Leading up to the race this week there was talk of frustration. The boys had been invited to the most prestigious cross country race in the West, Mt SAC. It's a big deal to run this event. Coach decided racing local was better for the team so he entered them in the Jaguar race on a course they know really well. In fact, Marco has raced on this course we'll over 10 times. The frustration lingered into race morning and to be honest I had no idea how the race would play out.
One thing for sure is that the coach knows. The boys were running in the big school race. They are not a big school. This ensures that egos are kept in check. No easy day in cross country.
The Race start for an invite is a bit sketchy. 120 boys aiming for a turn 200 meters away. Somehow though the start was clean with no falls. The team came though 800 meters bunched together sitting just outside the top 15. At the 1 mile mark the #1 runner was 15 or so meters in front the rest of the team but something interesting was taking place. Marco was leading the rest of the team. The first big hill is at the 1.5 mile mark and it's a big separator. Coming off the top of the hill the best runners had established there place. The #1SDA runner came through in 15th or so and right on his tail was Marco leading another team member.
At the 2 mile mark the situation was the same. #1 senior runner and then Marco with in 5 feet. With 6 or so minutes of racing remaining and one monster hill anything can happen. The race blew apart on the second hill. The gaps got wider. The lead runners came in clear of everyone and then the waiting started. Quickly the SDA runner came around the corner and still on his feet was Marco. No way Marco wins this Sprint but the fact remains he was challenging the #1 runner on the team. The boys rushed to the line Marco finishing 16th two places behind #1.
Team 3rd place. The best result ever at this invite and they beat a team they have never beaten dating back 12 years.
Marco ran a personal best 5k but more importantly was how he did it. He ran strong, with supreme confidence and poise.
One step closer to the goal.
It's a good life....