Wise Old Man wrote:
I agree that van cortlandt is not fast I mean it's not impossible but the back loop is tough and lots of people blaze the first mile in the field . I was going to bring up the Cathy Schiro performance that you referenced. 1646? I could be wrong about that but that always obv stood out as a legendary run that is now approaching 40 years as the course record that some very good runners have not really approached. When you put in the fact that it was before the crushed gravel path was put in and the footing on the back loop was even worse then it's almost unimaginable how good it is. That and Trautmann in the Penn 3k are the two otherworldly hs distance runs from history for me esp in the NE.
When I was running VCP back 1978-80, it was by far the toughest course we ran. For the first mile it was too easy to go too fast, but at the same time you felt it was essential to get out front because the 2nd mile was horrendous and very difficult to pass people during this stretch. However, we were always proud to run at VCP and felt like we were running in the footsteps of the giants of the sport. No other course we ran conjured that feeling.
I'm a few years older than you and I'd agree with your comment about being proud to run in the footsteps of giants. Sunken Meadow might have been as hard or harder and even though Gregorek and Sanders were legends when I was in HS Sunken Meadow was a regional course unlike VCP.
California is now the top state for boys XC and Washington and Illinois were always powerful. But VCP was the place the island, upstate, and Jersey guys converged. Would it be 70 degrees and sunny or 40 and windy or ankle deep in mud? What shoes should you wear? The invitational were always great ( not that I was good enough to run in them)