The course is a one mile loop which is run 3 times and includes a long gradual uphill on each loop. Matt Drier and Marc Keys were both there and I knew I wasn’t in any condition to challenge them quite yet. I actually figured I would just run and try to survive the cold, but as soon as the race started my competitive juices kicked in. Right off the bat some kid in a college track and field jacket went to the front followed closely by Matt and Marc. I tucked in behind them for the first half mile until we got to the hill. Then Matt and Marc passed the college kid and all three of them began to pull away from me. Apparently the college kid had gone out to fast as I caught back up to him and after using him for a wind shield for a minute or two, I realized I could run faster on my own so I moved on. By this time Marc and Matt were pretty far ahead and wouldn’t be coming back. My third place position wasn’t locked up as I knew there were a couple of fast guys behind me still.
After running up the long gradual hill a third and final time, I was still in third and we were down to the last half mile or so. At this point I heard footsteps coming up behind me. I figured it was the college kid as I had never gotten too far ahead of him, only 5 to 10 seconds. Rather than trying to pick up my pace, I continued on at the same pace conserving my energy for a kick. If they were running faster than me I could only hope they were wearing down quicker and I also figured I could use whoever it was as a wind block when we rounded the final corner. The finish was a 200 yard stretch into the wind. As we rounded the corner I was passed but I tacked right onto his shoulder using it as a wind block. It wasn’t the college kid, it was someone else I didn’t know. I stayed on his shoulder for about 10 or 15 seconds and then started my kick with about 50 yards to go. He didn’t go with me and I finished 2 seconds up on him in third place overall with a time of 19:24, 6:14 per mile. Not as fast as I hope to be running soon, but for 8 degrees with 15mph winds, I’ll take it!