2nd Place Overall, 2nd AG 18:39
What a fun race! No idea what to expect out of a small newish local race and was really going just to run as hard as I could and see where my fitness is at. Feeling very fortunate and lucky that Wendy let me escape for a couple of hours while she watched Felix and gave me a chance to run. Felix is only 16 days old and the lack of sleep is staggering. I'm not sure how we are both even functioning right now and even operating a vehicle is a bit sketchy at times. Another good reason not to travel too far for a race right now.
It looked like a few hundred runners turned up with a handful of folks that looked fast enough to be there to really run. It was a warm morning and I already had a sweat going just standing at the start line. After we were sent off there was a group of about 5 of us that stayed in a group most of the way to the first mile. The pace was solid but I was surprised that it was a bit nearer 6.07 pace and not faster. That seemed to shake up a few others as they took their splits and started to heat things up a bit. The eventual winner took off but came back to us as we hit a little hill and I took the lead around 1.5 miles. I started running scared, having no idea how close everyone was (RIGHT behind me I later found out) and trying to listen for the spectator claps/cheers to get a sense of where the others were. I pushed hard up the final hill before the turn and long straight descent to the finish.
It's a fantastic finish. Downhill, long, straight as an arrow on crushed gravel that makes it a brilliant drag strip with no twists and turns that so many finishes have these days. I was going all out and just thinking how I'd try and win this for Felix. It's amazing how having a child can be such a good motivator to push you to your limit. It's not as if they are getting anything out of it of course, but it makes you try harder than ever in the closing stages and it feels like they are right there with you. Just past the 3 mile mark I started gaining on the lead bike who had to slow to get through a muddy patch. As I start shouting for him to go, go, go and get out of the way I get passed in a blur of sprinting speed by Stephen Karimi who pips me at the finish for the win.
I had to chuckle as it was all over so quickly, I didn't hear him coming at all and even though I rarely get beaten in a sprint don't think I was going to win that one on this day. It turns out he just moved here from Kenya and was a good steeple chaser in High School over there. As seems to be the case with all East Africans I have had the pleasure to meet, he was one of the nicest, most humble guys I've met. I couldn't have lost to a better person.
Couldn't be happier overall. After my first ever win at the Buffalo Stampede 10k in Wyoming, to get a 2nd place is just icing on the cake.
|Barely in the lead and no idea I was getting caught!|
|Just too good!|