So this was fun. Decided in the morning that I would try to go out at race pace and see how I felt. If I had any issues whatsoever I would just back off. The calf has actually improved a bit over the last few days, and that was encouraging.
Greg, Robin and I met with Brian and mikey ate the beginning. Brian's trying to run 7:15s, which I don't think I can do, I'm really shooting for 7:20 and I'll be really happy with that all things considered. At the start, Greg and Robin take off, as expected, and I don't see them again for quite a while. I ran with Brian for about 4-5 miles, we would take turns taking the lead. He would catch me on flats or even ups and I would pass him on the downd. Finally at around mile 7 or so I lost him. I was also following bunny ears since the beginning of the race, and I actually caught and pased her around 8 or so. It's a little after that that I saw the woman in black with the body armor and headphones way up in front. I knew she must be struggling if she was coming back to me.
But then the gap stayed about the same (she must have picked back up) until mile 9 when we hit one of the bigger hills. With her achilles she can't run the ups and I caught her. I think it pissed her off though because she jumped right back out ahead of me. About this time I saw the guy in white with the white hat maybe 400 yards up. I thought he was long gone.
The gap between Robin and I stayed about the same for 3 miles or so, but we were (very) slowly gaining on Greg. Around 12 or so, xhristopher pulled alongside, he recognized the swamp shirt and wanted to know who I was. I told him, but I couldn't talk. He looked too damn strong and just leapt in front of me. It seemed like in no time he caught Greg, who must have only been about 200 yards in front of me, with the gap between Robin and I remaining the same.
In the 13th mile the gap started to close with Greg (not with Robin). She caught him before 13, at which time I thought "damn" because he quickly surged and I thought there was no way I was going to catch him. Robin fell in behind him and that seemed like that.
But before mile 14 the gap somehow closed a little. And then I got a break. We had just come off a down and then turned right, and went up a short but fairly steep hill. It's what I needed. I cut the gap oin half on that hill, with Robin coming back first. Now the gap is only about 20 yards on Greg, and as I pull up next to Robin she yells "MOVE YOUR FUCKIN ASS - HE'S RIGHT THERE!". They both have headphones on so they can't hear me. This is right at the 14 mile markerish, so I knew we had 1.5 to go. Wasn't sure I had enough, but I thought my only chance was to try to blow by him before he even knew I was there, and make him think I was stronger than I was. So Robin and I both freighttrained him and I tried to put on a burst.
Really I have no idea what happened after that behind me. I never once looked back. I just tried to hang on, and did by 6 seconds over Greg. Brian said he gained 3/4 mile on me in the last 4-5 miles, which meant he must have been laying down some 6:30s, which is impressive. My last 2 were at 7. Beat my original goal by 1:20 and really I wasn't dying.
Later yesterday I felt lkike I could have run, and today I don't feel much soreness. And the hills on this course are overblown. Nothing we don't rrain on everyday, and not even as hard as Big Lake or Great Bay.