BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--Had a chance to return to the Myslecinek Park course this afternoon as Team USA and other international squads conducted its formal course inspection for Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
While the sun was brightly shining all day with temperatures in the high 20s, one got the sense that Sunday would be a cold one, as most of the European continent was hit with a cold spell. In fact, when I arrived in the country late Thursday, it was snowing throughout most of Poland.
In a video interview that will be posted on YouthRunner.com, both Katie Knight (far left, with Amy-Eloise Neale/photo by Paul Merca) and Andrew Gardner from Spokane agreed that this is one of the toughest courses that they've seen.
In an interview I conducted for USA Track & Field, ten-time World Cross Country Championships competitor and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon Deena Kastor said, "It was reassuring for me to see the excitement on the team when we went out on the course today. The camaraderie of the US team is awesome, and I'm excited to see how the race unfolds tomorrow."
"The entire course is a concern (laughs)! There wasn't one spot on the course that I felt that we could sail through or surge without slipping, falling or having the mud suck up your shoe. It's a gnarly course. It will be an epic day tomorrow, and we'll be facing some pretty harsh elements."
Sunday, expect temperatures to warm up marginally to the high 20s edging towards freezing level. The championships begin at noon, local time (4 am pacific time) with the junior women's 6K race, followed by the junior men's 8K race at 12:30 local time (4:30 am pacific time).
The senior women's 8K race is set for 1:15 pm local time (5:15 am pacific time) followed by the senior men's 12K at 2:10 pm local time (6:10 am Eastern time).