This turned out to be a really good race for me. I started out feeling very comfortable, running with the lead group until the Emily Murphy hill started. First 5 km at 16:53, and it felt VERY comfortable. I knew there were some very fast guys in this group, and I expected to get dropped at the hill. Sure enough, them boys turned up the engine at that point. I was in 5th place.
I took it fairly easy up the hill, as I usually do, and then I tried to change gears at the top of the hill. I noticed the group was splitting up, and I started chasing the last guy from the group. At the turnaround mark around 11 km, I passed him and noticed I was challenged from behind from a couple of guys. From then on, I turned it up as much as I could, and for a while, I was gaining on the 3rd place runner. However, I couldn’t get close, but I pushed hard on the last 2 km and got to the final hill with no immediate threat from behind.
It was fun to see Amalia, Karly, Kris and Denise at the finish, cheering for me! I came in at 51:15, which is an awesome time for a 40-year old fart like me! 4th place and 1st in my age category. I was exactly 2 minutes off my time 10 years ago.. but that is okay, I was in my best shape ever then, and even the 2010 winner (Taylor Murphy) didn’t run faster than that (although I have no doubt he absolutely could, if he had been more challenged).
Brendan had a great race too and came in at 52:32.
A great Canada Day! Afterwards, there was a free pancake breakfast, and the weather was just perfect.
Later in the evening, I played a blues gig with my band here in Camrose, which was great fun too.