Well, I have to be thrilled with this race all things considered. Most importantly, I felt no pain in the achilles for the entire race. Although it did ache a little on my jog afterwards.
Arrived at Research Park on the University of Utah campus at 5:20 am for the 6:00 start. I saw Steve Anderson at the start. He's been battling an achilles injury as well so we had lots to talk about. Normally when I see Steve at the start I know I'm racing for second in the masters division and this race seemed no different as he got out quick. Despite my 5:03 opening mile, I couldn't see him. I didn't see any other obvious Masters guys around me, so I assumned I was second. At around the 4 mile mark, I passed Steve walking with a limp down South Temple. Bummer - I don't want to beat him that way! I gave him a slap on the back as I passed. Unbelievably, Steve caught back up with me and passed me around mile 5. But then he had to walk again and I ended up beating him by 20 seconds I think. He's one tough cookie.
Anyway, I was happy with the time. Due to the downhill nature of the first 4 miles, this race really can't be compared to a flat 10k. However, it's the 8th time I've run it and today was a course PR for me which is encouraging as I haven't been running.
Splits: 5:03, 5:15, 5:38, 5:31, 5:39, 7:26 for the last 1.23 which is 6:05 pace.
I was really feeling a lack of fitness the last mile.
The awards were really lame. Just generic medals with no inscription. Also, they felt the need to dispense with any sort of awards ceremony this year. You just showed up at a table and picked up your "award". Such a difference compared to my last race, the Utah Valley Marathon, where they go out of their way to recognize and honor your effort.
I waited around for the marathon finish and ran the last half mile of the course with Steve Ashbaker from the blog and Mark Palamar from New Port Richey Florida who is also a regular here on the blog. Mark ran an impressive 3:10 - not bad for sea level flatlander. He had a nice, strong stride the last mile and I'm sure he will crack 3 hours soon. It was great to see lots of folks from the blog.