Saturday, March 28, 2009
Way 2 Cool Race Report
First of all, I was really glad to be racing because, 1, See knee story below; and 2, I hadn’t signed up for the race that typically fills in a manner of minutes. After some minor begging, the race director, Julie Fingar, let me in 3. I got to sport my new Sunsweet gear. Looking over the start list I didn’t recognize many names but that really doesn’t mean a whole lot since I’m terrible with names, and am somewhat new to the sport. I thought Kochik, Skaden, and Grossman would be guys to look for. It can help to know who some of the real players are so you don’t get overly excited and get sucked into the “out-fast-and-die” folks. The first two miles were on a gentle down grade with one slight rise, so they were very fast: 5:45’s. Aside from the shirtless, tattooed guy, all the folks I was with seemed like the real deal. We were running fairly hard and mixing it up most of the way back to the highway crossing. As we crossed the highway it looked like it was Grossman, Pantilat, another guy, me, Kochik, and Berkontiz. I topped off my bottle and grabbed an extra Gu. As we headed out on the trails, I think that Pantilat had started to really establish himself as the one to beat but Grossman, Berkonitz and I were all right there. I remember thinking around mile 20 that this was more than I bargained for. I was hoping places would have been established for the most part and I could just dial in and run my race. Instead it seemed there was constantly someone who you thought you could pass or who was trying to pass you back. At Ball Bearing Hill, on the way up to the ALT aid station at mile 26, I could see Pantilat up there and either Berkonitz or Grossman behind me. That was the last I saw of anyone. On the way back I was able to spend a little more time looking around-- there are some really beautiful and easy running sections in there. The out-bound runners were all very nice and quickly gave me room to pass. I made an effort to give a quick “thank you” to everyone. It gets a little old after a while, but I kept thinking how nice it was of everyone to pause their race so that I could make mine a tiny bit faster. Folks kept saying things like “He’s got 30 seconds on you.” Then it was: “He’s got 1 minute on you,” or “1.5 minutes.” It was clear Pantilat was pulling away and looking at the splits it looks like he was going maybe 10 seconds/mile faster. I finished 2nd in 3:42:58. Taking the average pace and subtracting the 1.6 miles that was added in 2009 I would have finished in 3:31:30 on the old course a good 2 minutes faster than last year so I was happy about that. I did a few things differently from last year. I was in better shape and I took more Gu’s and S-Caps, probably 8-10 S-caps in all. BTW the oldest finisher was Bill Dodson age 74, he wins.