Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Indiana Recap

We made it back from a wonderful weekend in Indiana! Corey and the Syracuse XC team were running in the NCAA Division I National Cross-Country Championships in Terre Haute, IN on Monday, so we left here early on Saturday morning with a destination of Indianapolis. We arrived around 3 PM and checked into the Westin. Jim went for a run and I found the yarn store that was only 1.5 miles away! After we returned from our separate jaunts, I decided I needed a good walk after sitting in the car all day, so Jim took me to the White River State Park, right in downtown Indy where we ended up walking about 3.5 miles along the canal and past the zoo. It was a great walk and just what I needed.

We then got in touch with niece Amy who was in town to spend some time with family. She recommended that we eat at her family's pizzeria and pub, which was a short walk from our hotel. We had a good meal and then Amy joined us for a beer. If you ever find yourself in Indianapolis, give the Pearl Street Pizzeria and Pub a try! We talked for a short time and made some plans to get together in the morning. It was great to see Amy again~it had been a long time since our paths have crossed.

After our Sunday morning breakfast, Amy came to the hotel and we walked in the other direction along the canal trail, racking up a few more miles. What a great resource that canal is in downtown Indy!
We then said our good-byes to Amy and made plans to meet up at Corey's meet the next day. Jim and I then went to a neat outdoor store where we learned a lot about backpacks for me.

We then drove west some more to Terre Haute where we spent the afternoon with Corey and some of his teammates.

The highlight (or maybe lowlight) was watching the Milk Mile and cheering on Syracuse's entrant, Sean. The Milk Mile has become a tradition before the National Championship race and it is for some of the runners that come along with the teams, but are not going to be running in the big race the next day. The contestants start the race by drinking 12 ounces of chocolate milk and then running a lap of the track. They drink and run until they have consumed 48 ounces of milk and run a mile. If you throw-up before crossing the finish line, you have to run one more lap. Most of the guys did OK, but the poor women! They crossed the finish line and quickly put their head in the conveniently placed large garbage can and started puking! People cheered! It was a bit sick! But they all earned the respect of their teammates. Sean did a fine job of representing SU by taking 3rd place in the Men's Elite race and managing to hold down the milk! He later told us that eating dinner that night was a challenge!


Knowing that nothing could top that entertainment, Jim and I headed back east about 35 miles to our hotel in Cloverdale, IN. We had to drive to the larger town of Green Castle to find a small, local restaurant for dinner.

Monday morning we were up early to get to the race course in time to walk it for a while and to check everything out. This course is one of the few dedicated XC courses in the country and is built on an old landfill, so there were hills for the runners to go up and down! We walked a good bit of the course and then Amy joined us and we walked some more.

The women ran first and I quickly realized that if I wanted to get some good photos of the SU runners, I would need to pick one spot and stay there.
There were lots of spectators who ran from point to point on the course so if I wasn't in a good spot right from the start, I wasn't able to get close enough to get good photos. So Jim ran all over the course cheering on Corey and the rest of the SU runners and Amy and I staked out our spot at a turn on the course where the runners were coming right at us and would come by this spot two times.

Corey is right in the center of the following photo.

There was a jumbotron right at the finish line so that more spectators could see the runners as they crossed the finish line. With thousands of spectators at the race, only a lucky few, who staked out their spots early were able to be right near the fence at the finish line. This jumbotron was a great addition.

The SU women had a good day and ended up with a tenth place finish out of 31 teams. The men had a tougher day and claimed 14th place. It was incredibly exciting to be part of this Big Dance for college runners and we were once again so proud to be wearing our Syracuse colors. Corey had a OK race and was SU's sixth man.

After the races, we hung around for a bit, but needed to get back on the road for our long drive home.

We left the course shortly after 2 PM and pulled into our driveway at 12:33 AM, not bad considering that included 2 stops for gas, dinner and a change of drivers.

Edited 2 days later: This has taken me some time to get posted because Blogger would not let me upload my photos, and what is a story without pictures! So, here it is Thanksgiving morning and Blogger is working again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends. Corey got home last night and we put him to work this morning raking up the last of the leaves (at least we hope it is the last). We will be at Gram and GrandDad's for dinner and Grandma will join us there.

Hope all is well.

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