Rod Russell Mason Invitational - May 5th, 2017
The day was rainy and 65 degrees, with around 10 mph winds. It wasn't the best weather conditions, but it was a big day for the team and me. Since the weather had been on and off, our team had to run well in all of their events to post solid times. I was doubling the 1 Mile and 3200m, so this was a meet I was using as a simulation to see what it would be like to double those two races for the first time in my career.
The 'Dream Mile' at the Rod Russell Mason Invitational is always one of the most highly anticipated races at the meet. Usually they let people down on the track, do an introduction for every athlete and allow you to run down the track and give out high fives. Due to the poor weather, we just got out there this year and ran. After warming up a mile and a half, stretches, drills and strides, it was time to go. My main competition was Chad Johnson, who is a decorated XC runner and a solid miler. As the gun blasted, I immediately pulled out to the front. I wanted to make sure this race went out honest. Through lap one, we were at about 61, which was right where we wanted to be. I was still out front and feeling good, but our second lap was too relaxed and we came in at 2:06. Through the rain, we continued to trudge on, within five meters of each other. Our third lap was consistent with our second and we ended up coming through the 1200m mark at 3:11. Off schedule from what my coach and I wanted to achieve, the race became more about winning it at that point. Chad made a big move on the outside of me to take the lead with 250m to go. He gapped me by about five meters heading into the last 150m. Not wanting to let him go, I put a final surge into the last 150m and I was able to catch him and make a strong move past him with 75m to go. I crossed the line in 4:14.50 for the mile. I felt very good about this race given the conditions and simply putting down a solid time was satisfying. Chad and I both ran well and I was happy that he decided to stick it out through the weather.
After warming up nearly two more miles, it was time for the 3200m. I was looking to go at least 9:20 or under. After doing the normal warm up routine, I was ready to go again. The gun shot off and I moved to the front immediately. The goal was to hit as many 70's as I could and remain comfortable for as long as I could, as well. The first lap was around a 66 and I was feeling strong. I ran around again to the chant of the Mason team saying, "Horter! Horter!" as I crossed the line through 800m at 2:14. Still feeling content with how I was doing, I hit a 70 and then another 70 to run the first mile in 4:34 - 4:35. The fifth lap became a little more difficult because of the drizzle and wind, but I still managed to run 69. I slipped to a few 70's on the next two laps and then finished off the race with a solid 65 second lap to run 9:12.04. I felt really good about this time; however, if I was in a pack for that race, I feel it would have been easier. I'm just ready for the post season to begin: I am still chasing the 4:10 and 8:50 barriers. I had a lot of fun at Mason and the people who stayed throughout the weather all did their part in running well, too.