I headed up extra early to Hollis to avoid traffic and to help calm my nerves (I was making myself sick sitting around worrying about the race). Paul Baz & Martin T joined me for 3 miles warm-up checking out the first half of the course. I felt heavy-legged but otherwise not too bad. Basically how you want to feel coming into an important race.
I changed into my really light racing flats and did another mile with strides and headed to the line. I parked myself on the left side four rows back. It seemed that being over that side would be safer on the tight right-hand turn 100m into the race. I got out cleanly and saw the women's field come barreling out of their start towards us. It looked like they had no problem as most of the guys were staying well to the right. It felt fast but not "crazy fast". My goal was to run about 30 seconds faster than I'd run at Hollis 3 years ago (16:35).
Dang, I didn't catch Kara until more than 1/2 mile into the race and every time I caught another woman I thought "this has to be the top woman" (I never caught the top woman). I was shocked when I hit the mile in 4:59, I was hoping to be a hair under 5:10. I still felt pretty good and kept moving along. KG and I ran together for most of the way from 1-2, cutting every available tangent. I hit 2 in 10:02 (5:03 split) and was really feeling it at that point. In a nice touch they had "mile to go", ".75 to go" etc. signs which were very helpful, but seemed to take forever to get to the next one.
With 1/2 mile to go Wayne Levy blew by me like I was standing still (he offered encouragement as he passed which was nice). I had no response, I'd been "kicking it in" since the start! I felt I held on well hitting 3 miles in 15:06 (5:04) but again was passed as Joe O'Leary also smoked the last part and finished between me and Wayne.
Wow that hurt! Drop or not that was one tough run. Just getting my legs rolling that fast was crazy. Fortunately nothing fell off, although a couple of parts are just hanging on barely (my hamstring). I ran back up the course and jumped in the car for the three hour drive to Mt Washington.
|10||60||Antony Gitau||42||15:45.3||4:50||9:59||15:11||Team RUN|