I talked myself down from the ledge with a little help from Steve and we arrived at the race site around 9:15. Plenty of time to get ready and warm-up for the 9:45 start. We ran a mile slow just to loosen up, hit the very long lines for the porta-pottys, split a bottle of water and lined up close to the front. Although according to Steve not close enough as we spent the first couple minutes passing slower runners.
My first mile felt good as I kept it at a comfortably hard pace but did not go all out as I have the tendency to do. I knew I would need to save a little for the end of this race as it probably one of the most challenging 5-mile courses around Cleveland. Miles 2 and 3 were the same. I saw Steve as I headed for the turn-around. He was about 1/4 mile or 1/3 mile ahead. I skipped the water stand and went full speed ahead. Was a little fatigued around mile 3.8 before the flats under the bridges but held steady. After the brutal uphill climb back onto the bridge I had to collect myself for a few seconds and then I choked it up to finish strong in 35:55. Definitely better than I expected at a 7:11 pace. Although not nearly good enough to rank in my age group. I was 14th out of 260. Not bad I suppose for the season opener. Special thanks to Swiftwick for helping my feet stay happy! Swiftwick is a team sponsor this year of Team Rev3 and provided socks for the race! Love them and will be wearing them at EVERY race this season!