This seems to be the spring of repeat races.* I ran my first trail race on the 10k course here two years ago. I returned this weekend to run a flat (relatively speaking) and fast race.
I went out fast, but kept my own pace, keeping what felt like my max sustainable speed. I slowed slightly on the uphills, just enough to avoid losing the ability to speed up again on flat sections and downhills. I wasn’t until a quarter mile before the finish that I felt completely maxed out. This prevented a sprint to the end, but indicated good pacing. My last race at this distance required a short walk break and a large drop in speed at one mile.
I finished in 26:47, 23/458, and first in my age group. And just below my goal pace of 7:45 min/mile, at 7:42.5. Strava says it included PRs at half mile, mile, 1k, 2 mile, and 5k distances (this course was closer to 3.5 miles). I’m curious what my flat course 5k time would be now, especially if I tapered, but there’s other things to do.
* Unlike all of last year, I picked this winter/spring’s races for training reasons. It occurred to me while writing this that only the final race, Lake Sonoma, is on a new course.