Not much to say about the race really, it wasn't all that exciting for me. Coming into the race I'd been dealing with some nagging pain in my foot and had managed to only run twice this week (though I put a significant amount of time in on the bike). Having only one prior experience on Barr Trail, I knew that I was not going to be doing anything special. Realistically 2:10 would have been something to shoot for, but I had splits in my head for 2 flat.
As I've mentioned, climbing is probably the worst aspect of my running "abilities" and I was just planning on surviving the climb to perhaps make some noise if I was around 1:15 on the ascent. Ultimately I thought that I would need to just chill out and keep everything in check for 3ish miles before the grade eases up. I did just that, and was god knows how many places deep by the time we saw any dirt. Being a big race, I was bottled up behind a ton of guys and the pace was so slow I could walk and still keep pace with the pack.
At the top of the W's I was well off the pace I had hoped to be at (was thinking 12-13 min/mile) and stupidly tried to make up for lost time which brought my heart rate wildly high and I really just became lazy from then on to the top, walking a bit and cruising the flats I should have hammered. I was 13 minutes over my goal ascent time and I had lost any desire to kill the downhill so I just tried to find an acceptable pace to get home in a decent time. I settled in right around 7:20 miles on the drop which was actually pretty pedestrian, it felt like the pace I was running was right about what I was splitting at Sun Mountain.
(How'd that guy beat me up the hill?)
I managed to pass a few folk on the drop and pushed it for the first time up Hydro street to finish a touch under 2:14. Not something to be really all that proud of, but whatever, it was a nice day for a run, I just wish I could have had a few more miles to get in a groove. The race organization was great, and the aid stations were really a distinct feature to this race (they are a a competition for high school xc programs and the winners get some more cash). The race shirt was actually really nice, run worthy even, which was a pleasant surprise. Caught up a touch with Nick Clark at the finish and warmed down to my car with 4th place finisher Alex Nichols of team Inov-8. Nice guy, but all these fast guys are so short! Perhaps that's my problem!