(Originally Published on Runners World Loop 8/21/11)
Today’s running adventures began with a fun cross country race courtesy of Tagg Running Events. The Fifth Annual Vail 5k XC Run was held on the Cienega High School campus, just outside of Tucson. I always enjoy the variety of a cross country course, and racing an XC requires some unique strategies.
The course included grassy fields, dirt paths, and a small amount of asphalt. There were four 180-degree turns, and many other curves and turns so there was no settling in to a mindless pace in this race. This picture shows the path that took us past the 4-H Club’s rooster house:
My race went fairly well. A pack of 5 high school cross country boys took off and led from the start, and I eventually worked my way up to 7thplace. My tired old legs are no match for those teens, but I was happy with my finishing time of 19:26. After I finished I grabbed my camera and took pictures while cheering other runners on. Here’s a photo of the finishing stretch – my friend Melody is just about to cross the line:
There was a nice breakfast party at the finish. Steve and Liz Taggert and their daughter are an amazing family team of race directors, and they always operate their races with a friendly, personal style that you don’t find in the mega-races. The awards this time were hand-made medals, and each one was a bit unique. I earned a 1st place for my age group, and a bunch of my friends also won medals. Here’s a picture of some of us celebrating our wins.
And here’s a close-up of my medal.
After the race, I cleaned up and headed to the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch to attend the Annual Meeting of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners (SAR). I’m the Treasurer of SAR, and I enjoy the opportunity to help the running community since it helps me in so many ways. We spent the entire day discussing various ways to improve SAR and ultimately to help people to lead a fitness lifestyle.