As my buddy, Nephi Gold (who finished 4th), and I parked and got out to get on the buses, I saw a familiar face...Chuck Engle. So, during the ride to the start, sat by him to get an idea of this man and try to develop a strategy.
So, 6:30 sharp, the gun goes of at the start. This race starts at 6100 feet and drops down hill for the first 14 miles. After talking with Chuck, I decide one chance I have is to push him at altitude since he said he was feeling it on the bus. So, I push the pace hard for the first 10 miles, leading the pack of Chuck, Nephi (the Poky paper had this fact wrong and gave credit to Daniel Harry and not Nephi) and myself. Thru 10 I have Chuck behind but he catches up and gets ahead at about 11 miles. By the half, he has about a 30 second lead, but I caught him again at 15M. At this point, we are off the hill and into rolling terrain and I start feeling the results of our 1:18 split (but so does Chuck). I start struggling a bit and feeling tight, especially in my calves. At 20 miles, Chuck is up on me by about 2 minutes and the biggest uphill on the course looms. The hill, while short, was pretty good incline and killed me for a short while. As I hit the 23 mile mark, I could tell I couldn't catch Chuck even as I tried to pull my pace back down to a 6:30. So, I put down what hammer I had left and shot for the PR. As I came around to 25M, my calves started to tighten a little, but no cramp. At 26M the finish line was in sight and I just put my head down and powered (so to speak) to a new PR.