An absolutely beautiful evening for a run in downtown Seattle. Seafair Torchlight remains my favorite race in Washington. There is just none other like it. No where else do you get to have a Boston-like experience for about a mile as you travel down 4th Ave with parade onlookers cheering.
The course this year changed quite a bit so the 4th Ave section was actually at the beginning instead of the end. Kind of a bummer, but it was still a bit surreal.
The race was televised locally which was kind of cool. I led the 10k from about the 1/4 mile mark through Mile 1 which we crossed in 5:05 or so. Pretty quick considering it was almost all uphill and into the wind. I actually felt pretty tired at that point and wondered if I had gone a bit too fast. I also wasn't thrilled with taking all the wind but no one else wanted to jump ahead.
After Mile 1 we turned down to the viaduct down two VERY steep hills. Ridiculously steep hills. The kind I really, really despise. The gentle uphill back to the viaduct was most welcome at that point. There was no mile 2 marker so I have no idea what we did it in. I assume it was sun 5:00. It felt like it.
At around the 2 mile mark, my good friend Destry Johnson passed me pretty aggressively and put a good 10 yard gap on the rest of us. As we approached the turnaround, we reeled him in. By this time there were basically four of us all in a pack. But then Destry just gapped us hard. Before I knew it, was was 20 yards ahead gaining.
We were probably around Mile 3 at this point and that's when Brett Winegar and Jesse Williams made a move to gap me as well. This was my defining mental moment in the race. I knew I couldn't let the move go unchallenged. The good news was we were just entering a mild uphill part...my specialty. So I made my move and it went unasnwered from Brett. Jesse stayed on my tail. Destry was gone. It was a race for second.
With about a mile togo we entered the tunnel. There was an eerie silence. The only thing I could hear was Jesse right on my tail and Brett a little ways back.
As we exited the tunnel, there was a little less than 1/2 mile to go and Jesse and I really picked it up. I generally don't like to get into a foot race with people because I am not particularly quick.
By this time we had merged with the 5k runners. There were two turns left. Unfortunately for Jesse, he got stuck on the outside. I took my chances passing people on the inside. Heading into the final turn with about 200-300 meters to go, we were in a dead heat. But on the final turn I took the inside and made a huge surge which Jesse wasn't able to match. It felt so good. I would have loved to win but today was Destry's day and I couldn't be more happy for him.
After every race I spend the next several hours if not days going back and rehearsing what i could have done differently. With this one, I don't think there was much. I don't think I could have gone with Destry when he made his move at the turnaround. I wish i could have, but it would have likely ended up in a flameout in the end.
So all in all, I am pretty happy. Nothing wrong with second place, especially with it being a nailbiter to the end. 24:31 was the official time. 4:55 pace and a 30 second PR.
Seriously though...how hard is it to have mile markers.