We caught up with Claudia Lane via email from Scotland after her race Saturday at the Great Edinburgh XCountry Junior Women's 4K. Lane, a junior at Malibu (CA) High, was seventh in the international race and the No. 2 finisher for Team USA, 20 seconds behind winner Kelsey Chmiel, a junior at Saratoga Springs (NY).
"It was an incredible and amazing experience, definitely had a lot of fun!" Lane wrote.
The course was a challenging layout of damp grass, mud, uneven terrain and creeks that required either a leap or a cold and wet step. The race went off in forecasted 40ish-degree weather.
All of it not something Lane, who has been dominant over the past two years on dry and usually warm California courses, was used to.
"The race itself, of course, was very fun as well, though different from any other race I've done before," she wrote. "I've never run in deep mud or through streams before so that was awesome and really different."
Photos are hard to come by but Amy Yoder Begley (@yoderbegley) tweeted this of Chmiel and Lane in front.
Lane's time of 14 minutes, 30 seconds was good for seventh place in the 53-runner field. She was the No. 2 scorer for the U.S. team. The first four of the six-member team scored.
"Racing internationally and being a part of Team USA was such a cool experience and unbeatable opportunity that I am beyond grateful to have been given," she wrote.
Lane had been sick before her last race, the Foot Locker National championships on December 9 in San Diego. Illness or not, she still crushed a field of 40 by 19 seconds to win her second consecutive national title. After running 10 races in as many weeks during the fall, this was her first race in five weeks. It was also the first time she has not won in 23 XC races dating to the second race of her sophomore year. Between XC and Track & Field, it is the first time she has not been either first or second in 46 races dating to the start of her sophomore XC season.
"Although I didn't feel my best during the race," she wrote from Scotland early Sunday morning, "I'm excited for what's to come and will always remember this as one of my favorite experiences!"
- Additional coverage of Great Edinburgh XCountry
- See the course layout and challenges in this YouTube video