Event: USATF Club XC Championship Masters 10k
Site: McAlpine Park Charlotte NC
Distance: 10k trails and grass with a minor hill (3x) and pretty good descent, flat/fast course
CMS masters team: George Adams, Scott Clark, Dave Dunham, Eric Morse, Greg Putnam, myself and Rod Viens
Team placed 13th out of 23 teams.
Going into this race, I was feeling pretty good only wishing I had done a bit of hard track work (repeat miles) but still confident that if I raced smart I could manage something under 36 minutes and possibly get near 35 minutes. During the warmup, I felt okay but not great. Perhaps the pre-race nerves was the reason but the site of all the runners (400 plus in the masters field) help fire me up just enough to get me focused on the race. The team gathered early at the starting line to check in and be officially reviewed by race personnel. We were allowed 5 runners in box 17 and Eric and DD went to an outside box for individuals. After a few easy and relaxed strides, I was ready to go. I had my Innov8 230's on and went sockless.
The starting line was an amazing site as the large group was extended from each end of the wide field. After an unannounced start, the gun went off. I got out good and felt light and sharp. The true studs quickly made there way to the front and I was probably in about 75th place by the mile (5:34). I was able to see Eric, Greg and George up ahead for the first mile. It was pretty tight in the single track but I was trying to cut tangents every chance possible. Our first pass on the only significant hill felt good and the descent went well. As we made our way around the course (which was perfect for spectators), Tim Cox was offering a lot of encouragement and was snapping pictures of us. It was great racing with so many talented masters. At one point, the top 60 year and I were running side by side up the hill. This race was so competititve and deep.
Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 I came upon Greg who had basically stopped and appeared to be in pain. He was holding his side and I figured it was a severe side stitch. As I passed him, I told him to hang in there. He hung in there and finished as our 4th man (35:42). My second mile was 5:42 hitting the mark in 11:16. I was feeling really good and was holding my position but seemed to be closing on George. I made every effort to maintain my pace and actually ran the 3rd mile in 5:36 which put me at 16:53. I missed my 5k split but was feeling strong and ran the 4th mile in 5:44 which put me at 22:37. I was fired up but was actually losing contact with George who had regrouped and would finish 29 seconds ahead of me (35:09). The 5th and 6th miles have been discussed as possibly being long but it was more of a case of me slowing as I covered 5 in 6:07 (hill) and 6 in 5:56 (hill). I ran the final .2 (perhaps short) in 56 putting me at the finish line in 35:38 and 3rd man. I did not see DD the entire race but he was only 6 seconds back in 35:44. Amazing that only Greg separated us. Scott ran a solid 35:53 and Rod was right behind in 36:01. Eric was number one man in 34:26. Just over 90 seconds passed between 1-7. A great team effort. It was a blast!