What a challenging first race of the year for our runners today! The first mile was pretty standard fare for a cross country race (although paved) on a loop around the park. However, then the fun began as they headed into the woods for a very challenging and technical second mile. On the guys side, Jerry, ran right with the leader for the first mile and a half, only to break him on the hill (broke him so bad, the other kid started walking) and then cruised to the finish in the win. Josh wasn't too far back in 3rd place. Then, we had the train, with Shota leading it the whole time, but Blake and Logan along for the ride. Those three finished 9th, 10th, and 11th, assuring us of the victory. Then, Jack comes out of nowhere (went into the trail 21st) to charge through the second half of the race to finish in 13th, closely followed by Tsubasa, who PRed on this really hard course by four minutes. To make even more of a statement to the field, we had three more runners in the Top 25: Aakash, Joseph, Shaleen. One final note on the guys; we had one final runner who beat their PR by about four minutes on this really hard course...that is Daniel. Excellent job!
On the girls side, we had a coaching error that threw us off today. My instructions weren't clear to the lead runners causing them to make an error at the beginning of the race and forcing them to have to play catch up for the rest of the time. This caused our top group of runners to enter the technical part of the race in 15th to 21st place after spending the second half of the paved loop fighting their way through the pack. It was a good learning experience for all of us. Despite the miscommunication, our top four runners all finished in the 8th-15th in the race (every one of them improved positioning in that second mile), but there was just too much ground to make up, causing two of them to red line. Enya finished in 8th, earning a medal, while Hana actually improved her time from last week setting a PR in the process. Her sister, Kokoro, was the only other runner who managed that feat, also setting a PR and finishing in the Top 25. Kiana also set her personal best in this race (PR=Personal Record), while Phoebe, Riley and Kanami set impressive times for their first race on a very hard course. However, the field was little too good on the day to makeup for the error. Good opening race to learn.