The race started before I was really ready, and leaving Nye was hurried. He was going to try and follow Tony. I was at the 3/4 mile at 4:45, and accellerated on the downhills. This pace felt just fine, only once I rounded the back corner did my legs feel the hard work. Further on the mud reallly sucked the energy out, and I picked the pace back up. I was meeting the back of the pack when thre trail rejoined the river, and there was Nye. He was grimacing and holding his side, obviously overwhelmed. It looked pretty bad for him. Thinking about this slowed me down, but I had previously been thinking of nothing else anyway. I really hoped he'd finish and not feel too crushed and defeated. Up the last hills I scrambled and finished in 2nd place with my best time by almost half a minute.