Temp 60 Wind 10 mph. Humidity 87% Dew Point 58°.
Don't feel too bad, don't feel too great. Relaxed and but anxious to get at it. Weather numbers indicate that its a little on the warm and muggy side, but there are zero reasons to bitch about a day like this on May 31st. Will actually catch some mist and a rain drop or two along the course.
The 30 and under studs will duke it out. I plan to stay in contact with the next group who should all beat me; however, if any of them miscalculate...well, I'm fit, I'm fresh, and I plan to pounce.
All shakes out in first mile. Group of four out front; however, one of them is on a relay team. I duck in behind next group of four which includes Andy J., Doug A., and Joe W. Other guy is on a relay team and he is running a steady pace about 30-50 meters ahead of them. Get comfortable, use the hills to prime the legs, and stick to the plan. First water station just shy of 2.0 mile mark. Take a swig of EFS and water mix, then walk through station while chasing it with a cup of water. Fall back into place about 30-50 meters behind AJ, DA, and JW. First two splits 7:08 / 7:07.
OK, got that behind me, next. Group picks it up some going down hill on East Main. Have noticed early that I gain a nice little chunk of ground on them going up the hills, they pull away on the down hills, and that I'm also picking up a few steps on the flat ground (what little of it there is right now.) Getting closer to time to start racing. Next two splits 6:53 / 6:47.
Do the EFS shot, walk the water station thing again. Take a deep breath, and prepare mentally to take on the two steep climbs on Veterans Parkway and Co Road 620. Hit the top of the first hill still with my 50ish meter contact with AJ and JW, but DA is moving on relay guy that just took the hand off at mile four. Mile five split 7:01. Heavy lifting is over, its time to race.
Closer to 30 meter gap between me AJ and JW now. DA picked off relay guy and I've lost too much space to make up in just four miles, even if he slows some. Look and see AJ moving on relay guy and DA. JW does not go with him. Only one reason he did not go...he's in trouble and can't. Don't get too excited, just ease on up and by him with a 6:40 mile six. We exchange some words and he indicates he is holding it at 6:45. My next mile is a 6:38 and he is still right on me. I am feeling really strong and really relaxed right now. Know there is one more small incline heading into Walden Park Subdivision and know if I keep the pressure on, there is a good chance the hill will do my dirty work. Take one last shot of EFS and water mix turning off Highway W.
Through Walden Park and onto the flat trail. Mile eight is another 6:38 and I've made myself all the room I need. Relay guy has kicked in and leaving AJ and DA behind. AJ gapping DA now. DA is slowing, but not a whole lot. Do close some on him, but never get close enough to have any hope. Drop a 6:33 for my last full mile split. Confident my OA position is secure, so decide to go balls out the rest of the way. Glad I did. Had not looked at my watch once during race. First sight of timing clock and saw 1:00:XX. Would have been happy with sub-65. Tickled shitless with sub-63. I might be looking at sub-62. Close the deal by averaging a 5:57 pace for final meters. Squeak across the finish line at 1:01:59. 6th OA. 1st 50-54. Top five all at least 10 years younger than me.
Felt real good about execution on this one. Mentally calm and in control the whole way. Had a lot of trust in my fitness to be able to do whatever needed to be done whenever it needed to be done. Had a lot of fun.