Saturday brought us to Thetford, home of Morty the Monster and the Five-Legged Cow (although the course makes many runners feel like a 3-legged cow instead). Not an easy course, two crazies managed to PR anyhow - more on them later. An early morning of sunshine and fall foliage gave way to a grey drizzle, good for racing but not good for drying out the canopy and tarp, wet since Black Bear.
Just like last week, the first of the races was a Middle School invite. And just like last week, Sophia of Andover and DRen/MRen fame crushed the field and won easily. That makes three big Invite wins in three weeks - the only races Sophia has not won this year are the ones she hasn’t been to (because, duh, that would be impossible). Also representing Andover and finishing in the top half was Trinity, only a 6th-grader yet defeating almost 100 runners! Following up the girls, 7th-grader Jack placed an even 100th (of 194) in the middle school boys race.
Thetford has a unique set-up, with 5 races based on submitted times. With no JV race, all times are then combined into one giant list at the end. In each race, the top 15 are given ribbons, so the goal of each year is maximum ribbons. Morty was a bit rough on the girls team this year, who perhaps are saving their best for later. No ribbons, but some good solid racing. Madisyn returned from a week of farming in Wisconsin, home of orange cheese (yuck! And she doesn’t even like cheese? What’s the point of Wisconsin, then?) to run an all-time PR. That is not supposed to happen at Thetford, easily the hardest and slowest course we run (not counting the bizarre 3.5 mile Great Glen course). Ashley was another highlight, running a season-best time (she did that last year here, too). MacNeill went sub-30 again, so-long 30+, she is so done with you. Once again Emma led the team overall, although Morty was not very kind. Madisyn was next, while Lauren, Tristan, and Diandra rounded out the top five.
On the boys side of things, times were decent if not spectacular, until Forrest decided to light the afterburners and rocket the second half of the course to finish as MV’s 6th overall boy in a new all-time PR. He had to make up for last week since he missed Black Bear where everyone else PR’d. You chose a heck of course to PR on, Forrest! Things were looking bleak in the boys second seed race - no ribbons yet for MV, boy or girl, and while Matt L was running a decent race, he was well out of contention for a ribbon (about 25th at the mile). Back at the start/finish area, the girls #1 seed race was getting ready to take off when who bursts out of the woods in 11th place? MATT!! Outkicking a runner in the chute, Matt scored the first ribbon of the day with a great 10th place finish. He must have found the elevator out there. In the final race of the day, MRen and DRen each ran very well-executed races. DRen finished a strong 7th (2nd ribbon of the day!) and top NH boy, while MRen took home 30th place. Just so you know, Matt, I had thought you would get into the 2nd seed race, and your time would have won that. So you won a mental ribbon. Behind DRen, MRen, and Matt, Ethan was able to outrun Mason over the last mile to place as MV’s 4th to Mason’s 5th.
Great job today everybody, except for Mr. Bones, who I expect to see more cheering out of next race.