A.M. 12.7 miles total.Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 1. Benjamin did 3. Cross-country race in the evening. I ran into Cliff Reed, a 56-year-old runner with a 3:07 life time marathon PR, and most recent best 3:42. We ran together, and I talked him into doing a 3 mile tempo run on my standard course - Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. He was planning Yasso 800s the next day. I told him most likely he did not need to do that, but as a cut off to see if there was any chance that he did (he is 56 years old after all), I set a target time of 23:00 for the 3 mile tempo assuming his goal in the marathon was 3:35 in St. George. He smashed it while remaining conversational in the first 2 miles. The splits were 7:11 - 7:11 - 6:51 with 21:13 total time. I told him he had enough speed to run his life time best, but he needed more marathon-specific endurance, which comes mostly from mileage.
P.M. Cross-country race at Kiwani's park. We had all the kids except Stephen participate as it was only 1 K.
Benjamin won overall with 3:07 with a 19 second margin over second place. He looked great. His stride had some turnover today, not just the stride length and he looked like a professional runner - very smooth and gracious. That's the best I've seen him look ever.
Jenny made her come back to racing with the third place in the Midget girls division and the time of 4:05. The winning time was 3:34 - Madison Malmgren. Based on 800 meter PR (3:08) relative to Benjamin (2:23) we should have seen exactly the time she ran.
Joseph won the Sub-Bantam's with 4:28. However, something was wrong with him. He ran faster in the 2 K. I was expecting to see at least 4:10, and possibly under 4:00 based on intuition. Mathematically, prorating off Benjamin and 800 meter track PR (3:07), he should have run 4:04. His time in the 3 K was also rather slow relative to his 2 K, but at least it was decent and you could write it off as struggles from the lack of experience racing 3 K. But he does know how to race for distances 1 mile and shorter - we do time trials frequently, and he successfully raced in the 2 K. I am suspecting something is wrong with his spikes. His best race so far was in Crocs, which I find rather odd - I thought spike would win hands down over Crocs on cross-country. But I suppose little kids have a hard time using the spikes. Benjamin ran great in spikes, though.
Julia won the Bantam girls with 4:29 finishing right behind Joseph. I was expecting her to win, and I was expecting around this time intuitively more or less. Prorating off Benjamin and 800 track PR (3:16) she should have run 4:16, but I was not expecting that because she does not know how to run fast in a race and she has a wide fluctuation in performance from day to day. However, this win should give her a nice confidence booster.
Jacob struggled more than anybody today. His time was 5:07 and his form did not look good - he looked like he was limping. His time should have been at least 4:40 based on the 2 K. Pro-rated off 800 m track PR (3:25) and Benjamin's performance, we get 4:28, but again 4:40 would have been more reasonable as he still does not quite know how to race - he just barely turned 6. But not 5:07. I am suspecting very strongly the problem is in the spikes. This still gave him 4th place in Sub-bantams which is 8 years and younger.
Even though Benjamin's performance was very good, William impressed me the most of everybody. He asked if he could run the race the day before. I was hesitant - he would have had to run around the field unsupervised. He is at the age where he might decide to just wonder off the course, and then good luck finding him. But I prayed and I felt that we should let him run and he would be fine. So we signed him up. He hesitated at the start not quite knowing what to do. Then he started running only to fall down 50 meters into the race. He lay on the grass for 5 seconds or so, then got up without expressing any negative emotions, which was quite remarkable for a child 3 years and 10 months old, and resumed running. He actually ended up beating a 6 year old girl, and finished with the time of 6:28, which is 10:24 per mile pace. That is actually what I was expecting under the assumption that he would run all the way without stopping or getting lost, which was a very optimistic assumption. But he did it!