I have been looking forward to this race for a long time. This was my goal race, just like it was last year. Totally bonked last summer, but not today. Today was my day.
After a 30 minute delay, we started out. As usual for me, I started out too fast. First 2 miles were under 6. Good grief, I thought. I can't start that fast! But, I was feeling good, and there was a group of runners right ahead of me that I didn't want to let get away. At about mile 5, I caught them, and was with them for about a mile or so. Mile 6 marked the end of the easy section, and the start of the rolling hills. I made it through that little roller coaster with a great pace. I was doing about 6:07 through there. By this time, the whole group except the 2nd place female had fallen back, and she was just a few strides ahead. I managed to catch her just before mile 9, as I was exiting the canyon. I was feeling really strong compared to that point last year. My pace was slowing, but I was still going faster than planned, and I was still feeling pretty good. I got passed by an older gentleman just before mile 11, the first person to pass me since that group around mile 4. And I'm pleased to say that nobody else caught me, although I thought someone was making a move with just under a mile to go. Mile 13 was my slowest mile by far, but still under 7 minutes, but my final .1 was at a 4:58 pace.
I finished with a time of 1:22:21 for a 2.5+ minute PR. 14th place overall, and surprisingly 5th in my age group. Last year I won my age group with a 1:29. Oh well, that PR is a pretty sweet prize. I'll take it!