Not sure if these kids had no interest/confidence to lead, or I had earned some respect by beating all of them last year, but no one was interested in matching me after I took the lead. And with the lead, I was not interested in starting fast as I hit 200 in over 41sec. And even then, the other 2 alumni were the only ones on me. I shortly debated whether to just keep it slow until someone else took the lead, but instead I picked up the pace a notch or 2 and just kept it there.
I slowly picked up the pace each lap for 5 laps, hitting around 39. And soon the current runners began to line up behind me. When we hit halfway in a slow 3:19, 2 Luther runners passed me with a strong move. I didn't make much of an effort to stay with them as I kept with my pace. They would slow down as well but not enough for me to catch them. A 3rd Luther runner passed me with a few laps to go and I kicked after him but didn't catch him.
Nothing special about this run, though I guess I haven't lost to more than 1 Luther runner since 2008. I'm not too disappointed as this was my first race in months and I haven't really been training for it. Still faster than 2 years ago and only 4sec behind last year. Also still had a short but fast kick. Still not sure where my training will go, but if I fail to do another indoor race this year, I won't be sad.