I feel so fortunate I saw the course preview and pre-ran the course before tackling this race!! Man, it is a tough one and so I’m thankful I knew what to expect! Congratulations to all the runners who showed up “with some guts, because cross country is not for the weak of heart!!” (excerpt from Millennium pre-race email)
This 5k course (2 miles for the HS races) runs the traditional Cross Country Course for NH High School state meets and it is challenging. Ski lift = hills!
Arriving at 2:00 p.m., I watched the high school waves before my wave at 3:00. It was a hoot to warm-up cheering for the students… then race my wave… then warm-down supporting the last wave. It was cautionary, hearing the hard breathing on the uphill start, plus accentuated the focus and effort we all put in and the relief and ebullience when done.
This was my 10th Millennium race in 2015 and even in this venue, Millennium provided their fantastically outstanding details and race organization. For a fun twist, we got to vote on the race shirts a few weeks ago! They were a bright version of a throwback x-c singlet (first 400 5K registrants) and my choice won! My women’s medium felt wonderful and dry to change into post-race!
It’s a wide starting line and grass uphill start which “gets you gassed” (pre-race announcements from John Mortimer). I made sure I did a little uphill in warm-up getting ready and got a “hi” from TV 9 sports director Jamie Staton announcing near the start.
The second mile is trail and a tough climb with loose rocks and I exchanged a hello with Gloucester All Terrain runner, Freddi Pare. We emerged from the woods to McIntyre ski area at 1.5 miles and as I looked up, I had been chasing none other than 2011 World Mt Running Champion Kasie Enman who was preparing for her wave!! Seeing her just ahead on the steepest part of the climb felt like a honor :)
We “face a 95 foot climb over the next .4 to the top of Tower Hill at 1.9 miles,” then flew downhill, described as… “the last mile starts with a big drop, from the top of Tower Hill to the bottom of Reservoir Ave you lose 190 feet in 7/10ths of a mile.” Kasie peeled off-course and kindly alerted me so I didn’t inadvertently follow. I yelled back “thanks, you’re a superstar, Kasie!!!!”
I smiled about “running around the door” which stood out there at the corner of the field and mentally prepared for the grassy uphill again and around the tree before the final boomerang shot to the finish line!! I crossed, hitting my watch and was immediately greeted by friends. I grabbed a water and Millennium also offered Powerade, Portland Pie Pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt and fruit, but I instinctively headed to the results which are broadcast on 2 big screens. Freddi and I were psyched to see we were 1st & 3rd female masters in our wave!!!! YAY!! We were very excited and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment!
For warm down, I ran to my car a few times (d’oh, brains are mush post-race… talk to people… Freddi and I try to figure out if we’re supposed to wait for awards… put on dry singlet… ) and back to 3-4 spots on the course to cheer on the competitive wave, USATF-NE All Terrain Series/Cross Country Grand Prix.
Afterwards, the post race celebration was at Shaskeen on Elm Street to hang with friends.
Race Results are posted here. 24:24, 5th female in my wave of 263 runners! Perry pointed out that he saw my name on the “leaderboard” … monumental!
Millennium Points Chase standings were updated last night and holy cow I moved up to 3rd female overall after this race!! I just hoped to hold on as 1st Female Master. I got very lucky and I feel very appreciative and surprised, but won’t get used to it with 7 races remaining.
I read that from the proceeds of this NH X-C Festival, Millennium Running is underwriting the cost of the NHIAA High School Cross Country Championships in October and the State XC Banquet in December.
Fabulous types of tomatoes ! One is a fascinating black cherry color. When I Googled varieties, it might be this:
“The only truly black cherry tomato… vigorous tomato plants that yield abundant crops in huge clusters of 1″, round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes.”
Below photo is chopped garlic, sweet onion, zucchini, basil, curled parsley and FIVE types of tomatoes ! That’s my record for tomato varieties in one single recipe :)
View from back living room window. The cobblestone “arc” patio is 3 years old. I wrote a blog post back when I created it. The Pachysandra bed separates the lawn from the woods and the urn of white impatiens float/lift up from the Pachysandra “sweep.” Sunlight filtered through the trees.
From White Flower Farm
The classic double blooms of ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ are deep pink, lighter toward the edges. This heirloom from 1906 is also delightfully fragrant, and one of the strongest growers and most reliable bloomers. No wonder it received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Late midseason.
Peonies produce their extravagant display in early June every year, regardless of weather, because they are among the most durable and longest-lived plants. They have no natural enemies, no exacting cultural requirements beyond full sun and neutral to slightly sweet soil, and they shrug off cold. After bloom is complete, you are left with a handsome mound of glossy, deep green foliage that will happily anchor the next sequence of bloom in the neighborhood. Finally, Peonies make superior cut flowers, lasting more than a week if cut in full bud.
My house is surrounded by a lot of wooded area. I have 3 urns and one small planter, all filled with white impatiens, a vibrant, carefree annual that blooms nonstop all summer in shady spots and create a “Moon Garden” effect.
From Teleflora blog:
“Many people are eager to plant their own garden, but those who have busy schedules may not have the time to tend to – or simply sit and enjoy – their flowers until after dark. That’s a major reason why moon gardens have been steadily becoming more popular. By strategically planting blossoms that look best by the moonlight, you can appreciate these blooms in an entirely new way while reflecting, reading a book or savoring a late-night cocktail outside. So what does it take to build one of these majestic gardens?”
The post suggests… “all you need to know in order to create your own evening floral sanctuary… some flowers are more ideal than others for a moon garden, mainly due to the way the light reflects on their petals. For example, bright white, cream and ivory blossoms have an especially stunning effect by night because they almost appear to glow in the moonlight.”
I read that you can add the flowers of daylily to salads that you’re going to eat the same day and Italian and Chinese cooks dip the flowers in batter and deep-fry them.
And I am pretty sure my grandmother ‘Nonie’ was scolded by a neighbor for picking their daylilies for eating!!