This course is always difficult as about one mile in you hit fire road which starts as ground up pavement then turns into dirt trail heading up hill. Two years ago when I did this race I remember following a gentleman with a US Coast Guard shirt on. In the last mile of the race he ended up pulling away from me. We chatted post race and we both placed in our age groups.
Fast forward to today and I see him at the start line! We chat for a couple of minutes and I have a feeling I won't be able to pace behind him for too long. I also met another SunRype Ambassador right before the start. The field was small for the 5k, only 66 runners. I probably took the first mile too fast, but I was trying to get in some good speed before I hit the fire road and the tedious uphill to the turn-around.
Once the the lead 5k runners came back down the hill, I started counting. My fellow ambassador was the second place woman and my friend Paul was also doing well. As I hit the turn-around I realized I was the sixth place woman. I tried hard to hold onto a pace but I was getting more and more tired. I kept looking behind me to make sure I wasn't going to get passed. The only people passing me were the top three runners from the five mile course, man were they flying! I made the mistake of seeing a shed that I thought was the one close to the finish line, only to realize I was not that close to the finish line. This caused me to lose some steam. I pretty much wanted to die, but my Garmin assured me I was not going to die.
Finally, the finish line was in site and several people cheered me in, which was super nice at such a small race. Glad to be done and to see that I had placed 2nd in my age group. Then I realized next year I will be considered a "master" runner at this race once I turn 40! This is a frightening thought, I don't feel that old!!!!