Going into this race, I felt pretty good. I had three solid weeks of hard training and THIS time I was prepared for those hard hills. The race has a later start time (7:30 a.m.) so I knew it could get hot. Getting a new personal best was a nice thought, but knowing the course, I didn’t have my heart set on it. I just wanted to race well, and finish strong – and I did.
Starting near the front of wave one, I saw the competition and recognized a few, but not many I knew. It didn’t matter. This time I was going to pace myself. I WASN’T going to get excited and burn out early. “Relax, breathe” was on repeat in my head. As my garmin buzzed at each mile, I glanced down with intrigue, but not much care of my time. This race was all about feel and knowing my body. I slowly picked off females and settled into 3rd just before the 8.8% grade hill over half a mile long, just after mile 5. Nearing the top, I passed 2nd. In an honest competitive spirit, it always feels good to pass someone on a hill like that. After overcoming the climb, I was passed by another female and knocked back down to 3rd. I told myself it was okay, and I needed to run my own race – afterall, it was only half over. The motorcyclist stayed with me and I could tell the gap between 3rd and 4th was widening. We rounded the final corner and I opened up my stride to go for it, just one second too late. I sprinted to the finish and missed beating her by 0.34 of a second. If I hadn’t hesitated, I could have had her. But, that’s all part of racing and why I love it. At least it made for an exciting finish. I was happy with how I raced overall, and surprised by a podium finish. I had negative split times of 7:15 average pace at 6 miles, 6:56 average at 10 miles, and finished with 6:50 average pace.
Finish Time: 1:29:29.
27th of 4192 overall.
3rd of 2236 in women.
2nd of 350 in age group but the top 3 aren’t eligible for age group awards.