What can I say about a race that I have done well at for the past three years? I guess I can say that I do great at this race and it has become one of the few that I look forward to each year. Maybe it's the distance, maybe it's that I know the course well, maybe it's because it tends to be my first race of the year. In the end it doesn't really matter what the reason is, the OFTM just seems to be my kind of race.
The day began cold with a lot of wind. Coupled with reports from the previous days' MV 20 miler it looked like it may be a tad chillier than I had hoped so I threw on an extra base layer to be safe. Showing up 15 minutes before start time I created a parking spot for myself, ran a bit of a warmup and then made my way to the start where I found David Woodruff. We chatted, waited a few minutes, then it was time to run.
My plan was to use the race as a shakedown run for Hyannis next week so there were to be no heroics. The first mile ticked off around 6:40 which was fine, I figured I would get the initial thrill of race day out and then settle into a comfortable 7:00 pace for the remainder. For some reason I decided to change my Garmin screen so that it just showed the average lap pace and not the time so I could concentrate on pace without getting the urge to figure out where I was and how I would finish.
Mile two and two things had emerged; there was a guy staying close behind me that would have four or five hacking coughs every thirty seconds, that would not do, and also this one chick kept jockeying for position with me. She would pass me, we'd hit a hill and she would drop out, and then she would pass me on the flats again. Interesting, but I wasn't here to race, stick to the plan.
The race wore on, my pace was great, I felt good and we hit mile seven, time for the last two big hills. This is where I shine, I don't know what it is about that last hill but that's where people start failing and I start reeling them in. That women that I was going back and forth with for several miles was about 100 yards in front of me; hmm, I could take her. She sucks at hills. So I picked up my pace a bit. Up the hill I went, right onto Mechanic St. People start dropping like flies, I'm breathing slow and steady, them, not so much. A mile left and I'm on her heels, and then, she's left behind me.
I decide to kick it, I'm feeling great. The extra layer of shirt was a bad idea but no time to worry about that now, I've turned onto the final straightaway. I keep pushing the pace all the way to the finish, the last mile completed in 6:13, just above 5K pace. I cross the finish, look at my time, 1:07:44, and realize that I just knocked a minute off my PR. Good run.