Day 3 of the WeMa 5-Day: Long Sprint at the University of Massachusetts. Decisively nemesised.
After helping take down and move the arena set up at Earl's Trails, I moseyed over to U Mass for the sprint. I neglected to change into shorts at the cars and lacked time to rectify that when I arrived at the start; I ran in running tights and my Mizuno running shoes.
The devious powers that be had deliberately or accidentally given me a start time of two minutes before Ali. There was some concern (and heckling by PG) the due to lack of recent training, two races earlier in the day, and general noobness, I would fail to hold her off, so my sole focus was to stay ahead of Ali.
I raced reasonably well - checked my codes, had good flow, read ahead - but I was drained and sluggish. I hesitated for perhaps 5s at control 4 before dashing past Ken Sr. up and down the stairs, through the breezeway, and into the flag. I very nearly ran into a parked car while reading my map on the run to 6. I thought I was making a poor decision running around the south to 8, though I had read the description ahead. I'm not certain which way was faster.
My sluggishness became increasingly apparent - I lost 1:14 to Ali between controls 4 and 12 without any mistakes. I saw Ali behind me (only 40s) as I was approach 12, so I dug deep and pushed to 13 and 14. I took the northern route to 16 through the narrow corridors. When I hit 16 without seeing her, I was comfortable that she wasn't going to pass me and the moral (albeit Pyrrhic) victory was mine.
After control pickup, taking the arena down, and helping Joanne with some directions, I made my way over to Bub's for some excellent barbecue and company. Overall, this was not a good race, but I'm not terribly dissatisfied with my performance under the circumstances.