My sister recently sent me a photo of her husband vacuuming their yard with a ShopVac. It seemed to me to be a strange way to rake, until she explained that he was collecting acorns for their pigs. It made me think - with all the acorns I blew off the course over the past week, was I just blowing away a fundraiser? “Feed the Hogs and Support MVXC! Make the Squirrels Jealous and Buy a Bag of Acorns!” If only. If you happen to have pigs, there are mountains of acorns lining the trail, courtesy of my 4 trips around the course with a leaf-blower (that’s 8 miles! - one mile repeats itself) and Thursday’s BOMB CYCLONE. If you want to plan an event that you want cancelled or postponed, I’d suggest the second-to-last Thursday in October. In the 8 years we’ve hosted the Capital Area meet, it’s been postponed twice and had torrential rain at least two other years. We are not known for good weather!
Anyhow, moving on to the racing…
The combined JV race led off the afternoon, and with 117 runners is the largest race held on our course (but is 8 runners smaller than Bow’s middle school XC team. How is that possible?). Every year I cover my eyes a little, as the front runners usually cross paths with the tail end of the race on a narrow trail. Adding to the excitement was the presence of four Bow runners who, mistook the race for a three mile dance party. This group was seen at various times running backwards, doing cartwheels, eating cereal, eating oreos, cutting parts of the course off, and making a human obstacle course for lead runners. It sounds funny writing it, but there may have been steam coming out of my ears watching it. The MV runners survived these obstacles and clearly took their running seriously, as most ran PR’s in their final race of the season (Plymouth, in case you didn’t get the earlier email, is short - 4848 meters, to be exact). Leading the way for MV was Oliver, putting himself out there as human sacrifice to try to break up Concord’s ridiculous pack and somewhat succeeded, placing only behind a million Concord runners and one Bow kid. And a huge PR! Nicole was the top girl, earning herself a spot as the alternate for future weeks courtesy of a big...PR! Carlie was just behind in a...PR! Now start there next year, Carlie, and improve from there. You are returning runner #5! Next across was Trevor...PR!, Theresa, Anna...huge PR!, MacNeill, Emmaleigh...PR!, Liz...PR!, Victoria...PR! And welcome to the sub-30 club, girls!, Ryan, Taylor...PR!, Aidan...PR?, and Mitchell, solid in his final XC race.
On to the boys varsity race, where favored Concord easily defended their title. But once again, a slew of PR’s helped MV to a solid 5th place showing and a 7th-place spot on the All-Time Team Time (since the course was created in 2012) list, with an average time of 18:38. Ethan led the way as he has all season, and improved his MV individual standings to 7th on the 2012 to present All-Time List. That’s varsity! Mark turned in his best time of the year, despite injuring his foot on the “improved by maintenance” bridge (new name: Old Man Bridge - there’s a story there). Here’s to a quick heal, States is only a week away! Speaking of old men, old man Christian ran a solid third on the team in his final appearance on the home course, narrowly holding off a hard-charging Isaac, who also broke 19 for the first time. Marshall PR’d as well to close out the team scoring, while a sub-20 effort (PR!) for Elisha ensured a solid tie-breaker. Despite going down early in the race (“I got up and I couldn’t see anyone”), Jack ran solid as MV’s 7th man.
Billed as a battle between regionally ranked teams, MV, Concord, and Hopkinton entered the race all ranked in the top 6 in the state. It was a mixed bag for MV, as Concord easily won, but the Pride eked out a 4-point victory over Hopkinton. With Kearsarge not attending, the individual title was up for grabs and Sophia9 took full advantage, running the third-fastest time ever on the course, and moving to 2nd on the Ravine Course MV list. The team time was very quick as well, taking over not only the top spot on the Ravine Course, but also the top spot for all MV courses. Sophia10 ran her best race of the year to take runner-up honors, while Emma hung on for dear life at the end to land in the top 10. Samantha ran strong to set a...PR! And move in to 8th on the Ravine Course list, while Madisyn also set a PR (I think?) to improve her 10th spot on the list. With Sophia10 and Emma already on the list, that means that we have 5 runners on this years team in the Ravine Course Top Ten List. After spending only one short course race in the 23’s, Violet jumped right into the 22’s and another PR, while Cassidy CRUSHED the course to move into the 23’s and set a...you guessed it...PR!