I've been waiting for this race since I crossed the finish line last year. It is such a great time. The weather came through, there was no rain and the heat stayed low. My only nemisis was the south wind.
I wanted to beat my personal best of 1:47 and I set a goal to finish in 1:40. I finished in 1:41 with an average speed of 15.5 mph. I was really happy with a top ten place in my age group - open men 35-39. Here are the other details of my results.
I started in the first wave of open skaters and the pace was very fast. Everyone was incredibly focused as we all jockeyed for the right pace line. Lines formed almost immediately. Before I knew it we made the first turn back at 5 miles. I found myself leading a few pace lines for a while. I hadn't done this in prior years.
Soon we merged with two other nearby lines between 7 and 10 miles and I was on the tail end of that line. Not sure why we did this but it turned out good for us as the course narrowed quite a bit. We're talking about 25 skaters and I'm guessing but we were probably pacing 18-20 mph as we passed by the first large group of spectators. My Wife and children, Mother and Krist Noser were there with cowbells and hoots and hollers. What a blast! Last year I missed seeing them but this time I positioned my self in order to look at them directly. We flew by fast but it was so great to see them. Thanks for coming out to cheer me on guys!
I was dropped off that large group at about 12 miles. The wind was very stiff and I tried to grab a breather but the group just kept moving. Then as we approached a hill the group sailed off and I was alone. I skated a very torturous windy mile to the next turn around. It feel like I was standing still. But I recovered as I made the turn and the wind was at my back. I was alone until coming back through where my family was watching. This time I tried to reach out and high five my daugher but I pulled back as I realized I'd probably send her flying as we connected. It was refreshing to see them again and this gave me the drive to pick up the pace and catch a group a head of me.
At mile 14 or so I caught a group and we formed a line. Again I found myself leading. But this time our line seemed to work much better together as we started taking turns in the lead. We kept a very steady pace.
Next thing you know I see the mile marker for mile 25. I'd soon be making the left turn up the finish hill.
I finished as strong as I could. I felt like I was sprinting but then again it also felt like running in a dream. But my wife said I looked strong and happy.
What a great race. I pushed it hard but I've spent the day thinking about what my time could have been if I would not have been dropped in the wind. Every time I race I learn something new, try something new, and push a little harder. I believe I still had something left in me and I could have gone harder (especially to make up that 1 minute.) Next Saturday I'll have a chance when I head to Hayward.