My race went fairly well despite the humid conditions early in the morning. I won the race in 1:13:40 with the 2nd place runner a little over 2 minutes back. Coming into the race I was not expecting to run a fast time because of the conditions. I had to remind myself that running in Guam year around is like running in the Southeast during the summer time.... hot and very humid. The race also had an Ekiden (4-person relay) race, which started 15 minutes after the soloist. Personally, I liked the idea because it prevented me from going out hard with guys who may only be running a 5k leg. The gun went off at 5am in the dark. After a couple hundred meters the course took us up a decent hill in which I found myself and two other runners already alone in the front. My plan was to go out at 6:00 pace for the first couple miles. Even with the hill the three of us came across mile 1 in 6:01. A half mile later one runner dropped off the pace and it was just me and a high school runner Chris (later found out he won All-Island Cross Country). After hitting the 2nd mile in 5:59 (12:00) I asked the kid if he wanted to take turns leading every quarter-mile; however, he passed up the offer. I think he was new to the distance and didn't know that exchanging leads would help him. For the next 4 miles (5:53, 57, 56, 54) we ran comfortably stride for stride. I knew that if I kept running at 5:50+ pace then I was only keeping him in the race for the win. Following the 6th mile, I decided to start picking up the pace. We came across miles 7 & 8 at 5:46 pace. After 8 miles I could hear Chris' breathing rate become faster so I increased the pace a bit more. A 9th mile split of 5:44 was enough to put him back about 10 meters. Another 5:46 split and I knew the race was in the bag. Here is an article on the race. My GPS watch registered the course at 12:52 miles.
It felt great to run a race back home again. It also reminded me how tough it is to race here in the beautiful island.