A bit of stiffness in the legs from yesterday's run, but decided to race it today anyway since I was defending my 2008 win on my home course.
Started in the E group with 4 starting groups behind me (all the younger, faster guys) which gave me a 1:54 advantage over the scratch runners. Goal was to go out fast on the first 1/2 mile or so of dirt road to distance myself from the fast guys behind me (and hopefully stay out of sight in front) which I managed to do, then settled down to slowly pick off scalps through the middle part of the course. Hit the sandpit about 2/3 of the way through and since I knew they were recording bib #s there I asked how many were in front of me - 3 scalps left to take. Well 3rd place was right in front of me, so I passed him before my answer was even back from the bib takers, then off along the rim of the sand quarry I went in search of my prey. All the way back to the Shenipsit Trail and up Woodchuck Hill searching for my quarry and nothing until I hit the flatter part on top and espied Dick Stoeffler, my neighbor up ahead. Dick is 76 so managed to gain a 13:30 advantage on the field by starting first. Reeled him in with friendly wave and off to find #1. I know this trail exceptionally well and tend to really fly down the back side of Woodchuck knowing the placement of every rock and root along there - about a third of the way down I passed the lead runner, a pretty fit F60 who was moving pretty well. But the combination of course knowledge and gravity sent me flying past her with a bit less than 3/4 of a mile to go. Back out onto Sodom Road (dirt) and pushing as hard as I could, looking over my shoulder occasionally to check for fast dudes, but none appeared. In to the finish about a minute ahead of my winning time from last year.
Hayden (age 8) had a great race too, running conservatively but steadily and managed to reel in his running club coach about halfway around (she had a 4.5 minute head start on him) which is also about where I passed the two of them. He got ahead of her and stayed there and managed to finish about 1:20 ahead of her. I guess he has bragging rights at running club tomorrow.
Also saw Mark B and Scott T finish up the 24k race along with lots of other running folks I've met over the years.
A little damp and cool today, but nonetheless a great 25th Annual Soapstone Trail Race. Results will be up on the Shenipist Striders website as soon as I get them from the results crew.