Back on August 20, 2011, I learned running technique that allowed me to take off nearly a full minute per mile over a 5K race I had run a month earlier. That earlier 5K race also had the advantage of being near sea level and on an extremely flat course, while the August race was a hilly course at a mile high in Colorado. So what was the secret of my success? Chasing women!
The race I am referring to is the Dakota Ridge Eagle 5000, which is a fundraiser for my oldest daughter’s cross-country program. While not a very large race, the fact that the whole Dakota Ridge men and women’s cross-country county championship teams, and their athletic siblings and parents (something about running seems to be a little bit genetic) race it is a pretty fast race. Our family who ran included my oldest daughter, Samantha, who is on the team, my youngest daughter, Hannah, and my wife, Sally who ran cross-country in high school. I also was signed up, but I am regularly reminded physically I did not run cross-country in high school. So as you can guess I spent the whole race chasing the women in my family, since my wife finished first in her age group and my youngest daughter did the same, while my oldest daughter beat them both (but didn’t finish first in her age group because her team has some really fast girls).
Of the three of them I am most proud of my oldest, Samantha. A year ago in this same race, her first 5K she ran a 41:06 and her Dad could still beat her. But through the steady training of the Dakota Ridge cross-country program she continued to improve, going down to 32:14 a week later, but then back up to 37:55 a week after that at a dusty and hot Arapahoe Fairgrounds for the pre-state meet. But then the downward trend really took hold as two weeks later she was down to 28:33, then 4 days later 26:21, then a couple of weeks later at 25:13 and finishing the season at the County Meet at 24:02. She has quickly become the fastest Mosher reaching 5K times I cannot even get close to or can her Mom or younger sister. This season she is not back to those times quite yet, but she is still right around 25-26 minutes.
The Dakota Ridge cross-country program has been wonderful for my daughter helping her physical health as well as mental health in the transition to high school. As a father you always hope to inspire your kids, but these days Samantha’s (as well as Hannah’s and Sally’s) 5K times inspire me to try to run faster and keep chasing women.