|Going out for the second loop. Photo by John Pavlick|
After we got moving, the conditions actually felt great. In fact, running weather doesn't get much better.
I started out by trying to keep up with Heidi Finniff. Heidi's been running really good lately, so I knew that if I could stay with her, I'd have a solid run.
The first mile went by in around 7:30. Having only run the Hinckley Buzzard 25K trail race in recent months, I didn't know what to expect this day. I'd originally thought that maybe staying around an eight-minute pace would be a worthwhile goal, but I just wasn't sure what would happen. Now that I'd started out at a seven-thirty pace, I figured that my goal had now been defined: stay at this same pace throughout the run.
Easier said than done. At some point I passed Heidi, but she stayed close behind. We could see each other, as well as most of the other runners, at all the turnarounds. There were a few guys that were just in front and back of me, and except for one or two, I couldn't quite seem to shake them.
I went through half-way point in 37:40, hoping that I could pick it up at least a tiny bit for the last five. I did manage to stay at 7:30 pace for most of the miles, and then I picked it up for the final one, which was around seven minutes flat. I wasn't able to catch a few of those other guys, but it was still a strong finish, and I was quite happy with my finish time of 1:14:35.
Funny thing: they give you your award as you cross the line (a really wonderful idea), and when they presented me with my second in age group plaque, I said, "please don't tell me it was one of those guys right in front of me who got first!" They understood the need to lie to me, and said, "no, don't worry - first place was WAY in front of you!" I still don't know for sure whether that was the truth or a very nice lie, but I feel much better not knowing.
|At the finish with my usual grimmace. Photo by George Themalis|