Little Fifty to kick off race weekend

Senior Andy Krack just tries to put one foot in front of the other.

Freshman Makensie Coslett tries to figure out how to outrun the girl in front of her.

Freshman Tricia Oxford hates falling behind, but if she does, she’ll save a good kick for last to outrun her competitor.

Every runner has a different strategy on the track. Krack, Coslett and Oxford will use their strategies during the seventh annual Little Fifty – a 50-lap relay race for 25 teams of four people.

The event kicks off Little 500 weekend today with the women’s race at 7 p.m. and the men’s race at 9 p.m. at the Robert C. Haugh Complex.

Kyla King, steering committee member for the IU Student Foundation, said based on qualification times, the top teams for the men’s race are Mercury, Phi Gamma Delta and Crimson. For the women’s, King said Team X, Team Crimson and Kappa Kappa Gamma are this year’s top contenders.

Krack, a fourth-year runner for Mercury and a top contender for this year’s race, said even though the focus isn’t on Little Fifty all year, the team trains most of the year for cross country. He said training is week-long, going for long runs on Sundays and core strengthening during the week with weights to focus on areas they don’t hit when they run.

“We’re competitive runners,” he said.

Coslett, a first-year runner for Alpha Omicron Pi, said her team usually trains separately.

For the Little Fifty, Coslett began training a week after winter break. At first the team started running four to five miles per day and often did speed work. She said she tries to train at least three days a week.

Even though she trains as much as she can, Coslett said she still feels uneasy.

“Yes, I’m very excited, but I’m also really nervous because I don’t really know what to expect,” she said.

Oxford, a first-year runner for Crimson, said the team has been training seven days a week since winter break. She said the team takes training day by day, usually running four to five miles in the beginning of the week, running long distances on Sundays and having some easy days in between. But just like Coslett, Oxford said she’s felt nervous all week.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said.

But she’s looking forward to having fun with her team and isn’t scared about the competition.

“We’ve heard about some injuries, but we’re not counting anybody out,” she said.
Despite placing first in qualifications, Krack said the team has to stay within its own limits.

“We all know where we should be with average pace or average lap pace,” he said. “We’re not worried about what other people are doing. We’re going to stay within ourselves and do what we know we’re capable of doing.”

King said the foundation is hoping for a “great turnout this year” since it rained heavily during last year’s race, but she said attendance is increasing every year.

“I’m not sure the Little Fifty will ever be equal to the Little 500,” she said, “but it’s on its way.”

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