I think that, no matter how many road races I run, and no matter how much time I've spent on the track, my heart will always belong to cross country. So I was totally psyched to see that on a free Saturday morning I could run the Hawk Hustle, a 4 mile cross country race.
With just 123 runners, this was the smallest race I've been in (high school meets aside), and the atmosphere was really laid back. People milled around before the race started, and we all kind of made our way to the start in time. And rather than having a gun go off, one of the organizers just yelled, "Go!"
Before the race started, I'd thought about my goals. I like the way that Kent gives himself gold, silver, and bronze goals. So, I was thinking this:
Gold - 36:00
Bronze - 40:00
Silver - Anywhere in between!
But as soon as the race started, I ammended those goals. The course? Really freaking tough, people. Up hills, down hills, small ones, big ones. Tree branches to dodge. I was working my ass off. And I didn't get any splits, so I really had no idea how I was doing. I just decided to go as hard as I could and enjoy the effort.
Imagine my surprise when I crossed the finish line in 36:57! I'm going to call that a Gold finish, especially given that the course was a lot more difficult than I anticipated.
Oh, and the after-party featured free cookies and sandwiches. All in all, a great way to spend a Saturday. I'll definitely add this race into my annual calendar.