Race Report: USATF 12K Winter Cross Country Nationals



Race: USATF Winter Cross Country Nationals, 12K
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Weather: 25F, 5-10mph wind, light snow on and off

It's not every race you get to try and not get lapped by the likes of Bob Kennedy. The race surface
was very poor...Several inches of snow/ice/powder over rough grass. I had the longest spike in that
I own and was still sliding around. I was coming off a very hard week of training (94 miles) so I
was not expecting to have much speed. I was expected to be the slowest of the 6 on my team so I
lined up in back and got spit out the back of the pack on the gun. I immediately started working my
way forward, finishing the first lap of the 2k looped course in 6:29. I passed two of my teammates
during the second lap, running that one in 6:44 as I thought I went out too fast. The third and
fourth laps were just maintaining, though I did manage to pick off 3-4 guys as I ran 6:49/6:45.
Going into the fifth lap I spotted another teammate, and put on a push to catch him. I did it just
before ending the fifth lap in 6:50. I should say that just about everyone was slowing as the race
progressed, and not from exhaustion. It was so cold that the snow was not packing; the spikes were
tearing up what had been hard-pack into fine "sand", making the course slower with every lap. Going
into the last lap I saw one more guy within reach. I pushed hard to catch him, doing so with 1.5k
to go. I tried to surge away from him into the wind, but he tucked in and drafted. I continued
trying to break him as I never trust my feeble kicks. By .5k to go he was panting, and I gave it
all for the finish kick and dusted him...rare thing for me. Crossed the line in 6:44 for a time of
40:22. Wow was I tired. It was a unique experience...and Bob Kennedy didn't lap me. He finished
when I had 1.5k to go. :) Andy Hass