Please allow me to first start by saying I was running in my most competitive race ever. For a guy with a late start, lots of experience, I felt so naïve. It was very easy to get caught up with the very fast pace post-collegiate runners as most were under 5:00 at the first mile. My 5:18 first mile set me far enough back to think I was ok, then, reality hit that sustaining it would be something I hadn’t done in a long time.
So I slowed, then I side stitched. Runners passed, I let them. Later I would try and hang onto some. It was soon enough realizing there were fewer breathing down my back that I was probably running dead last. Seeing a couple others on the side pulled out the thought crossed my mind. Seeing my wife along the course was inspiring to keep me in as she kept yelling “go for the points”. The XC Grand Prix points that is.
The accumulations in the legs set in quickly making the two climbs up “Bear Cage Hill” no fun.
It wasn’t until the last downhill for the pace to turn around. I picked a few runners to pass, paced myself and let the spikes rip up some turf for a very strong finish.
Course was in good shape as it drains well and the strong winds pulled most of the water away.
Analysis: In hindsight, my trying to keep pace with last year’s 28:10 guy was a mistake. I only know his time and not how he races. I would’ve been better off to use a runner that I knew and ran against more often. That mistake was made in the first minute of the race. I just don’t understand why I didn’t stick with my pre-race plan!
Results: 165 out of 180, 11th master of 13, 29:27 for a pace of 5:58/mile
Video: look for me *way* in the back
11 hours ago