World XC: Ammar Moussa Daily Blog

Ammar Moussa, Arcadia CA, finished 66th in the Junior Men's race, finishing 5th overall on the US team.  The USA Junior Men finished 8th overall in the team competition.   



All Photos by: © Mike Scott 2010.



March 23 - Well after 26 hours of travel I finally arrived in Bydgozcz!  Some of us had a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt so we decided to go out and get a little shake out run done.  I went along with Ben Bruce, Renee, some of the Junior Athletes, and Amy.  I immediately had dinner and knocked out in bed.  I woke up at 9 and had breakfast.  Then all the junior girls, Trevor, Walter, and Michael just relaxed and went over to the local mall.  We went and walked around in the mall, and just looked around.  We were all wearing our USA sweats and we got some weird stares from people.  It was interesting because people started asking us what we were doing in their little town in Poland and seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing.  We ended up buying chocolate eggs because we thought there were smurfs in the luck.  Haha.  We got back and Trevor, me and Walter went out for a run along the Brda River.  We were running along the river and it was sooo cool!  There were some nice views and everything.  The churches just line the river, and make for an amazing skyline.  The weather is pretty nice, and apparently we are reallly lucky.


March 24 - I surprisingly got a really night of sleep and woke up right before breakfast ended.  I was gonna run a morning run but wasn't feeling good because of all the travel I had done, so I decided to just do one workout in the afternoon only.  Michael and I were really bored of watching the only English channel, CNN, that we just started walking around the city for an hour or so.  We went to old town and saw some amazing catholic churches.  Some amazing artwork and everything.  We were planning on going to an opera tonight so I decided to take a taxi and ride out to the course.  Did my workout of a three mile zone.  I wasn't sure about the distance so I just ran hard for 18 minutes and slowed down for 20.  I feel semi-good.  Just got an appointment with the trainer for a light massage.  First time ever :).  So I get back all proud of myself and my little adventure in the taxi, then I find out that there's no opera tonight.  So I spent 40 zloty (15 bucks) for no reason because the team took the bus there!  It was a still interesting because I had to communicate with non-English speaking taxi drivers...and I survived!   Dinner starts in a while and the food has been pretty basic, thank God, or else who knows what might happen to our Americanized stomachs.

March 25 - I got a HORRIBLE night of sleep last night after all the juniors watched Harry Potter.  I woke up at 7:30 and decided that I'd just get up, eat breakfast, and ride the early bus to the course.  Did a nice little run on the course to get a feel for it, though they haven't completely staked out the entire course.  Andrew Kimpel and I were able to figure it out fine.  My conclusion of the course is that it is a real rhythm breaker.  It's near impossible to just start getting into a zone on that course, and really get into a rhythm.  It's like they were trying to get as much distance as possible in a little field.  Just the randomest zigzags wherever they could place them.  There's a chance for rain tonight so it might get muddy.  I got half inch spikes so I'm good there:).  Just took an icebath and had a team meeting with Robert Chapman and the guys.  Got a little ra-ra speech from him.  Tomorrow we're heading out to the course as a group and taking team pictures.

March 27 - This is it.  The biggest race of my life.  It's tomorrow.  And I'm ready.  We were able to walk the course today in its entirety and after a night of rain, the course has been transformed into a mudbath.  Its reached the point where spikes won't help at all.  And there are some huge logs that we have to jump over, a little taller than the haybales at NXN.  But God has made me ready.  Coach has made me ready.  I have complete faith in myself and my training at this point.  My race plan: No matter what go conservative in that first k, go thru 5k feeling GREAT and destroy that last 3k.

March 28 - I guess this is the time to look back on my race and make some conclusions about how the race went.  I ended up finishing in 25:00 in 66th place as number 5 finisher for Team USA.  I don't want to say that I am completely ecstatic with the results, but I have to remember that I just raced in the World Championships, something that many people would die for, and I must thank God for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity.  I stuck to my plan, and I did go out conservative that first kilometer.  I actually went through 5k feeling amazing and I just started rolling people up.  My only complaint though, is that I feel that I might have gone out too conservative.  I was able to pass 18 people in the last 2k, but I wish I had passed 18 people to get into the top 50, not top 70.  I kind of went through the motions of running in laps 2 and 3, and frankly, that is unacceptable on such a big stage.  I need to mentally be in a race from start to finish, regardless of the stage, and especially on the world stage.  The entire race as a whole though was amazing, and being able to compete with the best in the world was an amazing experience.  I really hope to have the chance next year to compete in Spain, represent the US, and hopefully get a top-20 finish.  I have my motivation for the next year.  Thanks for reading!