Jenn Cronin standing near the huge NCAA Logo adjacent to the starting blocks
Coach and I were able to get to onto the course on Thursday afternoon after about a five and a half hour drive. It was getting dark when we got to the course and I really expected to see more people there, but it was pretty quiet. It rained a lot yesterday so the course was really muddy. By the end of the run I was covered in mud. Coach O’Brien and I ran what we thought was the girl’s course, but we weren’t positive because the course was not very well marked. We just figured that they didn’t want to mark the course until the rain had stopped, so we assumed that we would be able to figure out everything once we got on the course this morning. The hotel we are staying in is really awesome. I have two beds, two TVs and a mini kitchen all to myself!
We got onto the course today around 11 or so. We thought that the course might be in better condition, but unfortunately it really wasn’t. Coach and I once again thought that we were running on the girl’s course but it turns out that we weren’t again. So I now know the boys course like the back of my hand. We had to stop numerous times and every time we stopped we saw other confused athletes and coaches. The course wasn’t marked once. So we finished up our twenty minute run and had to go back and walk the whole girl’s course looking at the map continuously. The course is pretty nice, it has three decent sized hills. At some points the course has great footing and then at others, it is absolutely terrible. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens at those points tomorrow. After our run we went and got my racing packet. I have so many numbers to wear. I have a bib to wear on the front of my uniform, the back, two hip numbers and two chips. It is pretty crazy.
Afterwards we grabbed some lunch and headed back to the hotel. I had a few hours to relax and then I got ready to go to the banquet. The banquet was at 6:30 and Coach O’Brien and I believed that the banquet was at a hotel close to the course because that was what we had been told previously. Well the NCAA decided to change it on us and the banquet was moved to a catering place, literally 200 meters if that from our hotel. So we drove about thirty minutes out of our way round trip. I was not a very happy camper. The funny part about it, is that the night before we had joked around about what the building next to our hotel was. The catering hall was really beautiful and the banquet was a lot of fun. We sat with some people from California. One of the girls sitting with us was actually the West Regional Runner of the Year. The food was really delicious and my award for Mideast Regional Runner of the Year is really sweet. Overall it was a great experience and I am looking forward to getting onto the course tomorrow.
Jenn and Coach O'Brien after receiving UTSFCCA Mideast Athlete of the Year honors