the lead group was already at the 5k mark. Several minutes later I reached the 5k mark, 18:51 into the race, around 6:05 per mile at this point. This was probably the toughest part of the race for me. Not only was that a slow 5k time, the leaders were less than 1 kilometer behind me and I was only half way through the race. However, I had been slowly picking off slower runners. So I resigned myself to getting lapped and making sure as many other guys as I could pass would get lapped first. In the next two kilometers, I passed around 4 more people and at the 7k mark I was finally lapped.

Between 5k and 7k, I had been chasing a guy in green, Brendan. I had finally caught him, and on the hills I would pass him, but on the down hills he would pass me and pull away. I made it my goal in that final 2k to beat him. However, between 7 and 8k he started to pull away for good it seemed. On the back half of the course, a muddy section along a river, he caught and passed two people. By the 9k mark I had passed the same two people and had worked my way back up to him. Knowing this was my last time going up hill, I picked up the pace in an effort to drop him for good and I slowly began to pull away.

The final 800 or so was a flat horseshoe shape with 400 yard into the wind and 400 with the wind to the finish line. A little worried that I would fade into the wind, I slowed up thinking Brendan would catch back up and I could pace off him, let him break the wind. Instead, a runner from the Wisconsin track club passed me so I tucked in behind him. As we rounded the final corner, he began pulling away. With 400 yards to go, he had about a 20 yard gap on me. At first I thought I had no chance, but then decided what the heck and went for it. So I went all out and tried a big kick. I pulled up even, but he out leaned me at the end…

293        Ben Schoener, 19, Grand Blanc, MI           38:18    6:10  Wisconsin T C
294   221  Ernest Rigdon, 32, Columbia, MO             38:18    6:10  Columbia T C
295   222  Brendan Brady, 25, Kenmore, NY              38:27    6:11  Checkers A C

1K – 3:38
1M – 5:48
3K – 11:10
4K – 14:57
5K – 18:51
6K – 22:45
8K – 30:44
9K – 34:43
10K – 38:15

Men's Team
27. Columbia T C
   72  Matthew Laye, 24, Livermore, CA             32:28    5:14
   86  Andrew Norton, 24, Columbia, MO             32:46    5:16
  160  Ted Zderic, 33, Columbia, MO                34:22    5:32
  166  Patrick Hanson, 21, Columbia, MO            34:37    5:34
  213  Matthew Dreier, 30, Columbia, MO            37:04    5:58
  221  Ernest Rigdon, 32, Columbia, MO             38:18    6:10
Time = 2:51:15     Places = 697

Women's Team
20. Columbia T C
   49  Kimberly Moore, 25, Columbia, MO           22:17    5:58
   76  Jillian Petersen, 22, Columbia, MO         22:54    6:08
   87  Alison Hodgson, 26, Columbia, MO           23:17    6:15
   93  Melissa Fleenor, 26, Columbia, MO          23:27    6:17
  122  Beth Luebbering, 26, Columbia, MO          25:31    6:50
Time = 1:57:25     Places = 427

posted at 19:16:17 on 11/27/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


merritt wrote:

almost three months now and still no report on NEMO? I know I saw you there–did I miss that one?
12/02/05 19:10:22

Tony Rigdon wrote:

hmm, I guess I am a little behind on these race reports… I’ll do NEMO tonight… Maybe I’ll shorten them up a little and get caught up… I’ve had several people tell me I’m a little slow on these things, part of the problem is I’m a little long winded, I’ll work on that…
12/08/05 20:19:37

Unknown wrote:

Real men dont shave their legs!!
12/26/05 13:26:16

Guest wrote:

Hmm, tell that to Lance Armstrong, the only 4 time US SportsMAN of the year…
12/29/05 11:21:30