This was only my third run this year at 10 miles, so my plan going in was to "ease" into it and try to run the last three hard. The course is mostly just rolling for the first 7 then very hilly with the final 1.3 miles being actual mountain running. My goal was to run 30 seconds to 1 minute slower per mile than I race last year and then run the last three as hard as possible. In 2009 I ran 1:06:39 so my goal was 1:10:10 to 1:13:40. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to run the last three even close to my times from last year but was hoping I could put in an honest effort. The real question was/is how my Plantar Fascia felt during and after the race. Tomorrow I'll have a better idea.
Anyway, I started comfortably tucked in behind Gina Lucrezi, Abby Mahoney, and Sara Graves as they fronted the women's field. Gina stormed away after the first mile and I looked to reel her back in by five miles. At 2 she had 12 seconds on me, by 4 it was 24 seconds. I realized I wasn't going to get her by five at that point and focused on closing the gap. I hit five in 33:34 which was at the fast end of what I hoped to do, but I was feeling very good. I started to gain on some of the guys in front of me who slowed a bit on the first big climb. Knowledge of the course really helps and I knew exactly what to expect the whole way. The weather was also close to idea (not like the 90 degree day a few years ago), a little rain at the start and mostly great conditions for picking 'em up and putting 'em down. At 7 I began to close on Gina as I upped the inesity and tried to concentrate on climbing strongly. I passed her just before the 8m mark and looked ahead to see 6 guys within striking distance. I made up 30 seconds on the first guy in while pushing up route 101. It felt good to pass people after a long lonely stretch with just Gina up ahead. It also felt good to run in Miller State Park and take on the toughest mile I've run so far this year.
All in all the day went well, I took a surprising 16th place overall (5th in the 40+). Eric Blake ran just under 60 minutes becoming only the 3rd person to crack the 1 hour barrier. Gina blazed to a 1:13:25 course record, taking 10 seconds off of Kelli Lusk's old record. Lisa Doucett came within 12 seconds of her 50+ CR from last year (1:29:16).
Full results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/10/nh/Jun6_PackMo_set1.shtml
Splits (and time slower than last year) - Goal 30-60 seconds slow for 1-7 then 0 seconds slower
7:17 = +44
6:41 = +40
6:17 = +41
6:53 = +21 (a little too quick)
6:26 = +38
6:48 = +25
6:33 = +26
7:11 = +16
7:40 = +18
9:48 = +10 (good sign for Mt Washington)