Perfect weather, a super course, and a decent finish - a great day! I expected a cold morning but was pleasantly surprised when it was low 50's and slightly overcast. Perfect race conditions and the trails were in great shape. The total mileage was 5.5 miles for the race with a short prologue.
The route was as challenging as last year; although, I had forgotten how steep the climbs were!!!
From the start the race was fast. The prologue went very quick; I hit the first .7 miles at 3:45 - yikes. The long downhill to the river continued at the same pace but hit the slow-stop along the banks. The trail went to big rocks, little rocks, huge rocks, stacked rocks - you get the picture. In several places I had to stop running and "mantel" myself up onto the next section of trail. There were several sections along the river totaling approximately 2 miles.
The last climb was absurd - probably about a half-mile and gained several hundred feet very steeply. The upper portions were over large steps composed of split ties.
Although I started to fade just over the middle of the race after the long climb the race broke out into some open fields. I was able to get my wind back and power strong to the finish.
I finished 5th with a time of 40:15. I wanted a little faster time but was happy with placing again. My interval workouts helped me with the endurance at high speed but I think it will be another two weeks before there is enough "speed" in my legs to run sustained. However, I am positioned quite well for the overall series standings and will post those results when they are released.