As the gun went off, I got out good and settled in to what felt like 5:30 pace. Eventual winner, Brendan Bonner (GBTC) went out very fast and no one bothered to chase him. He went onto a convincing 32:30 victory. The first mile for me felt easy and relaxed as I ran side by side with DD just a few steps behind Dan and Joe. We hit the mile in 5:31. That was right where I wanted to be. As we rolled along the course, cutting all tangents nothing much happened except DD pulled away right before mile 2 and I was content to stay on pace but wished I had a bit more fight to go with him. My split at 2 was 11:02 (another 5:31). The 3rd mile I focused on the trio ahead of me and tried to maintain contact hoping I could reel them back in on the return trip to the finish. I hit mile 3 in 16:33 (another 5:31) and wasn't closing on them and Joe was actually pulling away from Dan. Dave was clinging to Dan and seemed to be running very strong. My split at 5k was 17:11 and I still had hopes of my race goal of 34:30. I wasn't laboring and my legs felt decent but were lacking the speed to change to that gear to get up to Dan and Dave.
As we made our way home the wind was evident but not the type that throws you back. I leaned into it and just tried to chase down Dan and Dave. My split at mile 4 was 22:21 (5:47). I lost about 5 seconds to Dave and noticed he was closing on Dan (who race a 10 mile trail race on Saturday). I still was trying to reel them in and felt like I was going 100%. My 5 mile split was 28:06 (5:45) and I was not closing but I ran another 5:45 to hit mile 6 in 33:51. I was now just trying to get in as fast as possible to get in under 35 minutes. I ran the final .2 in 1:08 to cross the line in 35:00 and established a new master's PR. I finished 9th overall and was 5TH in the 40-49 age category. Dave finished in 34:41 overtaking Dan on the climb at mile 6 and Dan ran a fine 34:48. The three of us took 2nd in the overall team competition behind GBTC and we won the master's race.
Notes: Thanks to Wes Lassen owner of New England Running Company for the race entry and for putting on a fine race. Hopefully someone will take the race over and make a Grand Prix bid next year. My time here in 2009 was 35:19 so I am in pretty good shape. Yesterday's effort felt solid and very in control as compared to 2009 when I was redlining the final mile and was on the ground in the chute at the line.