The Cross Country Trail Marathon and Half Marathon are part of Altis Endurance Sports, a series of races that mostly take place on non-technical trails. This one was in Springfield VA in Lake Accotink Park. It was close to home and there were several people I knew running that day. Altis races are no-frills. There is a cotton shirt and a simple but nice medal. There are well-stocked aid stations that include candy, cookies and other treats to provide carbs and sugar to the runners. Timing is by "gun", not chip, and the courses are typically multi-loop.
|With Jody and Andrea before the race|
|The crowd before the start|
I really liked the first out and back with the view of the lake, and the short bit of dirt trail we ran. It was scenic. The rest of the course was through a beautiful park, where we passed sports facilities and picnic areas, but no lake.
|On the first out and back section|
|Entering the short stretch of dirt trail; I'm standing on a beach|
Most of the volunteers were high school students who had the day off school for Veterans Day. Some of them worked at the aid stations and some of them formed cheering sections. They were pretty much our only spectators.
The course was not terribly challenging in terms of hills or technicalities, but my legs felt tired and heavy, coming off NYC Marathon days before. I had no time goal for this race, so I just took it easy and enjoyed the brisk run through the park. The weather was perfect for running.
|That's Andrea ahead of me on the trail|
|Fast guy passes legends Larry and Matthew (if he only knew)|
|Jody on the course|
|We had one water crossing with stepping stones|
There wasn't a lot of fanfare at the finish. My time was recorded, I received my medal, and I had an Oreo cookie. After a few photos I said my goodbyes to Jody, Andrea and to Dave, who was going out for another loop of the full marathon.
|With my medal|