I had trouble finding a race that I wanted to do this weekend. With Volunteer Income Tax prep on Saturday I needed to find something on Sunday. After finding the app for the DW Field race in the Hockomock Swamp Rat I decided to make the trek down to Brockton. Actually with the driving I've been doing to get to snowshoe races and to town-bag, Brockton really isn't that far. The race was a 9 am start which suits me well, it also would give me time to head a little further south after the race to bag a few towns.
I got there a bit early and after signing up headed out to run the course as a warm-up. There was a nice little hill at the start that took you past the golf course and the observation tower. The course was closed to traffic and very scenic along the shores of the lake. It was also quite windy, but it seemed like mostly a cross wind.
I did some strides while waiting for the race to start and felt pretty lousy. I was feeling lousy all morning but had a lot of pre-race nervousness. I'm not sure why as it seemed like a pretty small race. I wanted to get a solid time in despite the slightly rolling terrain and the wind.
I led the race for the first 1/2 mile then heard footsteps. The guy trailing me blew by me on the long downhill after the tower. I kept close and pulled back even with him about 3/4 mile into the race. It was good to have someone to work with. We hit the mile in 5:16, which I knew could not be correct (with the hill and wind there was no way I went out in 5:16). We stayed side by side for the next mile and hit 2 in 10:42 (5:26), still short of 2 miles but maybe the second mile was about a mile long? We had a slight tail wind for the third mile and hit that in 15:55 (5:13), which again seemed too fast (short).
Just as we hit 3 miles the guy took off and I just couldn't respond. I kept him close over the last .75 but ended up in 2nd place about 4 seconds back. I heard a few other people mention that the miles were not right but that the distance was "close". The course is used for a summer series as well (although they start further up and a few people mentioned 3.8 as the correct distance for the loop we did).
I was definitely pleased with a sub 5:30 pace effort, even if it was 5:29.5 or so! I did an easy 1m warm-down (or "cooling") and headed south to bag a few towns.
Next up: 5,000 m @ the George Davis invitational track meet at UML on Saturday.