Crossing the Country for Cross Country

Next weekend, I’ll be in San Francisco for the United States Track and Field Club National Club Cross Country Championships. I’ll be lining up on Saturday at 10:45am against a field of masters runners for a 10K that is considered by many to be the most competitive masters field of any race in the U.S. all year.

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My photo from Runners World September 2015 issue. Image by Ryan Hulvat, scruff by willful neglect.

This year,  I am among the favorites in my race, which is for men 40+.  And by favorite, I mean favorite to finish last.  Seriously.  I’m not exaggerating.  At last year’s Club Nats, in my hometown of Bethlehem, PA, I came in 513 out of 598, and of of the 85 guys I finished ahead of, only 17 were under 60.  Runners over 60+ will be in a separate race this year, so if my fellow back-of-the-packer 50somethings don’t make the long trip across country to this race, I may be the 2015 Club Nats Mr. Irrelevant.

So why in the world would I plunk down $1,000 for a plane and hotel room to run somewhere around 50 minutes for the privilege of finishing last in a race?

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Clearly, I belong alongside Eddy Merckx.

Here’s why. Click on the link below to see my article in the September 2015 edition of Runners’ World.  Hint: the article is called Cross Country Romance.

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