53:40 13th out of 76 in 40-44 age group and 126 out of 828 men.
I've been in the AJ Baucco newbie group for about two and a half months now. This was the first time running a race of this distance for me. Normally I'm use to a gun going off and having 10 hurdles to clear over 110 / 400 meters. So when I had nothing to jump over after the horn sounded I knew this was going to be a different ball game. I was hoping to break 50 minutes but I was thankful to be running the race after straining my hamstring three weeks ago and having to sit out some workouts and really zero oppertunity to do any speed work leading up to this. Today was the first day my PT gave me the green light to go full power with sprinting and striding. The leg was a non issue and I had forgot that I even had the injury after doing some aggressive rehab work.
Jennifer gave me a great 48 hour final nutrition plan and race warmup that I felt put me in the best position possible. I felt ready the one challenge I had was negociating the crowd/pack at the starting line. As soon as I would settle in I ran into waves of slower runners and would get boxed in at times taking my pace off. I discovered staying on the far side of the road closest to the turn for this race allowed me a better oppertunity to get ahead of some of the slower runners in my corral. Using a quicker cadence and shorter stride I gained most of my advantages on the uphill climbs and then used my long stride length to recover and conserve energy on the down hill portions allowed me to keep a good balance and hit close to negative splits the whole race while increasing the heart rate each mile till mile five. Having taken advantage of the first two aid stations to hydrate with electrolites and the temperature now 75 degrees I skipped the last aid station and took all the juice left in the burner can and let loose to the finish line. This strategy worked as I had 14 people in my sight ahead and I was able to catch 12 of them in my push to the line.
All and all a super first 10K large race experience and I really felt this community put me in the best position possible with the limited training time I had. Being on the older side of my age group and my inexpereince in this enviorment I have some good take aways for the next race.