AM: 3 w/u, 10k race (4:58, 5:03, 5:03, 4:50, 4:55, 5:04, 70 = 31:05), 3 c/d
Total = 12 miles - 1st place
Pretty happy with this race as I sit here and write this. Not so much because of the time or the prize money - which is going to hep finance my tuition - but more because of how I raced.
I saw 4 Kip's (as Jordan would call them - one was actually named Kip tho) at the start and knew it would be some tough competition. I also saw a dude warming up with a white necklace and remembered the cardinal rule; never lose to the guy in the white necklace. Daniel Too won the Rockville 8k in July in 23:50 or 40 something and the Ethiopian had been a little behind. To my surprise, the pace started out rather conservative . The first 1200 was pretty much downhill and I expected the Kenyans to roll. However, I had the lead for the first 800, running rather easy. Perhaps, because I was that guy not wearing a jersey, they thought I was a local schmo and let me go. At 1200 it was a pack of 7 or 8 and the Kenyan the Ethiopian began throwing surges to see what the field looked like. I stayed patient and slowly reeled them in as I needed.
At the mile mark I decided to throw in a surge of my own just to see who responded and how. Too went with me right away and as soon as I stepped off the gas he began to press himself. We were starting to head up the hill I knew this is where I wanted to press anyway so I grabbed on for the ride. At 1.5 I looked back and saw that we had gapped the next 4 guys by a good margin and the race for first was down to two people...that is until we hit 2 miles and Too dropped the hammer and put 20 meters on me. The lead would stay at this length for the next 3 miles over the rolling course. There were two turn around points - one coming after a long downhill section (the slow second and third mile).
At 4 miles I was hurting and worried the Ethiopian behind me was going to roll me up but we hit a steep downhill section and I pulled the Mike Morgan out of my bag and ROLLED on the downhill while trying to stay relaxed. I got within 10 meters of the leader and it put me back in the race. He lengthened the distance again when the downhill was over but at 5 miles I saw him start to fade. I put my head down and just grinded; hoping I could catch him but not really thinking I could. At 5.25 I knew I was going to catch him as he was coming back fast. Decision time. Do I roll by him or sit and kick? I know Kenyans typically will break and give up when you pass them or put them out of the money (Yes, this is a generalization but I have found it to be true more often than not) so I decided that I was going to surge hard. I caught him, spent about 5 seconds running a little slower just behind him and then threw down. I was hurting and and knew that if he stuck to me I was done. At 5.5 there was a right hand turn and as I took the turn I slowed down and looked behind me. The gap was opened and I knew I had the win.
The only problem with the plan is that I had about 1200 left to run and I was hurting. I flailed about, just reminding myself that I was almost done. When I hit the 6 mile mark and saw the hill I had to run up I almost decided to walk it in. Instead, I hit the hill, pushed for about 5 seconds to get through the steep part and then cruised it in.
The time wasn't bad considering the course and I took some good scalps. After talking with the Kenyans after I found out they are training for the marathon and are in the midst of some pretty tough training. If he would have been fresh the race would have been over early for me. Luckily for my pocket book, I'm a bitch and took it easy the last few weeks!
11 months ago