I finished 5th today. I was very pleased with my place and with my time (7:12). My race however was far from perfect. The first 25 miles or so went very smooth. I felt very strong on the hills and ran near or in the front of the field that entire time. Through about mile 14 we were still in a group of 13 guys within seconds of each other. The hill leading up to Pantoll (mile 18) broke the field up a little bit with Me, Matt Carpenter, Some dude who was running his first ultra and I think ended up dropping out, and Kyle Skaggs pulling a bit ahead of the others. By the time we dropped back down to Stinson Beach (mile 21) it was a large group again. Then the climb up out of there had the same result, with the same 4 guys pulling away a bit, but this time Uli Stiedl was also right there with us. At the top of that climb Matt Carpenter made a move and none of us attempted to go with him. Somewhere after the mile 26 turn around I started to struggle. I was able to hold off Uli until mile 30 but by that point I was really hurting. Lots of cramping and lots of pain in my quads beginning to really stand out on the downhills. By mile 33 or so I was passed by a Japanese dude who went on to finish third (behind Carpenter and Steidl) and then at about mile 37 I was passed by Kyle Skaggs who finished 4th. At this point I was really struggling and thinking about pulling out at the next aid station. After thinking about it for about 30 minutes I decided that I didn't care if I was passed by another 10 runners, I was going to finish no matter what... and then shortly after that I started to feel a lot better. I knew it was almost certainly too late to catch back up to anyone in front of me but I gradually felt more and more confident that I could hold on to 5th place. I really enjoyed the rest of the run after that. I was still feeling pretty crappy on the downhills but the uphills started to click again and it was a really good feeling to break through such a horrible feeling and feel pretty strong again for the last 10 miles or so. I'll probably post a full report in a day or two.
Full Race Results Posted Here
A few pictures below. First one is of me crossing the finish line; second one is Matt, Kyle, and I shortly after the finish (notice the $10,000 smile on Matt's face); third one is the presentation of the prize money to the top 3.