The afternoon started out with challenges. I was sent on this important recon mission to find out the layout of the conference course. The first challenge was finding a course. Dallas Center is…well…in the center of Dallas County. After driving past a nice bit of corn and beans I finally stumbled on the area that has been designated  Little Hawkeye Conference Championship Meet headquarters. The mission was in full swing.

My initial observation was that the course was flat. We are talking Kansas flat. Not a hill in sight. I strapped on the Go Pro, GPS watch, and covered up my Pella t-shirt (I didn’t want to attract undue attention!) The DCG Middle Schoolers were on the course so I tried to be incognito. Don’t think it worked. I heard one of them exclaim, “That guy is wearing a Pella shirt!” Ooops.

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Click to view full size Girls Course

The Girls 4K

View the course and geo stats here. From this link you can see an interactive route by moving your mouse over the graphs on the bottom and watching the cursor move around the course.

So the Girls 4K is a simple loop run twice. The start is in a soccer field it quickly narrows down to a small area. So a good start is in order. Don’t get caught in a large group. The first mile runs parallel to a gravel/broken asphalt. I’m fairly the course will be marked to have you run on the grass. The trail will tear up your spikes anyway. There is a south leg that you run down and then essentially turn and run back up the other side. This will be the roughest part of the course.

The turns are mostly gradual although there are one or two hairpins, but nothing like Norwalk. As you move towards the north side of the course you will note that you actually run across two baseball field infields. Traction here might be a bit weak. If it rains hard this will be a HUGE mess.

The Boys 5K

View the course and geo stats here. From this link you can see an interactive route by moving your mouse over the graphs on the bottom and watching the cursor move around the course.

Click to see large view of boys course

Click to see large view of boys course

Boys, your first look is different then the girls. The start is the same but after the first quarter mile you turn north and head behind the track. No problems here but once you get around the track things might get interesting. There is one point where you will run between two baseball field. This is around the 3/4 mile mark. The space here is VERY narrow. Don’t get caught in a large pack. There is one really sharp turn coming back onto the main loop here. Once you get to the mile mark you will take the southerly loop as well but cut it short the first time. The rest of the race is one full loop like the two loops from the girls race.

The Plus

Flat, flat, and more flat is the only way I can describe this course. You will have some turns to negotiate but plenty of straight aways to gain speed on. As long as the course is not long you should be able to have a real shot at a great PR.

The Negative…No Rain!

The real problem will arise if there is rain. It rained this morning so it should have dried out fairly well by the time I ran it at 4 pm. However, this wasn’t the case. There were several places it was soppy. However, I was able to avoid most of the wetness by moving to areas of higher ground. If it rains Monday, be sure to pay particular attention during your warm up on the course so you can pick out the areas likely to be dry.

Steeple Chase?

There is one spot you may have to practice some steeple chasing! The entrance to the first baseball field you will run across has a deep ditch that was full of water today. You will likely want to jump that like it was a steeple water pit barrier.

I look forward to watching you all run for PR’s and conference championships on Monday!