Loriella Park hardest 5k in VA?
11/02/2018 9:12:26 AM
User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
The course change at Loriella Park this year has seen many sub 16 guys and sub 20 girls have a hard time breaking 17 and 21 minutes. On the old course, only one guy had ever broken 16 and that was Andrew Colley who went to NXN that year and is now professional. The new course change, looks to be even harder as the start is a 200m uphill and the front baseball fields section that was the flattest part in the first mile and whole course has been eliminated completely. Are there any other courses that inflate times like this course?
The course change at Loriella Park this year has seen many sub 16 guys and sub 20 girls have a hard time breaking 17 and 21 minutes. On the old course, only one guy had ever broken 16 and that was Andrew Colley who went to NXN that year and is now professional. The new course change, looks to be even harder as the start is a 200m uphill and the front baseball fields section that was the flattest part in the first mile and whole course has been eliminated completely. Are there any other courses that inflate times like this course?
11/02/2018 9:33:35 AM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 318
@eagleman25 Yea, Kernstown Battlefield course in Winchester is definitely one of the hardest courses in VA. That course has a REAL HILL. - Nolan
@eagleman25 Yea, Kernstown Battlefield course in Winchester is definitely one of the hardest courses in VA. That course has a REAL HILL.

* Nolan
11/02/2018 10:44:52 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 33
@vamilesplit VMI's old course at the Horse Center had a "Real Hill" so real, they quit using it - lol !! Bring back the old course at Piedmont Community College - "Heartbreak and Cardiac" - the course was a monster.
@vamilesplit

VMI's old course at the Horse Center had a "Real Hill" so real, they quit using it - lol !!

Bring back the old course at Piedmont Community College - "Heartbreak and Cardiac" - the course was a monster.
11/06/2018 7:49:47 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 601
@AndrewSteenkamer It's not an easy course, for sure, but I didn't feel like it was unquestionably the toughest place we run. New Market Battlefield is tough. Woodberry Forest is tough. Peaks View Elementary is tough. King George is tough. So we ran at least five courses I rank as hard (including Loriella Park). I really think the sport is more fun (as a coach) on these hard courses and wish we could get away from worrying about time so much until track season.
@AndrewSteenkamer

It's not an easy course, for sure, but I didn't feel like it was unquestionably the toughest place we run.

New Market Battlefield is tough. Woodberry Forest is tough. Peaks View Elementary is tough. King George is tough.

So we ran at least five courses I rank as hard (including Loriella Park). I really think the sport is more fun (as a coach) on these hard courses and wish we could get away from worrying about time so much until track season.
11/06/2018 9:44:40 PM
Power User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 22
Come run some races in Southwest VA if you want to see hills and hard courses. More hills than flat.
Come run some races in Southwest VA if you want to see hills and hard courses. More hills than flat.
11/07/2018 9:18:50 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 10
I really detest the movement we have in this sport toward fast, flat cross country courses. Every xc course, in my opinion, should be unique and challenging in their own way based upon what the facility and designers can offer. Fast times on symmetrical circuits should be reserved for the track season. We start worrying too much about PR's and fast times instead of racing and trying to beat people, which is the essence of the sport. The iconic courses in xc are not typically the ones that just produce scintillating times but instead provide challenges and obstacles to overcome. The problem really started at the collegiate level where championship courses are now relatively flat looped affairs. Perhaps I'm just a dinosaur but I really prefer courses that are not cookie cutter and that provide elements to be conquered.
I really detest the movement we have in this sport toward fast, flat cross country courses. Every xc course, in my opinion, should be unique and challenging in their own way based upon what the facility and designers can offer. Fast times on symmetrical circuits should be reserved for the track season. We start worrying too much about PR's and fast times instead of racing and trying to beat people, which is the essence of the sport. The iconic courses in xc are not typically the ones that just produce scintillating times but instead provide challenges and obstacles to overcome. The problem really started at the collegiate level where championship courses are now relatively flat looped affairs. Perhaps I'm just a dinosaur but I really prefer courses that are not cookie cutter and that provide elements to be conquered.
11/07/2018 10:04:41 AM
User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
@Harrier5614 I agree totally. NY uses Speed Ratings for every NY meet and then some nationwide meets to bridge the divide between course difficulty and time. Sadly, it's not a formula and so you can not apply them to every meet. But I do agree, especially in post season, time doesn't matter.
@Harrier5614 I agree totally. NY uses Speed Ratings for every NY meet and then some nationwide meets to bridge the divide between course difficulty and time. Sadly, it's not a formula and so you can not apply them to every meet. But I do agree, especially in post season, time doesn't matter.
11/08/2018 10:33:13 AM
Admin
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 318
@eagleman25 You definitely can apply it to any meet or course but it takes thousands of performances for each. I try my best to editorially describe and edit skewed performances on flat fast courses compared to hills. - Nolan
@eagleman25 You definitely can apply it to any meet or course but it takes thousands of performances for each.

I try my best to editorially describe and edit skewed performances on flat fast courses compared to hills.

* Nolan
11/08/2018 11:57:45 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 147
@vamilesplit My team years ago ran at the Va Horse Center course and it was brutal. Possibly the worst I've had my team run on was probably over 20 years ago at a course for Warren County High School. It was at the 4H center. I had the state champion 800 runner who I don't think broke 20:00 on that course and he either won or was fighting for the win. It was awful. I do agree about not loving having all fast courses. I like ending the year at Third Battle to get a fast time, but our home course has 2 creek crossings that are legit creek crossings and a roller coaster section and 90% of the time a mud section. Times are generally not fast at all, but it's a fun course.
@vamilesplit My team years ago ran at the Va Horse Center course and it was brutal. Possibly the worst I've had my team run on was probably over 20 years ago at a course for Warren County High School. It was at the 4H center. I had the state champion 800 runner who I don't think broke 20:00 on that course and he either won or was fighting for the win. It was awful.

I do agree about not loving having all fast courses. I like ending the year at Third Battle to get a fast time, but our home course has 2 creek crossings that are legit creek crossings and a roller coaster section and 90% of the time a mud section. Times are generally not fast at all, but it's a fun course.
11/08/2018 12:30:51 PM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 8
I'd second the nomination of the Warren County course from the late 1990's/early 2000's (no idea if it's still in use for Wednesday meets). The James Wood High School course was also pretty tough with the hill that you ran twice and the underappreciated long uphill grind to the finish in the stadium. Lastly, I couldn't agree more about the detrimental effect that the borderline obsessive focus on XC times has had on the sport. It has reduced the diversity of courses run at big invitationals and devalued what this sport is about, racing. Descending order lists and their associated meet predictors mean little. Even the MS50 XC rankings that Nolan does place an overemphasis on times and do not show the depth of analysis that they could in evaluating the relative performance of teams and individuals. This site does many things well and Nolan's passion for the sport and commitment to Virginia athletes is beyond reproach, but contextualizing performances and explaining nuance of performance is an area of growth for the site.
I'd second the nomination of the Warren County course from the late 1990's/early 2000's (no idea if it's still in use for Wednesday meets). The James Wood High School course was also pretty tough with the hill that you ran twice and the underappreciated long uphill grind to the finish in the stadium.

Lastly, I couldn't agree more about the detrimental effect that the borderline obsessive focus on XC times has had on the sport. It has reduced the diversity of courses run at big invitationals and devalued what this sport is about, racing. Descending order lists and their associated meet predictors mean little. Even the MS50 XC rankings that Nolan does place an overemphasis on times and do not show the depth of analysis that they could in evaluating the relative performance of teams and individuals. This site does many things well and Nolan's passion for the sport and commitment to Virginia athletes is beyond reproach, but contextualizing performances and explaining nuance of performance is an area of growth for the site.
11/12/2018 9:58:55 AM
Coach
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 601
@TrialsVT When I retire (2 years maybe). I plan to put my statistics knowledge to use on trying to figure out relative performances. It is not easy, of course. Temperature, humidity, course condition, time of year, difficulty of the course, and even how short the grass is cut all matter. I have a system for ranking football teams that I actually could apply to cross country (it was REALLY successful for football). The big issue would be writing the code for so many "games". In football each year we have about 2245 games. In cross country, to use this system, we would compare every kid who ran head-to-head in every race. So an invitational with 600 kids would actually have 600x599/2 "games" for me to calculate. So it would take some good code writing. There's also the issue of data entry, converting times from minutes and seconds to seconds, and weighting races based on how recently they were run and whether kids ran in the exact same race or just on the same course on the same day (which would mean, not exactly the same conditions). My son is currently majoring in computer science in college. Maybe he can help me with this project. I should be able to, but my old age just seems to make writing this code a bit overwhelming right now. The good thing about this system is you don't need to "weight" courses. The way runners ran relative to one another in a given race will take care of all of that. We could go back and get some sort of rating for how tough the course was on a given day, which would be interesting, but it wouldn't be needed.
@TrialsVT

When I retire (2 years maybe). I plan to put my statistics knowledge to use on trying to figure out relative performances. It is not easy, of course. Temperature, humidity, course condition, time of year, difficulty of the course, and even how short the grass is cut all matter.

I have a system for ranking football teams that I actually could apply to cross country (it was REALLY successful for football). The big issue would be writing the code for so many "games". In football each year we have about 2245 games. In cross country, to use this system, we would compare every kid who ran head-to-head in every race. So an invitational with 600 kids would actually have 600x599/2 "games" for me to calculate.

So it would take some good code writing. There's also the issue of data entry, converting times from minutes and seconds to seconds, and weighting races based on how recently they were run and whether kids ran in the exact same race or just on the same course on the same day (which would mean, not exactly the same conditions).

My son is currently majoring in computer science in college. Maybe he can help me with this project. I should be able to, but my old age just seems to make writing this code a bit overwhelming right now.

The good thing about this system is you don't need to "weight" courses. The way runners ran relative to one another in a given race will take care of all of that. We could go back and get some sort of rating for how tough the course was on a given day, which would be interesting, but it wouldn't be needed.

You must be logged in to comment.

Click Here to Log In.