Today I ran a XC relay for my club. I ran with the women's B team (or, as we call ourselves Women's social A!), the rest of whom are usually slower than me. My goal for my lap (2.5mi) was to be the fastest runner for my team and to get under 20:00.
It was a beautiful day today- actually warm!!! Lovely. The race was about an hour away, and it was a really nice undulating grassy course. I ran last, and since our team was made up of slower runners, there was no-one else on the course!
The back-of-pack was a new one for me- it's not like I'm a frontrunner, but I'm very much a midpack runner. When I started, people were clogging the starting area- as if the race was already over. When I got to the first marshall he said "You can do it- just relax.." I felt like smacking him- I know he was trying to be supportive, but it came out as so patronising- I wasn't last because of me! When I got round to where the marshalls had been for the second time (figure 8 course), they were gone.
Running hard with no-one in front or chasing was weird as well- I was glad for my speedwork recently, but it was hard to race without that race atmosphere going on. At one point I saw a guy in front of me, so I pushed forward to pass him. I kept my lead through the hills, but he pipped me with a few hundred metres to go. I gained a bit back, but he got through the finish just before me.
I finished in 20:35- a bit disappointing, but apart from the A-team girls, I was one of the faster runners from our club. The course was changed from last year, and most people were a bit slower. Still- I should have been at least a minute faster! Even for my first XC event in two years!