Runners at the XTERRA Seneca Creek 5K/10K were surprised by the Green Flash that showed up at the start. Not to be confused with greenish glow at sunset, this Green Flash was the BelieveinMe Family Running Club (its youth program is nicknamed The Green Flash) from Frederick, Maryland.
“I really want to give a shout out to the Green Flash cross country team for bringing out a huge group to the 5k,” said race director Jefferson Nicholson. “It's great to see so many youth entering the endurance running sport. Most of our 16 and under runners were from that club.”
The men’s 5K went to Varun Misha, who won in 22:04. Coming in second was ten-year old Raymond Cobb, who ran 25:43. Raymond has been running with the BelieveinMe club since he was five. The women’s race was won in 26:07 by one of Raymond’s coaches, Mary LaRocco, and second place went to his teammate Sydney O’Clery with a time of 27:12.
“We’re all about family distance running,” said head coach Darcy Strouse. “Today at XTERRA Seneca Creek we had 12-year old Sydney come in second while her brother Blake won his 15-19 age group. Their father Doug was first for his 50-54 age group.”
Coach Darcy, as she is known, is a developmental psychologist and sports psychology consultant. An elite masters runner in her own right, she founded BelieveinMe because she was seeing too many high school and college athletes burn out from the pressure.
“We do a lot of trail running because it’s so healthy. It strengthens tendons and ligaments, we’re out in nature, and it’s soft to keep them from getting injured. If you run on trails, you can do it forever.”
View 5K results here.
While the 10K didn’t feature as many speedy kids in green, it was another close race between Iain Banks and Evan Daney.
“The top two 10k finishers were neck and neck through the whole course,” said Nicholson. “Iain Banks finished just a tenth of a second ahead to win it.”
"We literally ran stride for stride at the front of the race for the entire course and both knew it was going to come to the final mile to see if either one of us could crack the other," said Banks. "I did have the advantage in that I raced and won on this course in 2016 so I knew how close the finish line was from the final corner. I made sure to get to that corner first and started the sprint early. It was so close coming across the line that no-one could even guess who won and it all came down to the timing chips across the mat."
This was the second match-up between Banks and Daney. In last month’s XTERRA Brandywine, it was Daney who won by a second, coming in at 50:15 to Banks’ 50:16.
"I am sure we will meet again and push each other for the rest of the series," said Banks. "I'm just glad we aren't in the same age group."
In the women’s race, Alison Knight made it look easy, finishing in 45:42, nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Rachel Layer. 2016 XTERRA Regional Champ, Diane Magill, won her 40-44 age group handily in 56:06.
View complete results here.
Photos courtesy of Greg Strouse