I signed up for this race as encouragement for my cousin's wife, who's getting into running, and then talked my brother into joining as well. So there was no plan for whether I'd race or pace others. But as we milled around Sunday morning in a big "fun run" type crowd, the competative juices started to flow a little, and when the announcer called for all sub-6 minute mile people to come to the front (and only a handful did) I couldn't help it. I decided to race.
We had warmed up a mile, from Bryce's house to Montlake Boulevard, so avoiding the traffic of 4,000 cars around the UW was a good omen. Like I said, it was a small group up front at the start, so I had no trouble getting out quickly. There was a large contingent of Club Northwest runners, so I figured I'd pace with them. I missed the first two mile markers but luckily was alongside a guy wearing a Garmin, and going by his beep I ran 5:41 and 5:37 or so on two pretty flat miles, maybe a slight downhill on the second. I've deleted the splits on my watch without writing them down, but if memory serves I hit around 5:40 on the turn up the University Bridge (a hill, but not a steep hill), and then surged for a 5:13, trying to put away a tall CW woman and two other guys. As we hit the four-mile marker I had another handful within striking distance, and quickly reeled in two guys at the turnaround on Montlake. By watching the runners headed toward the finish I guessed I had a shot at the top 20, and on the last route through the athletic complex I tracked down a group of three women. Caught 'em all, even had a little kick on the slightly uphill finish. But I was just outside that 20, and finished 28th. Another 20 yards and I would have picked off one more guy.
I liked this race, it went fast and I really felt strong all the way through. It felt great to be able to find some reserve on that fourth mile to surge rather than floating, so I guess I have some speed at the moment. And it was one of those few-thousand-runners-raising-money type of things, so it was a fun atmosphere. Timm, Alicia and Eric all ran well and had fun too, and we walked home after the race and had some french toast.