In December, the team competed at the USATF Cross Country National Championships at Lehigh University. The week leading up to the race was quite rainy, and the forecast for race day was not optimistic. Fortunately the rain held off for most of the races, but the course definitely was impacted by the precipitation in the previous days.
The National Championships draw clubs from all over the country, including Michigan, Maryland and California. The announcers indicated that this was, as far as they could tell, the largest cross country meet anywhere in the US (including HS and college) with 2200+ runners pre-registered.
The race was run in waves, with the 60+ men running 8K. Ed Leydon, Dick Hopkins and Dick Helmer represented the Rose City/Hill Runners team and placed 39 out of 41 teams. They christened the course for the rest of the runners.
Kathy Hale represented the RC/HRH women in the second race of the day, running 8K. The course was slick, but most areas could be navigated to avoid the mudholes. There was one section nearing the finish line that got soggy and muddy and required more caution.
Michael Lin represented our 40s Men in the 10K race. By now, the course was starting to show the impacts of a few hundred runners cruising through it.
The open men and open women ran in the early afternoon, and the course must have been lots of fun to navigate by that point.
We had fun and the excitement of running with very competitive clubs from around the country.
USATF Cross Country National Championships, December 14, 2019
40+ Women, 6K:
Kathy Hale 33:47 Overall place: 236/288, Age group place 45-49: 44/47
60+ Men, 8K:
Richard Hopkins 40:20 Overall place:: 171/247, Age group place 60-64: 114/126
Richard Helmer 43:23 Overall place: 197/247, Age group place 70-74: 28/42
Edward Leydon 43:37 Overall place: 202/247, Age group place 75-79: 5/11
40s & 50s Men, 10K:
Michael Lin 52:15 Overall place: 433-444, Age group place 45-59: 103/105