Not very happy with the race directors today. Or myself. Just eased into the race, was meant to simulate the plan for the half. Got out in 5:56 and was already in first place. The guy in 2nd is a local 1:15 or 1:16 guy so a little bit better than me. Well, I really put distance on him in mile 2 (5:49). Mile three I did not feel all there, felt a little light headed (think it was from not eating dinner last night), but still put distance on him. Hit about 3.75 and came to a T. There was no indication of which way I was supposed to go. My thought was left, but I did not want to go the wrong way. Heller came back after about 30-40 seconds and told me which way to go. I was frustrated and immediately wanted to put distance back on him, but this time I could not shake him. There were two other points where I was confused and did not get directed until the last second, every time just wasting unnecessary energy. Hit about 4.7 and thought I put another gap on Heller. I could not hear him anymore, but did not want to look back (Mile 4 6:27 w/ wasted time, Mile 5 5:52). All of a sudden we hit a hill right around 5.2 and I felt him move. Damn, he took off and left me behind, I was impressed. I tried responding and we made it out in the open off the trail. Huge downhill that I was a little too tentative on because I did not want to be out of control, but I think I needed more there. Big uphill into the finish and while I was moving well, he was as well and he held me off by two seconds for the win. Last .73 were around 5:35-5:40 pace. (4:08).
I'm not sure how you make a mistake like that as race directors, but at the end of the day it became a 1.7 mile race and he beat me. I'm not sure where that second wind came from by him, but gotta give him credit. I wish I could have dug deeper that last bit. 5:55s felt pretty easy despite rolling hills and lots of tree roots. I felt like I was just at threshold effort the first 5 and then hitting the next gear was not there. Going to make sure I eat a dinner and do not drink a lot before the half, but I know I'm in a good spot right now. Good to have Justice out there.
Also, foot hurt a good deal after a bad step around 3 miles.