I just ran the NCAA division 1 cross country championships in terrethaut, Indiana. The race was 10k with all of the country’s best teams and runners competing. This was the 5th and final race of the short cross country season.
We arrived in Indiana a few days early to prepare for the race. On our first day we ran 8 miles along a canal at the butler university campus, a university where a few of my friends attend. I felt great throughout the run and was excited to race. The day of the race was bitterly cold with temperatures below freezing plus wind chill. To add to the cold, it had been raining all week in Indiana meaning the course was wet and muddy. All familiar conditions having ran 5 cross country seasons in Scotland!
The race set of hard as expected. The start was an 800m straight with 250 runners all fighting for positions before the first turn. From then on the race was a bit of a blur. I was constantly passing or getting passed for the first 5k until the field began to spread out. From then on I was able to get into a rhythm and focus on runners ahead. Before long I was moving up the field and beginning to pass team mates. From 5k to 8k I’d managed to pass 2 of my team mates placing me 4th in the team. This was a bit of a shock but gave me a boost for the last section. My final position was 132nd. I was pretty disappointed with the overall position. Before the season started I had hoped for top 75. Overall the team finished 11th, again a little disappointing considering we were ranked 6th going into the race.
I was able to take some positives from the race. At the start of the season I was worried about not even making the team for nationals and now I had just finished 4th. It was also only my first season and the end of a pretty inconsistent year. The main focus is now moving on from cross country and focussing on indoors.