We arrived at packet pickup shortly after 7 am. Temperature was almost 20 F warmer this year. It was 52F when we arrived. We picked up our packet and received a drawstring backpack instead of a shirt. I ran the course with Hugh to warm up. Once we got back, I hurried to use the bathroom and then lined up in front on the starting line.
As usual, about 30+ people spring ahead of me going out so fast like they are running a mile. I wanted to keep my pace to just under 6 min. Before the first mile, I was passing a bunch of people that were breathing pretty hard. My first mile split was 6:03 which was a few seconds slower than I wanted. I continued to pass people with ease until just before the 2nd mile. This is a hilly course so on the hill on the beginning of the second mile, I remembered to use my arms to go up that hill and that helped to maintain some speed.
Second mile which is the hilliest was 6:10, the same as I ran it last year. 3rd mile was getting to be more difficult, but I knew the end was near so kept pushing. There was no one close in front or behind me. Finished 3rd mile in 6:01. Last 0.1 was 5:48 pace. I noticed before the end I was very close to my time last year, but didn't quite beat it and was 2 seconds over at 18:44 which is my second best time on this course.
Overall placed 6th of 106 (not sure the number since all we saw was the 1st page of results) and first of 12 in my age group of 35 - 44. Hugh placed 23rd and second in his age group 45 - 54. He was beaten by a guy that ran 18:03 that was 45. For some reason, the age group are different in this race than others. I don't think I am in 5K shape. Although, it was fun running this race, it certainly wasn't as enjoyable for me as the longer distances that I run.