I did not go out aggressive. I was rather passive in the first 1.25 miles. Upon entry into the Wachusett property, I got to work. I appreciated the approach because I was able to feel decent and make up ground by passing one runner at a time rather than sucking wind and feeling burnt out early. So many CMS guys were ahead for beacons, made it fun for what is a race hosted by the Central Mass Striders. 22:38 at the top, about a minute slower than last year, good for 16th for the King of the Mountain. Some runners opted out there, some continued on the way down. I was going all the way.
I rounded the tower caught my wind and headed down the mountain. In the process of reeling in teammates Steve Brightman (he PRd in a marathon just last week!) and Erik Vandendries, a cyclist going up yelled my name. I recognized that voice as Bryan Doldt. I have not seen him since my days with Greater Boston. We became friends while competing in college, he, representing Bridgewater State and the Bears, while I, a Viking with Salem State. He turned around on the bike, flew past me and stopped to give a high five and some words of encouragement. Made my day to see him. Miss his upbeat energy. I fed off it. Good vibes.
I got within 20 or so seconds within Dan Princic on the way down to the finish. Could not close anymore. Held on for 8th overall, time of 41:42, similar to last year, 2nd master. Not too bad. Fist bump for the dudes finishing or who finished. Could not muster a cool down, quads we're arguing when I broke into a jog 15 minutes after finishing. For real. Rested up and drank a ton of fluids. Zombied out at the awards catching up with teammates, buying and making sure older Wachusett sweatshirts got into the hands of the guys on the team. As coach Derderian says, marketing is good.