By Scott Bauhs
I came into this race with little idea of what to expect. I have had some good workouts over the past few months, but those didn't translate into the races I was hoping for. As a result, I have been bipolar with my training by overdoing it a few weeks ago and then bringing the volume and intensity way down the week before this race. On top of that, I had a busy Sunday and was on the road much later than is ideal the night before a race (including an extra hour of driving when I realized I forgot my bag and had to turn back).
With all of those qualifiers stated, I'm quite pleased with my second place here. The 5 minute opening mile was much more manageable than the paces at my other recent races, so I was able to build confidence gradually as the pace grew swifter. The second half of this race was certainly brisker than the first, but I felt good and stayed with the lead group as I was still in the hunt. I'm not sure I could say the same if our splits were turned inside out.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that for almost the entire race I was sitting on Will, Phil or Sean as we all let Malcom Richards of West Valley do all the work. This added another layer of comfort. I wasn't completely selfish, as I made an aggressive move with about 8 minutes of race remaining, intent on securing a HOKA ONE ONE Aggie sweep. This move ended up working roughly as intended, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that 2 minutes after making the move I was questioning my decision. In the final mile, Phil took over and I did my very best to hang with him but he's simply too fit right now. I managed to best Will, something that probably wouldn't have happened if I had done the same workout that he and the others did the prior Wednesday instead of my much easier workout.
Finally, it felt great to have a good race after a few disappointments. It felt even better to do it with friends. I'm looking forward to the next stage of training before I resume racing later in July.