I ran this race for two reasons. The first was to run a cross country race for a change, and the second was to make sure I wasn't passed in the overall LDR circuit standings. This was my 9th circuit race and my 15th race this year. To be honest, I was kind of mentally burned out when preparing for this race. Physically I recovered well from the TOU Marathon, and have been running well, but when I would think about putting in the effort during a race, it made me want to take a nap:)
Unfortunately (or fortunately when considering my circuit points situation), not many people showed up to this race. And the two guys that I know are usually faster than me (Jake and Steve) were both in various states of injury recovery. I decided that I might as well try to win the thing since I haven't won a circuit race this year (even though this event felt more like a group workout than a race). There was a guy on the start line that I had never seen before, but he had the look of a fast runner.
The "new guy" and me were in front from the start. I could tell early on from the way he was breathing, that the pace wasn't too hard for him. We went off course at about 1/2 mile (totally my fault, I'm not sure what I was thinking). Luckily Steve yelled to us and we realized I had made a mistake. We tuned around and got back on the course. It cost us about 20-30 seconds. From this point on, I was trying to hang on to the new guy for as long as I could. By about 1 mile, we had moved back in front of the field, but I had already been gapped. I was hurting pretty badly. I could tell I ran beyond my ability and it would just be a struggle for the next 2 miles. For the final two loops of the park I was basically just surviving the uphills and coasting on the downhills. I wished I had run differently. It's alot more fun to run in a way were I can speed up over the last half, but I figured this would be the last race of the year so I would just get my fill of "race-pace suffering."
I learned after the race, that the winner recently moved from Sacramento, I think I heard that his name is Anthony, but my memory might be faulty on that. I think he will be a usual comptetetor in the Utah running scene.
Considering the course and conditions, I have no idea what my finishing time converts to in a normal 5k. I finished 30 seconds behind the winner, and he seems to be a really fast guy, but I don't know how hard he pushed himself. Overall, I don't care too much. I got the circuit points needed to secure my 3rd place ranking, and I'm ready to take a break from racing untill next year.
I hope a cross country race like this happens again next year and that more people can show up ready to race. Thanks to all the USATF volunteers who help put on this event and who make the LDR circuit happen!