I ran this completely ignorant of my time last year. I had used a run/walk pattern and couldn't really say if I'd run my best when it was all said and done. So today I ran the whole thing of course, and of course I kept trying to remember that time I was ignorant of. This was totally ridiculous, remembering my Mt. Washington prediction based on this race was 1:45, my time had to be half of ... math on the run is a joke. Anyway, just like Northfield, and Wachusett, maybe Washington, in the quarter mile a crowd had pulled ahead, and I was behind that gap with a few runners. Only a few would pass me in the first half mile. There was the pesky run/walker that kept passing me, falling behind, and passing again and again. One of the notable runners passing in the late first or second mile was the lady I always want to call Wonsavage, but it isn't her and it isn't McManus, it's a sprightly silver haired lady with biceps the size of my calves. If we dismiss the run/walk yo-yo's, positions remained the same for the next 2 miles until the 'flats' and the imminent end began to inspire some racing. I indulged my legs in a longer stride and made the most of each crest and gentling of the grade. This kept the runners behind me at bay. I was challenged by a black guy who I think is a very disciplined runner, and held him off towards mile 3. This began a change of gears and some moves to catch the 2 runners ahead who were jostling for position. This dropped the run/walk yo-yo, and brought James Porter (walking) into view. He was the guy I fought to beat last week at Loon. With a head of steam building I caught both runners ahead of me and had something like a good finishing sprint happening across the finish line. People were asking me how I did and my estimations on my improvement over last year ranged from 5-10 min., I had no clue. Turns out it was about 1:30 faster, par for the series. Very glad to find Heed there, I filled a water bottle and got ready to visit the real summit.