The race course is a pretty rolling race course, and the weather was partly cloudy with some sun, 73 degrees, 88% humidity, winds South 3 mph. Coach George told us to make sure we start slower than normal. My teammate Cris and I started near each other and I figured a 7 pace start would be good. She thought she'd be about the same, so I revised to start 7:10 pace, as she is much faster than I. We wound up near each other for about the first quarter mile when another teammate passed us and Cris stayed with her. I was watching my garmin to make sure I was taking it easy the first bit. I saw my pace to be around 7:10, which in garmin-land usually equates to 7:20, I picked it up a bit and just tried to stay steady paced.
I hit the first mile and my watch showed 7:24, I knew by pace I wasn't running that slow, plus most of the first mile we were downhill. (later I confirmed 1.06 on my garmin, obviously I wasn't running the tangents, but it's usually closer than that) I tried to pick it up, but it was very humid and I was trying to keep breathing comfortably. There was a water stop around mile 1.5 and I threw a cup over my head and drank a little. I soon saw my teammate Lauren, who was slowing down and kept looking behind her, she was looking for me. I caught up with her and she noted she wasn't planning on racing and was going to run in with me. I greedily accepted the assistance!
As we passed mile 2, we saw 6:44 and noted that wasn't right either (my garmin had .96). As we started up the final long hill, I was still trying to keep my breathing correct, although it was getting tough. I saw another teammate, Ana, who came out to cheer and was still just trying to stay with Lauren. We finally hit the last downhill and I came back up with her. I clocked mile 3 at 7:08 and then for the last .1- :47. Final time was 21:59, 2nd in my AG.
Not my best time, but given the heat, humidity & hills (all three of which I thoroughly suck at), plus lack of preparation, I was pretty pleased. Especially when I compare it with this less hilly race I ran last year.
As far as an Inaugural race, it was great and will definitely be on my "to do" list next year! Great prizes, well managed and lots of fun - especially when you run with your mates! BTW, our team came in 2nd in the team competition! Plus, check out the finish line video! I think I'm around 6:40-7ish into the finish!