A handful of familiar faces at the start, including a 1/2 dozen folks from the Somerville Road Runners. Their yellow singlets would come in handy during the race. My splits have been a little schizophrenic over the first 5 miles in the past so I was hoping to run a bit more steady this year early on. At the gun a very large group decided to go out pretty fast. I did not get sucked in ran my own race and patiently waited to reel them back in. At the 2 mile mark I was probably 10th o/a and by mile 4 I had probably slipped as low as 14th o/a. No worries....yet. I could see quite a few runners in front of me and most were either holding steady or slowly coming back to me. Around mile 5 I finally began passing runners for the first time all day. The stretch from mile 5 to 7 includes a brutally steep climb for nearly a mile followed by a gradual climb for another 1/2 mile. I ran this section HARD, passing another 4-5 runners on the climb. By mile 7 I was in 6th o/a, trailing a couple of SSR runners. I caught the first one around 7.5 and about a mile later caught the 2nd SSR runner. I continued to pick up the pace all the way to the finish (I did not want to get passed in the last 1/2 mile!!). After dodging a few 5k runners from an earlier race, I crossed the line 4th o/a in 59:10, a 35 second PR.
Next year I might even put this race on my calendar!
Splits from the last 3 years: