Sunday October 9th - 4th annual Memorial bridge 5k. This morning was the memorial bridge 5k in Portsmouth NH, I arrived around 845am to pick up my number shortly after I met Coree for an easy warm up down to New Castle. The race starts over the bridge in Maine and crosses back over into Portsmouth quickly, as I approached the line I spotted Derek Hamel. I knew he was coming back from injury but wasn't sure how long he had been back, we caught up briefly before toeing the line. I opted to go with no watch and just compete, Derek advised me there was a sharp turn early in the race and with the rain we weren't sure how that would go. Once the gun went off I moved out to the front early, no one seemed to want to get out to quick. Around 1/2m in Derek pulled up with me and put a stride or two on me, we continued back and forth for the first 1+. He would pull away on the downs and on the flats, I was able to pull away on the climbs. Shortly after the mile there was a decent climb coming up I moved up on Derek's shoulder and wanted to push the climb to see if I could open a gap up, after the climb the course takes a quick right which gave me a chance to see what type of gap I was working with it seemed to be decent enough and I changed my focus to chasing the police cruiser leading the race. As the race headed back into downtown I knew the fire station was about 1/2m from the finish, I was feeling smooth and continued to push as I was approaching the fire station the quick thought came in that I had no clue where Derek was and hadn't heard anyone say anything of any cheering near by. As quickly as that crossed my mind I heard Derek exhale heavily and make a hard push past me, he opened up a quick gap I was fighting to find another gear and could tell the gap was slowly closing. I was trying to get back onto Derek's shoulder before the final turn but was unable to close the gap up, as I could see the final turn I noticed he made one more surge to reopen the gap. I crossed in 2nd overall in 16:49.
I was pretty surprised by the race, last week I felt completely out of place and wasn't sure what type of effort I truly put in but felt good about it. This race I felt smooth and strong on the climbs, I could tell I lacked a bit of speed on the flats and down hills which could have allowed me to wait a bit longer before making a move. It was also very nice to see Coree finish in 3rd overall in 17:08 (which is a nice PR for him) he's been working to get back into running and I think this was a nice confidence boost that the work he's putting in is worth it.
Overall - Happy with todays race its a nice step in the right direction and looking forward to continuing racing