The plan was to hobby jog this thing. The end result may have been, but it really was a race effort on my part. I ended up parking across the street from the lot adjacent to the finish. Worked out well enough. Managed to get about a single mile worth of warmup before the start. The temperature was 56, so I planned on wearing a singlet and arm sleeves. I ended up tossing them right before the gun, back at the car. Gave me a nice little strider to get the blood going.
Glad handed lots of folks I haven't seen in awhile at the start and settled back a 100 feet or so from the start. EB and I snarked about some chick who always starts right on the front. ( we passed her at mile 2) Our first mile was a 6:58, so much for a easy hobby jog. The first miles are always easy. 7:08, 7:15, 7:10. The way the course is laid out helps with these early miles as well. Mile 4 is a out and back to Oaklands Mansion. So you get to see everyone in front of you. Instant turbo boost to see the fast folks zooming by. Plus, when you're heading back out, the folks behind you are yelling encouragement. Hard to keep it slow.
Mile 5 was 7:03, damn. Didn't think I had that in me. Really thought a 7:15 pace would be a stretch for the entire race. But this part of the course is probably my favorite. Up around the square and back down East Main. Get to see a miles worth of the runners headed towards the square. Adrenaline rush I guess. Some young chick had settled in with me and EB from about mile 2 or maybe earlier. Pretty cool to get lots of shout outs for the ladies from the bystanders, plus everyone in town knows EB.
Mile 6 is about the point where I decided the ladies were going just a touch to quick for me. Another women had hooked on and I backed off. 7:17 for mile 6. Settled in to my pace and rolled off a 7:31 for mile 7. This is the pace I'd really thought would happen for the entire race. Downed my second gel at mile 8, it was caffeinated. (it did give me the boost I needed) This section of the course is my least favorite, down Mercury and onto Rutherford Blvd. It's also the longest "straight" section of the course. From mile 8 to mile 11, busy road with runners on the shoulder. Got passed by at least a dozen runners on this stretch. The only part that breaks up the straight is a little out and back onto campus. Another chance to see who is within striking distance and to see who is gaining on you. Mile 8 sucked 7:39. Dave T was on his bike at the corner and got me out of my funk. 7:22 for mile 9.
Mentally tried to be strong and stay with runners as they passed but only able to hang for a little while. Big toe cramped up pretty much the rest of the way home. More slow down, 7:27, 7:34 for miles 10 and 11. Made the turn down Lascassas for the final push home. At least the wind wasn't in our face, but these miles were pitiful. 7:43 and 8:01 for the last two miles. Tried to get the feet to turn over but they wouldn't cooperate. Did find one last little burst of something once I got on the track for the final 200 meters to the line. Someone was right behind me and I'll be damned if I was going to get beaten to the line.
1:37:34 8th old guy. (at least in my new age group) What the hell? A full 10 minutes off my PR. About where expected to end up time wise, but some faster old dudes this year, than in years past. EB was the first grandmaster female. BQ1 got his PR, his brother beat the Peeman in the results, but not at the finish. Good times. Surprised when I came thru the chute to see DW and #1 son. That was cool. Another great Middle Half from the Tate family.