Legends of Cross-country 5K

August 7, 2017 | Comment

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Yesterday the 21st annual Legends of Cross Country 5K was held at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. The race was presented by the Las Vegas Track Club. There was an open 5K division for us regular runners and an elite division for the speedsters.

Races tend to start a lot earlier out west. My race began at 6:45am, so I was up and out the door by 5:30am. It had rained the night before so the temperature was only 78, which was very cool for Las Vegas.

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I got to the race site, got my number, warmed up, and headed to the starting line. The start was a traditional cross country start….open field with everyone standing next to each other across the field. At 6:45am we were off!

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We ran on the grass for about a tenth of a mile then turned onto a dirt path. The course had a lot of turns and it was hard to see who was in front. I had no idea what place I was in. All I knew is we had to do the path three times around.

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I completed mile 1 in 7:22, which was not bad for the heat I had been training in all summer. I still had no idea what place I was in so I focused on passing as many female runners as I could. I finished mile 2 in 7:52.

My legs really began to tire in the last mile and I slowed down. The next female runner was too far in front of me to catch her. I just tried to keep the pace and push through to the finish line.

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I finished mile 3 in 8:07 and a long 5K, 3.21 miles, in 24:58. My true 5K time was right around 24 minutes flat. I still had no idea what my place was but I was happy just to have ran a race. Races are scarce in Las Vegas during the summer for obvious reasons.

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Next up was the elite race. I enjoyed seeing the seeded runners race, most of which were high school cross country runners. The top male finished in 15:49 and the top female finished in 19:46. Wow!

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I grabbed a quick snack, water and a jalapeƱo bagel, and waited for the awards ceremony. I really did miss home at this moment because any race in Louisiana would have had cold beer and hot jambalaya at the finish. I was entertained as I overheard the runners complaining of the humidity when I thought it felt like a late September day in Louisiana. I checked the weather and it was a glorious 78 degrees with only 68% humidity.

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It was finally time for the awards ceremony. In the open division I was 6th female and 2nd age group 30-39. I got a really cool Las Vegas Track medal for being a top 25 female and a nice metal mug for my age group award.

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I had a great time at the race and the cross-country style run brought me back to high school races on Saturday mornings at the New Orleans Lakefront.

Next up for me is the Forest Challenge 5K, also hosted by the Las Vegas Track Club, on September 16. This race will take us up Mt. Charleston, about 45 minutes from the strip. Weather here is usually 20 degrees cooler than the valley floor and it even snows enough for skiing in the winter. Until next time!

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