By Will Geiken

Fog. I’ve been a fan of the moisture-laden air for years, and on what might have been a brutally hot morning in Morgan Hill, it was the fog that kept conditions race-friendly. 

On the start line I found myself without a clear idea of how I intended to race. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to wait until the last mile, as I have too much respect for my teammates’ leg speed. So, in the spirit of the flat circle that is time and my season opening 5K at Brisbane, I got off the line hard and decided to see how things would shake out from there. Much like Brisbane, no one wanted to get out quite that hard, but unlike Brisbane, I didn’t hear footsteps off my shoulder at the quarter mile mark. I knew I was being chased, but I could hear that I had a bit of a gap as we finished up the opening downhill straight and turned onto the parade route. At that point I committed to the idea that my best option was to just keep hammering and hope that no one would close the gap.

For the next half mile, positioning remained largely the same. I could hear footsteps, which I later found out were Darius’, but I was holding a gap. Then we turned up the hill for the first of two times, and I recommitted myself to pushing the pace. As we ran, I started paying less attention to the footsteps and more attention to moving forward. I hit the turns hard and worked the downhill while trying to recover my breathing. Moving along the flat stretch before the final hill I couldn’t hear anyone behind me, but I didn’t want to look back to confirm for fear of losing the poise that I needed to hold onto. I also didn’t want to signal how much my body was starting to suffer. With just a long hill between me and the finish, I stuck myself into the gear that I had and worked on not running into any of the joggers who were still completing the first lap. Part of me was still waiting to hear the slap of speeding feet as another runner came to catch me at the line. It’s happened before. Fortunately for me, my tactic had worked, and I had opened up enough of a lead to win. Turning around after the finish I saw more than enough HOKA ONE ONE Aggies cross the line in quick-succession to ensure the team victory as well. A good day!

This marks my final race of the season, and it was a nice way to cap off the spring. Many thanks to my teammates, Joe, and my family and friends for what was a fun series of months.

Winning Shoe: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer