Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Crystal Springs Course Condition League Week - 11/01/21

Thanks to Hank Lawson

Today was dry and it really helped Crystal.  The first 4 of 8 races helped
pound down "The Bog" (section that is 900 meters from the finish) so if you
took the line on the right, it was solid footing and mud wouldn't stick to your
shoes.  The other bad section (600 to go) was also dried out but the footing is
still questionable (even raking it out afterwards didn't take care of how chewed
up the course is).  The section turning off of Hallmark and heading to the 2 mile
has dried out quite well with just your standard erosion.  We closed the course
down to all after the meet was over so with another nice day, it should be pretty
darn runable.  Now Thursday and Friday might be another story and I'll update this
thread tomorrow after WCAL meet.
Coaches & Athletes,
I was out at Crystal today for the BVAL Finals and this is what I can tell
you about the course condition.

On Sunday the course was dragged and run-off ditches were dug.  It soaked up
the rain from the "gully-washer" we had last Sunday and looked pretty good.
It then took on a good amount of rain Monday morning from 9:30-11:30 and then
from then on (I left at 5:00) it was doing what I call "Misty Rain" so it was
still wet.  The course is now saturated and there is a fair amount of standing
water that has no where to drain to.  Myself and the Santa Teresa coaches flatened
out the real bad areas of "foot print pot holes" in some of the worse areas.  I
advise each league to volunteer some "person power" to go over the areas I will be
describing later in this note.  Bring a metal rake (not a rake for raking leaves)
and a shovel for ditch digging.  After the last race, some maintenance needs to
be done so the following days League will have a somewhat decent course to race on.
Even though the course is muddy and slippery in places, it's still fast as evidenced
by the 17:59.1 winning time in the VG race today.  Here are the bad areas from today...

Just past the 800 mark as you are turning left, there is a major mud area where
at least one person went down, hang to the outside to get some better footing.  As a
general rule of thumb, aim for the green on the course for better traction which means
you need to look ahead to figure out where your best footing is.  Sometimes it means
running on the burms of the course.

Coming up to the mile, hang to the outsides of the trail - the middle is wet and slippery.
It's not bad parallel to Hallmark drive but once you start to turn right and head to the 
2 mile mark, there are puddles.  This is the one area I didn't see myself but the runners
said it was slippery.

From the 1000 MTG (Meters To Go) to the 800 MTG it is wet!  The mud at this point will stick
to your shoes.  Running on the left you'll pick up less mud but it is way wetter and slippery
than the right side.  The middle is the worst of both worlds.

From 600MTG to 400MTG you have another section where the whole trail is just mud.  You can try
running up on the sides where there are some weeds but just know this is a bad section.  
Three people went down in this area today.

If you wear shoes with rubber spikes they will give you better traction but will also collect 
alot of that sticky mud and will feel like your running with boots.  Shoes with little tread
won't collect the mud but then you'll have less traction.  This is a Billy Goat kind of day 
and I haven't see the course this wet since 1972 XC Regionals.  I also implore you NOT to warm
up on the course, you'll just make it worse.

See you at the races.

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