James Island Connector Run 10k! Always a really great event with solid competition -- as opposed to last weekend, this one is a RACER'S race! While the course is challenging, it's one of the coolest and most scenic around here. Had a lot of fun today hanging with some guys and once again performed better than expected.
After last week I thought I had a reasonably good chance at sub 36 on a flat course, but I thought it would be a stretch on this one. Two years ago I went into this race super serious thinking I was in good shape and was PISSED when I ran 35:49. Thought it would be cool if fun-loving, low expectations, (seemingly) out-of-shape Paul could beat that time this year. So goal A was <35:49, goal B was <36 (I guess not all the much different), and goal C was not slowest-raced 10k (<36:30). So I'll take it! In fact, this was almost as close to my fastest time on this course (35:16) as it was to my slowest.
I think I ran a very reasonable and measured race and that's always a good feeling. It's an out-and-back course on a highway bridge with rolling hills -- from easiest to hardest miles, I'd say it goes 6-2-3-4-1-5 and the splits generally reflect that. 5k and 10k start together and 5k is half of the 10k course, so it's always kind of interesting trying to figure out who's in which race. After a mile it had thinned out pretty well and there were 8 ahead of me but my guess was that I was in 5th in the 10k. That ended up being right EXCEPT the Skechers woman with whom I had been going back and forth suprised me when she made the turn for 10k -- it was ON! During the 1st half I'd always pass her on the ups and she'd pass me on the downs so on the 2nd half I figured I'd hang tight and try to make my separation on the last couple uphills (just in case she came screaming down that last downhill). Ultimately she ended up about ~45s back and I didn't have a particularly strong 2nd half so I think she may have underestimated the course in that first half... still a super legit runner though. Could see Chris and Eric the whole time which was cool but I know neither is in top form at the moment (and Chris hasn't raced in a while either).
Fun stuff! Slight positive split but that's okay, was caught up in racing anyway. Pretty ideal weather for here in Oct, humid but pretty cool and not horribly windy above the water.
Other little interesting notes: Michael Banks registered for both races, wins the 5k in 14:35, then turns and jogs a 17 something to take 2nd in the 10k in 32mid. 10k course record was set today by the infamous Ricky Flynn. I didn't show up in results originally and some 5k guy was showing up in 2nd in 10k so I was almost GYPPED out of prize money for TWO reasons, but my boi Chris vouched for me.