Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nashua Elementary School XC Race I

Since this blog is called runCrain, it can be about any Crain who runs. In that light, I am very proud to announce that Jacob and Samuel had their first cross-country race of the season on Friday, September 18th in the Nashua Elementary School PAL (Police Athletic League) Cross Country series. Third graders run a 2km course, which Samuel ran, and fourth and fifth graders run a 3km course, which Jacob ran. The two course are very similar, with the 3km course adding on a 1km loop around the Nashua North High school, and are pretty flat with the exception of one fairly long hill about 1km from the finish. I was not sure what to expect from the guys because they had only been running for about a week and a half and most of their runs were done at between 10 and 11 minute pace. Also, Jacob was racing about as far as he had ever run. I had no idea what kind of finishing times to expect from them but hoped that they would have fun.

Samuel (in the orange shirt, crouched and ready to roll) was up first in the 2km race. We warmed up together by jogging about a half mile and doing some light stretching prior to the start. When the gun went off all the kids took off like they were shot out of a cannon. I was tasked with rabbiting both races to make sure that none of the kids got lost so I did not get to see how Samuel got off. At about the half-way mark I looked back and could see that Samuel was near the front, probably in about 10th place and moving very well. He was able to hold form and he finished 9th out of 64 boys in 9:56 (8:17 pace). That was far more than I expected and much faster than I thought he would run.

Video of Samuel finishing

Jacob was next. I did not get to warm up with Jacob but his team did a warm up jog and a bunch of stretches and drills together prior to the start. I think Jacob was caught off guard a bit at the start and started out slow. Again, I did not get to see his race due to my rabbiting duties, but afterward Jacob told me he gradually sped up through out the race and picked people off as they died due to the fast early pace. Jacob finished 40th out of 137 boys in 15:38 (8:42 pace), much faster than he had ever run before. I love this picture below because it looks like he is truly enjoying himself.

Video of Jacob finishing

I am so proud of these guys. They ran great and had a ton of fun while doing it. I firmly believe that they will make dramatic improvements in their times over the next two races (October 2nd and 17th) simply because they are so new to the sport. The kids that won have been running 4-5 days/week, year round for 2-3 years (check out the training schedule for the bantam boys and girls, 10 and under, PAL team). I am a little weary of them taking running too seriously at this stage of their lives so I am glad that they do not want to continue XC with the USATF races. There is plenty of time later to get serious about running and there are way too many risks at their age with jumping in too deep too early.


Fly98rpi said...

Like you wrote, the smile on Jacobs face tells the whole story!

Anonymous said...

Alright boys! Awesome job! ...following in Dad's footsteps.
-Auntie Lan

butterfly_crain said...

Wow! How awesome that you boys are running too! Hope that Uncle Joe, Logan and I can see one of your races!
Auntie Michelle