Felt pretty good. I wanted to get out more aggressive than last race so I wasn't playing catch up. But the start was huge and I got stuck behind a wall of people. Spent the first 800m going faster than I would have liked trying to play catch up. My first mile was 5:07, but probably more ran more like a 5 flat once I got free of traffic. It t ook me about 2 miles to catch up with the 3rd place runner. Passed him easily and by 3.5 miles I was within striking distance of 2nd (1st had distanced himself considerably). Passed 2nd, then he sped up and passed me. He was pretty annoying to run with. At about mile 4 I surged ahead of him and after another half mile I threw in another surge on the downhill to the strand to get comfortably ahead of him. With a half mile left he passed me and I tried to hang on but couldn't. He had more speed and a good kick.
I felt great during the race, never over taxed or anything. I know I could have run with the top guy if I had been with him from the get go. Running in no-man's-land made me slack a bit on my 3rd mile (5:17), but I finished feeling fine so I know it was more mental than physical. At some point I'm going to have to be a little more gutsy and just race all out like I was able to my sophomore year. Maybe the 9-trail.