I only wish I had the photo…..
Last night was the night for the 2nd High Desert Runners XC race of the summer. We were blessed with a cool, but windy (as always) evening. I did my typical 1 mile race for a warm up and then I got to the line for 3 (+) miler. Even though I did not rush right over, I noted that there was no one on the left end of the line so I got right up front. Krysti Ruble, Brock and Cade were there as well. Erik came along but he was too late to be right on the line. As the gun went off it was not too difficult to get a strong start. Still, on the way up the first hill, Erik went on by with Cade right behind him.
I tried to keep my eyes open for Carlos Aguinaga (the guy in the bandana who beat me last week) but he was no where to be seen. So off I went figuring I got a good jump on the rest of the 50 somethings. About a half mile in, Dave Weary passed me. I just tried to stay close. About a mile or so in, Eric Dombrowski went by. Eric is not in my age group. Eric has been running great this year with lots of PRs. It was good to see him doing so well, but still I had to try to catch him. Lance Close went by as well. He looked pretty good!
During the 2nd mile Eric and Dave remained close. As we did the little hill and headed north along the back of the park I felt myself gaining on Dave. Karl Stutelberg was just ahead as well – he was running with Kristen Parsons whom he is coaching. I passed Dave and then I passed Karl and Kristen. There were some high school kids out in front of me and I tried to go catch them. The rest of the race I was trying to spot if Dave was close behind. Eric put on a good surge in the south park and pulled away. I did not see him on a couple of my glances so I was feeling pretty good. Coming off the last hill I spotted Dave and he was not far back. I went through the gate and began to accelerate the best I could. Half way up the homestretch someone caught me. I was relived to see though that it was a teenage boy. When I got to the sidewalk I was just going all out. I began to hear Dave coming. I found a little more and still had a stride lead with a stride or two to go. I leaned across the line just as Dave’s went by on my right.
Scott Zeirman was running the clock and I heard him say, “It was blue first!” They gave Dave his card and then they gave me mine. I looked at my shirt. I was wearing my blue Valley Physical Therapy tank top. I went back and double checked with Scott and he said that I had beaten Dave to the line. So Dave and I switched. I was filling out the card thinking, “Awesome, I won the division! That is another point closer to Eric!”
It turned out, however, that Carlos was about 30s ahead of me…. So, I had to settle for second place once again.
My time was 23:46. I was looking back in my records and I only raced this exact course twice last year. One of those times I took it VERY easy and it took me 27 minutes. The other time I finished in 23:18. I am not sure if I can trim 25 -30s off in the next few weeks. Perhaps if I went into the race tapered and ready, instead of dead from my crazy Mondays and Tuesdays…. I will save that for the finals.
Desert Christian posted some photos of the race on their facebook page. I found this one. It shows Carlos battling Lance on the home stretch. On the official results Carlos beat Lance by 1 second….