Sidebar: Gordon once referred to James as "that scoundrel," and ever since that time that's how I think of him. :)
The race started on time and sure enough we went out faster than the "easy" pace. I wasn't too concerned though, because I knew I needed to bank some time for Gin Shop hill around the beginning of the sixth mile. For the most part I'm pretty happy with my splits, though looking back it looks like I lost focus on the fourth and fifth miles leading up to the hill. There's no way I should have dropped 15 seconds on that stretch, especially when that's where James started pulling away from me. Argh!
1 - 7:01 / 2 - 6:58 / 3 - 7:05 / 4 - 7:20 / 5 - 7:19 / 6 - 7:17 / 6.2 - 7:04
I almost caught up to James at the top of Gin Shop, but going down the other side he started pulling away again, and when we hit the flat home stretch he put down the hammer. Around the 5.75 mile mark I could hear footsteps behind me. After the race I learned they belonged to Barry. I figured it was a matter of time before he caught up to me, so I decided to let him and then dust him in a sprint at the finish. That plan never materialized, however, as I didn't have as much in the tank as I thought. He beat me by 5 seconds and was in my age group! Double argh!
Anyway, my goal going in was to break 45 minutes, and I that I did finishing in 44:25 - a new PR. The best part about this race is that is erases the Wallahatchie 10K debacle from last August. I don't even want to talk about that day.