The way I took off at the gun—first one out there for the first 100 meters—you might have thought I was racing for a win. But I was merely trying to get out of the way and avoid the ice. And then stick to the plan.
Which was to pace beside or behind a fast dude pushing an Athletes in Tandem stroller. Which I did for the first 1.5 miles, even as an older gent passed us. We crested over the only slight rise on the course, and I figured the stroller guy would gain some speed. Instead, he seemed to slow, so I made a decisive pass, all while trying to maintain a steady intensity.
I remembered how last year in the final mile others slowed, and I did too at the same rate. This time I was intent not to let that happen. So mainly I concentrated on “kicking my butt”—something Kristina pointed out in the Fortitude 10k that the elites appear to do. This seemed to work well enough that I managed to catch and pass the older guy who had passed at Mile 1.4.
Final time was 27:31, or 17 seconds slower than last year. But at least my splits were more even, covering that final mile in 6:59 (vs. 7:07 last year). Moreover, I came in first in division instead of third. My friends Brooke and Cathy got age group awards too!
Time: 27:31 (6:53/mile)
Overall place: 17/462
Division place: 1/25