US Team Previews World Cross Country Course
March 27, 2010
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--The 24 members of Team USA took to the two-kilometer loop course Saturday at Myslecinek Park for a final look before Sunday's 38th running of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
In contrast to the dry conditions that greeted Team USA as it trained on the course the previous three days, the course was soaked by rains that hit Bydgoszcz overnight, turning portions of the field into a quagmire, and potentially changing the dynamics of Sunday's race.
The weather forecast calls for a chance of rain and a temperature of about 48 degrees.
Following Saturday's final course inspection, members of Team USA gave their impressions of what they will face Sunday:
Shalane Flanagan: The footing is very tricky. The course and the weather are coming together for a great race.
The weather was a little bit too nice yesterday. I don't want to be working on my suntan before a cross country race, so it's shaping up to be a challenging course. I am prepared for the toughest championships in my life.
Ryan Vail: You've got some logs there that you have to jump over, and there are a lot of tight turns. I think the course is going to be slow. I think that the mud is going to be good for all of our guys - it's going to slow down the front of the pack, and it's going to give us the opportunity to beat guys we have no business beating.
Shelby Greany: The rains made the course softer. The start of the course is on a slanted hill, and with the mud, you'll certainly see some people go down. The logs that you have to navigate are taller than what I expected, and are surrounded on either side by mud.
I think the muddy conditions make it easier for us to shine.
Trevor Dunbar: Everyone's running in the same conditions, and it will slow the race down at the front, so it's going to be important to get out fast.
For more information on the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.
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