My Edinburgh race was not great. Not bad, but not as awesome as it should have been for a strength runner like me. The course wasn’t as muddy as last year, but it was still slow going. I did enjoy racing “real” cross country. We did a 2k loop, three times at Holyrood Park. The first half of the loop was manicured grass, similar to the golf courses we run on in the U.S., but very soft from heavy rain and made exciting by the log barrier we had to hurdle. The second half of the loop was in the foothills of a dormant volcano. The footing was on wild grass, the climbs were short, but steep, and we got to cross a couple shallow creeks. My teammate, Ladia Albertson-Junkas had a great race, and finished 7th, well within the individual money purse.
As expected, everything outside of the race was awesome. The race directors put us up in a beautiful hotel and supplied us with healthy, delicious meals three times a day. I got to hang out with some of my best friends, and met some wonderful new runners. My parents took the opportunity to fly into London, then come up to Scotland to watch my race. This is their second time outside of North America, so I felt lucky there were able to support my running as part of their international travels.
Me and my parents
I decided to take advantage of my free trip to the United Kingdom by spending a couple extra days being a tourist after the race. Two points: 1) How could I have not thought of this last year, when I traveled to Scotland and Trinidad through USATF? 2) Thanks to USATF for supporting the cross country team and being kind enough to let me change my departure date. The day after the race, I took the train down to London with my parents. Over the next couple days, I spent some quality time running in Hyde Park, visiting the Tower of London and the British Museum, watching Wicked, the musical, and eating delicious food.
Me, Stephanie Price, Ladia Alberson-Junkans
Jon Peterson, Meghan Peyton, and me again
Race Results: http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=5320&year=2013&do=info