The week before the race I was feeling a bit out of shape. One week earlier I barely finished a 14 mile run and then felt beaten up! So, I was not sure how this race would go. I had a feeling that things would not go well.... But, I was wrong :)
100 runners showed up at the start, including some of the "usual suspects":
My time at the half (25K) was 2:22, which is actually 4 minutes faster than my 25K time from last year! At the 25K mark I was in 8th place. My time in the second half was 2:28, 6 minutes slower than the first, but it is not fair to compare the two halves, because the course is different and the first 25K is faster than the 2nd, thanks to a long road stretch. (BTW, my time in this mile of road was 7:40, both times. That's fast!)
Here are some highlights from the course: A long metal staircase near the start, a historical building, long wooden stairways in an area that reminded me of the Ledges. The topography of this course varies a lot!
In the last 4 miles I realized that there is no one behind to challenge me, and no one in front that I could catch, but I still pushed hard, racing mainly against the clock, and finished strong.
This photofinish picture was actually staged two hours later :)
Considering the difficulty of the course, this appears to be one of my best races in 2012!
After the race I stayed to watch other runners finish, had a couple of beers (nice touch by the race organizers :)), ate, and enjoyed the sun (beautiful weather) and company of other runners.
I then went to the nearby Gardens and took 3d pictures of flowers. The admission was free and my pictures turned out well (one of them won an Honorable Mention in an International 3d Exhibition!)