9:30 AM is quite a late start for a race. I took this opportunity to sleep a little for a change. In this race, I would have to push for a PR as I had a prior commitment that literally required me to run through the finish and to my car to make my next appointment. Unfortunately, a PR was not in the cards for me today. Blame it on the 40 mile race last weekend, the (for me) higher than expected temperatures and wind. Either way, I missed a new PR by 13 seconds. So it is strange to note that I did manage a top ten finish (10th place to be exact) out of 404 finishers. That also meant my first ever age group win.
This was the second annual running of the Music Moves Me 10K and the first time I participated. There were bands and sounds systems blasting music all along the course, which really kept my mind occupied as I was mostly running alone for the early part of the race. During the final 2 mile stretch, I found myself jokeying for position with two other runners. While the top group was way ahead of us, this made for an interesting challenge towards the end. I was following the "leader" of our group until the final mile, were I passed him on a downhill stretch only to have him catch me again with a little less than hapf a mile to go. I obviously did not push hard enough to put plenty of distance between him and I do "discourage" him from trying to catch me again. The demoralizing effect of him passing me allowed the runner right behind me to pass as well. However, I wasn't going dowen that easily. With twohundred yards to go, I kicked it into another gear to sprint past the guy who had pased me just a quarter mile earlier. While I normally would not push past another runner on the final stretch of the race (since I usually do not contend for a top three finish, I find it to be badd running etiquette to pass someone on the last few yards of a race), I did not feel the same in this instance since this particular runner had just passed me himself. I figured this to be the continuation and conclusion of a 2 mile battle for position.
This was the first time I actually went directly head to head with other runners for position (if only for a top ten finish) and it really made it fun. Either way, I congratulated both runners on a great finish and took of for my car.