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Monday, September 2, 2019

UNO cross country opener

This year, the University of New Orleans did something pretty cool: it turned its first cross country race into an open event. Any team or individual could register. I hope they get more publicity the second year (first year events are always hard!), because that's such a good idea! When else do you get to race on a cross country team once you're out of college?
UNO's coach and assistant coach are both Power Milers, so our club put together a team. Mostly because I pressured them into it. It turns out that no other club teams entered, only college tams, but we can certainly work to change that for next year!
I had intended to run this race to support UNO athletics (it was a fundraiser - and cheap at that; $15 for an individual entry). We couldn't field a girls team: too many of us were busy that night. But I thought I'd trundle out there anyway. I wasn't worried about finishing last or something; it was just for a good cause! But unfortunately I had a really stressful and busy week, and the registration deadline passed without me even thinking about it. This is really not like me, so I'm blaming the baby. A baby is very convenient like that.
I still wanted to spectate, so David and I packed a snack and headed out. We got there just as the girls race finished and with plenty of time to watch the guys run.
Headed to the line

The cool thing about cross country races is that they tend to be on repeat loop courses for the sake of space. That also means good spectating. We joined some other team members and spent the race dashing from side to side of the 5k course!

Kenneth runs in Zoom Flys on the grass!
What was cool was watching their strategy. The college kids almost dropped our guys at the beginning, but after mile one, we were back in the mix. Slowly our guys - probably with the benefit of age - worked their way up; Casey finished thirteenth overall as our top finisher, and I was impressed to see Pat finish strong, moving well up in position from his place at mile one. Kenny also ran well in his very first cross country race...and not wearing spikes!

I know this had to be a tough race, because it was a million degrees out (ok, well, low 90's). And super humid. I was hot just watching them run! But our team ended up 5th out of 8, which I think is pretty impressive against a bunch of college kids. Next year I hope we can run a women's team as well!


  1. That is very impressive that your team finished well against young college kids who train specifically for CC races. Way to go! I have never been to a cross country event but maybe Paul will take up that sport some day. It was not an option at my teeny tiny high school!

  2. That would be awesome to have a women's team too. Looks like a very challenging race, but fun to be with the college kids!