I ran over to the race and signed up for the Stone Tower 15K. The race course goes up Stone Tower three times, Steel Tower once, and Dungeon Rock once. Tough as it can get for a trail race. The weather was perfect after the rain yesterday. I chatted with Dennis Floyd (SpiderOne) before heading over to the line next to David Long (Wicked Running Club) who was 2nd last year. Chris Smith (Somerville Road Runners) charged into the lead from the Great Woosd gate driveway and into Lynn Woods. I caught him toward the top of the first hill and taking the race up the single track to Stone Tower. The lead was short lived as I had my eyes on a sign for the 15K and an arrow pointing left. I was scolded to screams of many after I took the turn (where were you on Thursday). I turned back only to be behind Bernat Olle (Cambridge Running Club) and David Long who bolted down the hill. They traded off leads as I had a birds eye view before I was able to catch David after Penny Bridge. Bernat was holding his own about five seconds in front. I kept him close for the next few miles but never got any closer than I did going up the Dungeon Rock steps - maybe 10 seconds.
I lost some time in the Boulder Path which is a single track ankle buster. I knew I was losing precious time and being cautious instead of reckless. I asked myself - what would Jim Johnson do here? Upon reaching Stone Tower a second time, I managed to see Bernat at the bottom of the hill (100 yards?) and not slowing down. That was the last time I saw him. The rest of the tour took me through a personal favorite of Lynn Woods - Undercliff Path. I think I heard David behind me so I could not dare take a nap at the wheel. The legs were absolutely zapped for the rest of the race. I don't think I could have held anyone off if I got run down in the last two miles. It was all downhill from the third exhaustive visit to Stone Tower. I rolled into the finish for 2nd place overall and a time of 1:00:22. Bernat crushed it in 59:19. David rolled in about a minute behind me. Full results I was pretty beat following the race so I shut it down and hung out for some refreshments. Looking ahead, it looks like I will be racing Ravenswood (1st race as a master), Mayors Cup XC, and the Manchester City Marathon.