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Master's Women 18th at USATF National Club XC Championships

Hellman's Hollow was still relatively empty when the WVTC Master's women (Me (Christy Bonstelle), Ellen Wallace, Kim Rupert) arrived to warm-up for our 9am race. Ellen and I - along with Ellen's husband Glen - met early and quickly accomplished one our most important tasks of the day - securing picnic tables for the WVTC base and post-race picnic. With a little skill, the bags of three people can look like an army occupying a table. Ellen and I then warmed up together, briefly running into Kim while the three of us tried to figure out where the heck to check-in (30 min. before at the clerk's table, no 45 min before, no 10 min before and at the starting line).

I am by nature a marathon runner, and this whole XC thing does not come naturally to me. However, I do have years of XC under my belt from high school and undergrad, and when the gun went off, it all came back. You may think that a Master's women's race would be a bit mellow, but do not underestimate us my friend - the first 800 meters were nothing but spikes and pointy elbows. And by the way, no, I will not move slightly so that you can avoid that puddle. You can run through it or get behind me. Positioning is part of the race. Oh, sorry, where was I?

I won't go into details about the up/down/around/through of the course. If you've read this far, you probably ran it yourself. Ellen got out well - that is is to say fast. I got out at my fast, which is also my slow (did I mention I'm a marathoner?). The race was crowded with runners, but also with spectators. I think I heard my name or "West Valley" called out at least every 50 meters (I only got called "West Virginia" once, and that was by the idiot who thought it was a good idea to try to make small talk with me 20 min pre-race).

In the end, we were 18th overall in the women's 40+ team category - which is pretty good considering that some of us were 60+. Post-race, Kim went off to officiate, Ellen and Glen found cheering spots on the course, and I stood in one place and cheered my little slow-twitch heart out for 3.5 hours (5 races). Finally, I returned to our little picnic table for the best post-race BBQ of any team on the field. Fortunately for me, I got there before the Master's men finished all the beer.

18. 186 West Valley Track Club-A ( 27:09 1:21:26 2:10) ============================================= 1 55 Christy Bonstelle 44 26:07 1449 2 62 Ellen Wallace 48 27:02 1451 3 69 Kim Rupert 60 28:17 1450

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