Saturday, March 23, 2013

World Cross 2013: Now Add the White Stuff

or, Wuthering Snow in the Madding Crowd of Poland in Middle March with Great Expectations
Guest Editorial by Van Townsend

Elliot Heath, he of the 19th Century English novelist moniker, might just spring a surprise in snow-laden Poland at World Cross. Don’t let the downplayed social loser media and web wannabes fool you into thinking World Cross isn’t the ultimate testing ground for mental and physical toughness: this game goes out fast and never lets up. WC is relentless pain. Look at interviews with Jerry’s guys, Bumbi and Brent, who have been there before. It is not pretty.

And now add the white stuff.

The Africans, which actually mean a gazillion athletes given nationality from well-paid countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and other historic hotbeds of harriers (not) will of course be in Bydgoszcz. But snowy turf doesn’t cater to these Runners-of-Fortune. On the course preview days at Boston World Cross in ’92, the Ethiopians and Kenyans didn’t want to touch the cold, white ground.

So here comes Heath, Derrick, and USA toughies like True and crew.

Chris Derrick weighs less than a slice of bread and should glide across the ground. Ben True eats snow for breakfast. He was a World Junior several winter semester at Dartmouth and actually CHOOSES to keep truing in New Hampshire winters.

t’s too bad this race isn’t televised like it is in the rest of the world. Besides Boston Worlds, the one time I got to watch it on the Telly was at a Kenyan training camp! Go figure.

If the revolutionary colonists could scrape out a Bronze medal, we should pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the resurgence of American (and Canuck Cam Levins IS North American!) distance running.

Maybe Heath and company can overcome the Bleak Bydogoscvz House conditions and pen a new chapter in our Great Expectations.

No pressure, guys.

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