This year I played it a bit differently. I did a little bit of a warm up run just to get things loosened up. When the cannon went off, I didn't bolt out of the gate. I cruised it around the parking lot. Near the front, but running within myself.
By the time I got to the first climb, I was ready to power up it. I managed to pick off all sorts of runners this year going up that climb. Love it when I can let the trail and mountain running skills shine forth. In addition, my plan was to push hard and expend just about everything on the four miles of climbing. I knew that the last two miles were a screaming downhill and I could recover on that.
Well, things worked to pretty much perfection. I was in the lead group and we were spread out. I didn't have any other runners behind me. Much different from last year. I kinda like running out front, it's not as crowded.
When I finally hit the high point and started downhill, we met up with the slower 5K runners. I bombed the downhill, pushing sub 7 minute pace pretty much the entire way to the finish. Ah, the downhill, rocky trail practice does in handy. Lots of people were picking their way down, I was flying past them.
The results? Well, there were 150 runners this year. I managed to eke out 15th place, 11th, male, and 1st in my age group again. Not only that, my time was almost seven minutes faster than last year. 50:23. Pretty happy day for me. The old man can still finish in the top 10% when he gets lucky and knows what he's doing.
The one thing I noticed with my Garmin was that the course showed as 5.8 miles, not 6.2. Not sure if my Garmin was off. I didn't track last year's race, so I couldn't compare. Here's a link to the course. Oh, wore my heart rate monitor just for fun too. I was pretty much redlined the entire time. HR averaged 156 and was over 160 for quite a bit of the time.
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