At 8:20 sharp the 7K was gathered and ready for departure. A few hundred meters of wide trail allowed the pack to get out together before quickly forming a line and entering the heart of forest. After the bottleneck, I found myself in the fifth spot of the lead pack of five. Monk was in third and a Fleet Feet Runner, Cole, was in fourth. This formation remained for the first 12-13 minutes of the race. At the first fire road, Monk moved up to second and all others remained the same. Knowing that there has to be another fire road crossing, I remained tight to the pack waiting for an opportunity to move up a spot. As the second crossing neared, Cole and I moved up two positions and Monk took over the lead. At this point, the pack started to split and the fourth and fifth place runners began to fade. 26 minutes in, Cole made his move to first and I tried to follow. I was nipping at his heels until 25 meters from the finish when we both made a wrong turn. Monk, who knew the trail a little better than us, turned towards the finish, but graciously let us fight it out for first and second. I finished a split second off the lead.
What an event! To have such a tight pack and jockeying for position throughout the race on this trail was a phenomenal experience. It was awesome to race with Monk and work together throughout the race. Congrats to Kim for a strong performance in the 7K and Duncan for second place in the 15K!