That went pretty well. I was hoping to break 32 coming into this race, knowing that I was rested and had been racing pretty well recently. I had run this race one other time in 2006, but managed to get of course at the 6 mile mark (in 31 flat) and recorded a DNF. At least I knew that the course was fair and had something to go off of for a race plan.
I knew that I hadn't touched on anything faster than 5 minute pace most of the spring, so I was planning on going out as hard as I could without getting into too deep of a hole. The lead pack went out at 4:50-4:52 pace and I was off the back immediately in around 8th place. I was a little worried as we came through the mile, especially knowing the caliber of guys ahead of me. I missed my split at the mile mark (did the same thing in 2006), but was happy with the effort that I was running. Just before 2 miles I caught Double J and passed him, hoping that he would latch on and help me chase down the lead pack. He wasn't feeling it though and I kept working my way up. I caught Bob Wiles a little after 2 miles (10:01) and hoped the same, but the fast early pace and the long week he had with the birth of his second child was catching up to him.
The pack started to fall apart at the top of the hill after the 2 mile mark when Pat Moulton threw in a surge that no one was able to cover. I was already starting to gain ground on those guys, but that only helped my cause. I held 5 minute pace through 3 miles (15:02). I was able to pass Wes Dinnan and Matt O'Connor (UNH guys) before I hit 4 miles in 20:19 (PR). I was feeling good and just working and trying to gain ground on the guys in front of me. I passed Eric Jenkins around 5 miles (25:24, PR) as we made out way closer to Strawberry Banke. I could see John Mentzer not too far ahead, and could even see Pat on the longer straights. I really worked the the sixth mile (30:36) knowing that a sub 32 and a PR were within reach. The last 0.2 were the only part of the course I had never been on, and I found the hill in this section to be a real kick in the balls, but I knew it was near the finish, so I just ran it hard. I crossed the line in 3rd place in 31:42, good enough for a 16 second PR. Conditions were pretty good, other than the high humidity, but it wasn't hot. I am really psyched with how well I have been racing recently, especially with Washington right around the corner. At 5 miles I was working hard, but I had to remind myself that the race was almost over after I've been in the mindset to be racing for an hour.
It was good racing with a good sized CMS contingent. Market Square Day has a great atmosphere and the race is pretty good too. Video of the race here: http://fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100613/GJSPORTS_01/706139811/-1/FOSSPORTS
I'm really looking forward to Mt. Washington on Saturday. This spring is by far the best training I've ever put in for Washington. I had 9 weeks where I averaged 1000 ft of vertical gain per day, great track workouts, great hillclimb workouts, hill repeats, and some pretty good races. I am more prepared for a good run than I have ever been. Saturday's race is going to be competitive, it's going to hurt, and only 6 guys are going to Slovenia. I truly think I'm going to be one of them if I can put everything together.