It had only dropped to 63 degrees when I drove to catch the bus this morning. It was going to be a hot day. I sat next to Jeff Shadley and Nate Reese on the way up and had a nice chat with them before the race. Funny trivia. It turns out that Jeff and I lived on the same street when we grew up in Idaho Falls but didn't know each other because we were 4 years apart. Small world.
There was a nice breeze at the start and for me that made the difference between dying of heat or surviving as I am nowhere near heat acclimated yet. The gun went off and we headed out. I stayed at a good pace even with the mud that got stuck to my shoes when we ran along freshly irrigated dirt roads. I was holding on really well until mile 16 and I started to feel the effects of the heat on me. Unfortunately, the big climb from 18.5 to 23 was looming and the temperature was climbing faster than I was.
I spent most of the hill climb talking to other runners and encouraging them along the way as we all struggled to make it up to the top of Summers Butte. When we finally crested I just put it into gear and finished the last 3 miles strong. The mile splits were short at almost every mile marker so I thought the race might be short but they made it all up in the last mile and my Garmin read an astonishing 26.21 at the finish so the overall course was perfect.
I finished 15th overall, 11th in male, and 3rd in my age group which was a weird one (46-55) and received a cool Teton Dam Marathon stainless steel thermos for the age-group award. I did not push this very hard and made it a great training run for #98 in the books.