Finally back at Whale of a Run after a few years being out of town. This is probably the most competative local race, at least for the faster distances. My only goal was to run sub-6 miles, I knew there would be a few other guys I know in my age group.
Cool morning with some light mist, which was nice. Parked at CKJH for a 1.5-mile warm up, registered and ran into Simon. The start came really quick, which was nice, though they moved the start line up on Silverdale Way (making the last mile *feel* longer because you had to run farther to finish).
Went out behind the group of CKHS XC runners, who always dominate this run. There were a few other local XC runners and guys a year or two out of high school, plus a younger African guy who looked fast. I didn't need to keep up with them, and ran the first mile with Simon and another guy our age in 5:55. Felt really nice and easy, maybe a little too easy.
I backed off a bit on the uphill mile, let Simon open up a 20-yard lead or so, and passed a few high school kids on Newberry Hill. I really hammered coming off the hill, which felt good, and tried to push until the 2-mile marker on Provost. I caught Simon right before that marker and pushed right past, 6:35.
I knew then the sub-6 average was in trouble, so I focused on the third mile. I felt really strong at that point and it wasn't too much to surge, and I gained ground on a few other runners heading into the final hill, for a 5:40.
I more or less held my ground down Anderson Hill, couldn't make up much distance on the two guys in front of me before the turn back on to Silverdale Way. It's a long straight stretch to finish, and I knew the guy ahead of me was hurting (he kept looking back). I focused more on the finish chute and tried to just stay consistent throught there, and I don't think my head was in it to catch someone. It turns out I lost to the age group winner by 2 seconds; I had no idea I closed that much along Silverdale Way. I was kind of in my own world looking at the finish line instead of watching his back. The mile was a 5:43, so I hit my goal of sub-6 miles and finished 15th overall in a competative race. But I would have liked to win among the guys in their 30s. Shoot.
Fun day though. A few Jaguars ran so I went back and cheered them in, then Simon and I did a cool down on Silverdale Way and then I got a drink and as it really started to rain I ran up Anderson Hill to the final Jaguars practice of the season. Those kids were impressed by my race, so I suppose it's a win overall. And very importantly, my left hamstring didn't tighten up or bother me at all, so perhaps that's improving as well.