This race was the best of times and the worst of times for me.
It started out really well. I moved into the lead at around 6 miles and ran by myself for the next 5.5 miles. I'm not completely sure why, but I really felt good. I came through 10 miles in 55:50. At 11 miles I looked back and couldn't see anybody which kind of surprised me since Jeff Shadley was in the race and also Rob Rhode who I knew had run a 2:51 this summer at the Deseret News Marathon and is improving rapidly.
At this point I decided to relax a bit in case Jeff or Rob closed the gap I would have something in the tank. But mostly I wanted to enjoy the last couple miles of what I thought would be my first race win in many years. And at 46, maybe my last?
Then it all fell apart. I missed a crucial turn just after the 11 mile point - actually the only turn on the entire course. Maybe they could have had someone at that turn just in case the first place runner happened to be a moron? When I finally realised something was wrong about a half mile later, I slowed down and walked a bit. Then I stood by the side of the road looking very confused I'm sure, then I doubled back at about a 7 minute pace. Eventually I came to where I should have turned and finished the race. But I wasn't running very hard as I was thouroughly depressed and couldn't see anyone ahead of me or behind me.
I hit the split button on my Garmin at 13:1 - 1:15:30. But I'm pretty sure I would have run around 1:14 if I hadn't screwed up which would have been a PR. Even so, it was only 3 seconds slower than my pr which was pretty good considering all the time I wasted deciding whether I should double back or not.
Rob, Jeff, and another guy passed me when I was running my bonus mile and so I finished 4th, running 13.9 miles in 1:20ish. Great day for Rob running 1:17.
And now, the Utes are getting crushed by TCU.
Oh, and one more thing... this race had stew, chili, and cornbread at the finish, and basically all you could eat, which was awesome. I was thinking how great a certain sudsy, grain based beverage would go with my Chili. Pocatello may be in Idaho, but it ain't that far into Idaho. I ate my fill and regretted it several times on the 2 1/2 hour drive home. I suspect there's a reason most races opt for bananas and other "gentle" things.