1st Place Male Master - 16th OA
1:27:48 - PR by 6 minutes,18 seconds
Weather - A little drizzly, a little chilly, a little windy... Perfect running weather.
Both the 5k and 13.1 started simultaneously. I didn't want to be at the very front because of the 5k racer's but I ended up a little farther back in the pack than anticpated. When the gun went off the people right in front of me started walking, like they were on their normal Sunday stroll, so I zig zagged and pushed a bit to get some room and then took off.
I wasn't quite sure how I would perform at the race. I knew I was in the best condition of my 21 Century running career but I typically overestimate my fitness and go out too fast. Went in trying to break 1:30 so needed to run at 6:52 pace. I had the Garmin autolapping every .5 miles and the first several miles were right at 6:36. It felt smooth and not too fast so I didn't back off. The course (like mostl courses in Florida) was pancake flat. It's on the Pinellas trail which is a beautiful, 10' wide asphalt trail. After mile 5, I was still at 6:39 average pace, felt good and knew I had the sub 1:30 in hand. I kept pushing and decided to go for the stretch goal of 6:42 pace.
There are two turnaounds on the couse and the second one was at about 9 miles. I was getting tired and was ready for the turnaround so I could head for the home stretch. The nice thing abut 180 degree turnarounds is that you get a good look at the leaders and can check how far back you are. Once I started seing them come toward me I began counting to see what place I was in. I was getting a little fuzzy and finally figured out as I counted to 24th place that I was already around the turn and was counting people behind me. So I stopped counting and just tried to concentrate on finishing strong. Mile 11 and 12 started to get really tough, the wind picked up, and I had trouble maintaining form. A group of 2 guys blew by me and looked like they weren't even trying. Finally with 1/2 mile left I was able to refocus and finish strong. Satisfying race and gives me some confidence for the Marathon which is only 3 weeks away.