After only running 4 miles all week to rest my hurting foot, I didn't have too high of expectations for my first 5K in about 6 months. But, I couldn't pass up a race in my home town when I had nothing better to do. With around 200 people behind me I toed the line, expecting a top 10 finish. In most road races lately I aim to finish in the top 5-10% of all finishers. I'm not quite as good at trail racing (yet).
Within a quarter mile the front of the race thinned out to the guy who I could tell would win it all, and a group of about 5 of us separated by about 20 yards. I was third in this bunch with a 16 year old kid just in front of me. He was wearing headphones, a sweatshirt, loose calf-high socks, with ratty black sneakers. All tell tale signs of one of those kids who starts the race in front and finishes about 15 minutes behind. So, I kept at striking distance. But, he refused to fade. He stayed within striking distance of the 2nd place runner in front of him. We stayed in this order until hitting the last mile on the perkiomen trail, with my second mile split matching the first - 6:02. I didn't care much about my time at that point. I was focused on catching and beating these two. I've run this stretch of the perkimoen a million times so I was confident with what the last mile had in store. I quickened my stride at this point, and passed the kid with about 3/4 to go. I kept that up and took over 2nd place with a half mile left. I kept this pace and slowly didn't hear him right behind me anymore. Kym and the kids were waiting about 50 yards from the finish and Kym screamed to me that he was going to catch me. An all out sprint to the end, and I kept my lead. We both finished in 18:25. A PR for me by 64 seconds.
I followed this up with a trail run Sunday morning. I fell harder than I ever have, bashing my knee. I'm hoping it's just superficial, but it doesn't feel too good walking today.