Utah State’s track is pretty sheltered, but it didn’t make a
difference against today's wind, I figure it was blowing 15-20 mph throughout
the race, give or take.
A good crew
showed up for the start, though, including Brian McKenna, Nate Ogden, and Jared
Keller. Seth Wold was going to pace Brian partway, so things started
reasonably, and I tucked in behind the two of them. Nate Ogden shot out front,
then Seth, Brian, me and Jared making up the pack.
First lap in 75, then 73, 72, and 74 to make it 4:54 at
1600m. I stayed right behind Brian through 6 or 7 laps, but the wind was
totally killer, and skinny runners don’t block the wind well. I started to lose
contact around the seventh lap; I noticed Nate was coming back to us at that point. Seth
dropped out here, Brian went after Nate, but I lost contact.
Once I lost Brian I couldn’t keep the pace, Jared went by me
and I slowed to 5:10 pace, maybe a little worse. I went through 3200m in 10:02,
getting hammered by the wind on every back stretch. I saw that Brian had caught
Nate, and the two of them got some distance on the rest of us -- they were around 9:53 at 3200m. The next two laps were awful as I battled the wind in no-man’s
land; I believe at least one of the laps was 81, 5:24 pace.
I was hurting pretty bad by this point, but Jared obviously
was as well. With about 3.5 laps left, I made a move and caught him easily, but
as I passed he stayed close. We were doing 5:10 pace with two
laps to go, but it was the worst pain I’ve felt in awhile. Jared was still within striking distance with a lap to go, I tried to open up but couldn’t find the
gear. The windy backstretch sapped what little I had left out of me, and he
blew past at the 200m mark. I managed to pick it up a little on the
homestretch, but he was out of reach by that point. I managed 35 seconds on the
final 200m, but Jared must have been more like 32. I was so dead at the
finish…. Definitely the most painful run I’ve had in a long time.
Final time was 15:51 and I felt that I fought pretty well
considering the conditions. Nate finished in 15:32 (amazing final lap, he and
Brian were still together with a lap to go), Brian in 15:42, and Jared in
15:48. On the positive side, I got out in a quick first mile, so when I get in
a race in good conditions this shouldn’t be an issue. I’m a little disappointed
with the time, even considering the wind I need to be running faster.
These were the splits: