There is an old saying "Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield". Today, I was the bug – splat.
Going into the race, I knew John Hinton was faster than I was. Therefore, my game plan was to go out with him and hang on. If the legs were feeling it, maybe I could throw something at him in miles 5 and 6.
John went out hard and I was hanging just off his shoulder. For 3.5 miles, I was hanging tough.
Then, my engine started running hot as the temperature and humidity started to climb. There was way too much tape over the opening to the radiator. Which meant, my race pace was slowing to let the engine breathe.
John slowly inched away from me.
In reality, I had nothing to lose with my strategy. If I didn't go with him, I was destine to finish 2nd.
Blowing up at 4 miles was just part of it. I still finished 7th Overall, 2nd Male Master and picked up a little cash for my efforts.
The morning started off with a 2 and ½ drive to Raleigh and I hadn't been there more than 15 minutes when I ran into John Crews.
Later I was Delvin S. at the starting line. Both guys ran the Flying Pirate ½ marathon a few weeks ago with me or ahead of me.
Before the race, they introduced each of us.
Something that I didn't realize was the John Hinton was an Olympian. He was fast and continues to be fast. Also he had never lost a Master's race which is something that I plan to make a little more difficult for him. (Just kidding)
Bobby Mack, John and Delvin took off at the start. Bobby would miss a 250 bonus when he finished just a few seconds over 30 minutes.
After the race, John and I did a warm down together. You can learn a lot about someone as the miles click by. He is a very interesting guy.
The Capital City Race guys did a great job with the race. Plenty of water was available on the course. Tons of volunteers were giving directions on the course.
The only thing that I would change about the race is remove those 2 miles i.e. 5 and 6 which are uphill. They are not steep but they are long and straight. Mentally, the hills during this portion of the race are total character builders. This is putting it nicely.
Thoughts from Cool Down Runner