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fredI wake up this morning with the coffee machine at 6am.  I read my weekend edition of Barrons while the sun comes up.  I bake some Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls before waking up Ellie at 7.  We have a cross country race this morning and need some glucose.  Brit wakes up to the smell of those rolls too and decides to tag along.  Chris, Keith and Tom walk over at 8:30 and we pile into the mini van for the 20 minute ride to South Boulder.  Fred will meet us there.  We all live within a three block radius and will be running as a team – Team Prospect.  Ellie will run stag in the kids wave.  This first picture captures the start with me running in the green long sleeve jersey one step behind Fred, running in a tank.  This is as close as I will ever be to catching Fred today.

ChrisI hang with Fred for nearly a mile.  He puts some distance on me before the hill.  Chris then passes me running up the hill.  This puts me in third position on our five guy team – where I remain.  Chris typically starts out slow and then turns on the jets for a strong finish.  In the 2012 neighborhood 5K, the three of us finished together in consecutive places, Chris, then Fred, then me.  Today we finish separated by nearly two minutes.  This is Chris’ first cross country race.  He trains more for marathons and he feels the fast pace of this 4 miler.  Cross country races are typically on grass.

KeithI think this is Keith’s first XC race too.  Keith commented more on the wind afterward than the grass.  Grass will slow down a runner, but today’s wind is gusting well over 20 mph.  He runs strong though today and finishes two positions behind me in our 51 year old age division.  I finish 9th and Keith is 11th.  The results are posted here.  Keith didn’t start running until a few years ago.  He typically runs the same events that I do.  I ran his first marathon with him two years ago – the 2012 Denver Marathon.

TomTom is even newer to running.  He’s quite the sport though agreeing to join our team.  This photo by the water shows Tom running strong with good arm motion.  There’s a hill coming up shortly that requires a bit of momentum.  Note Tom isn’t wearing a hat or gloves.  Other than the wind, the weather is pretty nice – 50° and full sun.  I wear shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt.  No need to layer.  I consider tights but think they might slow me down once I warm up.  Because the girls are with us, we are able to strip off our warm-up gear and drop it in a pile near the start.  Very convenient.

winningFor reasons I still don’t fully understand, Team Prospect finishes in first place today.  Impressive considering we all live within three blocks of each other.  There’s a rumor that no other teams are registered.  I don’t go for rumors.  Our win comes with $500, or $100 each.  This makes us paid athletes.  Hopefully IBM doesn’t dock me for moonlighting.

girlsThe kids division launches immediately after the men finish.  Keith and I feel for them because the wind is clearly gusting more strongly and it feels like the temperature is dropping.  Snow is expected tonight or tomorrow.  Brit decides last minute to run with Ellie when they say parents can join the kids.  I get a ton of good photos of the girls but this is my favorite.  Brit applied the B&W effect.  This hill is near the end of the 2K loop – the kids only run one loop – but it’s steep.  It makes it hard to turn on a kick for the finish.

BrittanyAt Fred’s suggestion, we brunch at the nearby Southside Walnut Cafe.  This place is hopping but we’re seated after ten minutes.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place.  Awesome menu and incredible food.  I have huevos rancheros while Ellie orders a cheese burger.  Brit orders something with soy cheese on it.  She likes it.  We both love the coffee.  I find myself an hour later getting a pedicure with the girls.  Running with girls isn’t so bad.  They understand recovery.  Tomorrow I’ll cash our check at the bank and distribute the winnings.  Minus my management fee.