Still, TC Running Company's wins in the Team Circuit opener on Sunday suggest 2009 could be a compelling year in the battle for team pavement prowess. TCRC squads beat Run N Fun, the defending men's and women's open division champs.
The TCRC men edged RNF by three seconds at the St. Patrick's Day Human Race 8K on Sunday. The TCRC women outran the RNF women by more than a minute for their win.
Circuit results can be found HERE.
Last year, the RNF men outscored runners-up TCRC 125-115 for the Team Circuit title. The RNF women out-paced TCRC 107-83 in 2008.
The RNF men have won at least a share of five of the last six Circuit titles. They won outright in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008, and shared the crown with Runners Edge in 2004. The RNF women will have won the last three Circuit titles.
Josh Metcalf led the way for TCRC, finishing 6th overall in 24:54. The Eden Prairie-based squad packed its five scorers within 40 seconds of Metcalf. Defending Human Race men's champ Jeremy Polson led RNF with a 3rd place individual finish in 24:30.
Jenna Boren, the Human Race women's titlist, paced TCRC with a 27:34 clocking. While the total-time scoring made it a comfortable win for TCRC's women, they only edged RNF 27-28 in the competition using "dual meet" scoring.
Former Team USA Minnesotan Brad Lowery, representing the Prairie Striders, won the individual title at Human Race, edging former Carleton College all-American Matt Hooley 24:19 to 24:23.
Full individual results from the Human Race can be found HERE.
The next fixture on the Team Circuit is the Get in Gear 10K on April 25.
Photo -- Matt Hooley (765) leading eventual Human Race champ Brad Lowery -- by Gene Niemi.