Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 30th, 2011 – European XC Challenge – 5K

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

This was a great race! I had never done one like this before. I usually stick with road races and the occasional appearance on WipeOut. This race was different in many ways, but the most significant to me is that this was the first bona fide “race” I’d ever done, really.

Even with the half marathons I’ve done, there were people there who showed up with every intention of walking the entire route. With this race, every level of fitness was represented, but every participant ran it. There were no walkers. Even though no one seemed overly concerned with their time, everybody was there to race!

It was relatively flat but this was a rough course. Marshy and wet, with many obstacles, natural and manmade. This is the difference between road racing and cross country competition and I can absolutely see why people get addicted to it. It was awesomely insane!!!

Here’s a bit of the course. It may not look like it, but God sent the rain and upped the awesome level.

This is Ben making announcements. “We tried to make the course as safe as possible, but it’s still pretty bad so watch out!” Really… This was is opening speech.

And here we are at the Start, with Ben's dire warning still ringing in our ears and completely unconcerned.

This is me at the Start. Happy to be healthy enough to take this kind of abuse. Praise God!!

I think this guy was first in the 10k.

This is me at the Finish! All muddy and wet, but glad to me there!

This is the lady that I chased for 2.5 miles. She was in FANTASTIC shape and I was thrilled to pieces to be able to keep up with her. We were strangers at the Start and good friends by the end. I only beat her because she dashed into a thatch of bamboo grass to go pee. That’s hardcore!

A great race! Much love to the organizers. I was 5th in my age group. The lady in 4th place beat me by a quarter of a second.

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