This morning was the final Craig’s Cup 5k cross country race at Twin Brooks recreation center in Cumberland, Maine. The race doubled as the Maine State Cross Country Championship, as well. As I will not have time to get a long run in tomorrow, the plan was to run the race and then to run home in an effort to get 20+ miles for the day in preparation for the New York City Marathon.

I ran a little over five and a half miles on the trails between the warm up and the race. It was definately a course made for spikes. Since I threw out my spikes a year ago, I did not have any. I did not fall down, but I did slip a few times and I twisted an ankle once. The grass was wet and the trail was a bit muddy, so having spikes to make sure you did not slide anywhere would have been nice. Thankfully, the mud did not stick very much.

The race was a lot of a fun; it has been a few years since I have run cross country. I will have to make more of an effort to compete in the Craig’s Cup next year. Cross country running certainly requires a lot more work than a road race would, but you get to use a lot of race strategies that just do not work as well on road courses where you can see your nearby competitors much more easily.

The cool down from the race was a 16 mile run home from Twin Brooks. It was a nice run; it took me a bit shy of 2 hours. I used the cool down as my Phedippidations half marathon and I think that my time was somewhere around 1:35 to 1:40. I am not really sure exactly where the half marathon would have been from, since the route I mapped had to be changed a little. Using maps that are a couple years old to plan a route does not always work out absolutely correctly.

Most of the run did not have a lot of traffic, which was nice. There was a cat sunbathing in the middle of the road at one point; I hope that it was not dead. It didn’t respond when I clapped my hands and yelled at it, but I did not bother trying to cross the road to nudge it. It did not look like it had been hit, but it was laying directly in the center of the far lane. My wife didn’t see it when she drove by so hopefully it was just there for a snooze and it got up after a few minutes. The route home was predominantly uphill, since I live at a not insignificantly higher elevation than where the race was.

My wife helped me out a lot on my long run. At about mile 4.5 and around mile 11, she stopped and waited for me to arrive so that I could take some gel packs and drink some water. It worked out really well, especially since I was able to tell her within a half of a minute when I would show up at the second support stop from 7 miles away and not knowing exactly how far I had to get there.

I will have results from the Craig’s Cup race later today or tomorrow, depending upon when results are posted online. Ethan Hemphill won the race, and I was (I think) 6th place.