2008-10-12 - Ag Park XC

10+ miles @ 12+ min/mi

Mical Honigfort stands with her husband Paul near the starting line of today's 5k cross-country MCRRC race. She's truly radiant, only about six weeks away from her due date. Caren Jew and I are chatting with her. "You're beautiful, you know? Can I tell you a secret that no woman ever believes?" I ask Mical. "Men think that pregnant ladies look absolutely lovely!" As per prediction, both Caren and Mical disbelieve me.

We're at the county Agricultural Historic Farm Park in Derwood. Two hours earlier Caren and I arrive to get some extra miles in before the official event. Fog hangs over the valleys and the stars are bright, but a hint of dawn is beginning to appear in the eastern sky. Our headlamps make glowing circles on the dewey grass. Caren leads me on a loop around the big corn field, then into the woods on a pretty side trail that brings us through meadows where we startle several deer. Our feet get wet at a stream crossing. A trio of horses observes us curiously from the adjacent farm where Caren showed her own horse many years ago.

Back at the park headquarters an hour later set-up is beginning for the "Little Bennett's Revenge" 5k XC race. "Just put us down for 25 minutes!" I tell the officials there. Caren and I trot past them and down a gravel road, following what turns out to be today's course. It's already marked with little orange flags and traffic cones. We cross a wooden bridge to another huge corn field, turn left, and at my challenge run up a big hill, continue along a quarter mile, reverse course, and finish up by tagging our respective cars at 8am.

We greet Ken Swab, Michelle Price, and other friends, then go inside the building to sign up for the race. I snag a cup of water and several chocolate chip cookies. Back outside I find Christina Caravoulias and her friend Houra Rais. Chris takes photos of flower gardens and various runners. At the starting signal Christina and Houra and I take our places near the back of the mass. The race flows uneventfully as I chatter away, much to Houra's amusement. We finish together in a bit over 37 minutes, but speculate (as do others) that the course may be a tad short.

^z - 2008-10-17

(correlates: BirdWhile, FocusAndFanout, HerodotusOnThePersianPost, ...)