Surprised to be 2nd at the Santa Claus Half!
This time many of the top local racers were no shows (Mike, Chad, Kevin, Mark, Chris, Stian: where were those guys?!), so Devin and I took off comfortably at 6:20. It felt strange to be at the front instead of hanging on in 8th or 10th for the first few miles before moving up. Devin could have taken off at any time but said he felt like running with someone.
We were already 100 m up after the mile and then brought it down to about 6:00-6:08 range all the way to mile 12 and for whatever reason (maybe off mile markers or just getting tired) hit a 6:33. Ooops there goes sub 1:20. He hammered (his last mile was 5:02) to get under 1:20. My last mile was about 5:48, and finished in 1:20:25 for 2nd overall. Age grade that's just a shade under 87%. Can't complain about that.
I ran through this year's race instead of tapering (have penciled in a fall marathon, as I didn't get enough miles in June to be ready for Humpy's in a couple of weeks). So with Gold Discovery and Santa Claus back to back like this, I figured having the higher mileage weeks coincide with the races, and using the follow up as recovery/lower mileage. Not exactly ideal for racing your very best but looking at the bigger picture (being prepared to run decent this fall) I figured it was the best way.
They have a fun barbeque after the race, a nice way to cap off the event. Got an orange Mountain Hardware tech shirt for the effort.