Andrew, Seth, and I headed to St. Louis for the weekend, where the boys would compete and watch the countries best distance runners race for the title to represent the US in the World Championship race in Poland later this year. To start the morning off Seth participated in the High School Competition. The day was quite cold, barely reaching the mid 30’s. This course can be viewed as both good and bad. I love loops. Therefore I love courses like these. However, it is only a 2k loop and very curvy with lots of rolling hills. The ground was no longer frozen which made the course exceptionally muddy and slick in some areas. Going into the race we had a time to shoot for, 5:20 pace. I figured if he can do it in practice he can do it on a slippery and windy cross-country course. Seth crossed the finish line in a time of 13:28 (5:26 pace). He was 20th place which earned him top honors. Only the top 25 were recognized. About an hour after Seth competed, it was time for the Junior Men’s race. Andrew would be racing against the top college freshman in the country. Only a handful of high school students participated in this race. Both Andrew and I figured it would be a good experience to race against college runners since he will be in college in less than a year. The goal for Andrew was to run 5:30 pace for the 8 kilometer race. That would put him around 27:20 for a finishing time. He ran a great race finishing in a time of 28:00. Just a tad shy of our goal. It was the farthest Andrew has ever race. I am very impressed the outcome. Andrew finished strong. I must say it was probably one of his best finishing kicks I have seen in a while.
After both runners finished their races it was time to watch the Men and Women’s Championship race. Many of the USA’s best distance runners were in St. Louis ready to compete for top titles. On the women’s side, Shalange Flanagan, Kim Conley, Sara Hall (reigning champion), and Deena Kastor were just a few of the top contenders. The top Men competitors were Dathan Ritzenhein, Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Derrick. As we watched both of these races i notices a major difference between the younger runners and the professionals was not only the obvious blistering pace, but their tactics. I have never seen anything like it. But then again nothing ever truly compares to the real life experience.
The day was amazing. I know this race has motivated both Andrew and Seth to keep working hard.
After Seth’s race.
Seth Showing off his Backpack.
Andrew smiling before his race
Andrew Racing Strong
Anissa (me), Seth, and the Ledgenday Coach Joe Newton
Top 2 women’s Finishers, Shalane Flanagan and Kim Conley
Deena Kastor talking to Sara Hall after the race. She placed 3rd. and will represent the US at Worlds
Dathan is in the lead!
Dathan, Matt, and Chris
David Jankowski (former OSU runner) and Seth
Seth and Ryan Hall (Olympian)
Ryan Vail (former OSU runner) and Seth