Well - the time is not so great - but under the rather uncomfortable conditions of over 90 degrees and over 90% humidity at the end of a long work week - I am not too upset. I was second overall in the race. The winner was well out in front of me by nearly a minute and a half and the next closest competitor to me was over a minute behind. I think I lost concentration somewhere in the second half of the race and though I thought I was maintaining an even pace - I slowed more than I realized. First mile was 5:55 second was 6:12 and third was 6:35. Race started on the small beach end of Fred Howard Park which has a long causeway out to it. It is nearly a mile from the beach to the park on the causeway. I had moved my way into 2nd place about 3/4 of a mile into the race and could see the leader when he hit the first mile split and it appeared that he was under 5:30. I never saw him again after he turned. When we entered the park we made a series of twisty turns for all of the second mile which slowed me down a bit. When we emerged from the park we had the last mile heading straight into the sun with a slight headwind. The leader may have been in front of me but the sun's angle was blinding so I really couldn't see anyone to focus on. With no one close behind - I think a zoned out a bit. I finished strong and really did not feel spent afterward.
Immediately following the race, I ran back across the causeway to the park to my car to make it to Delaney's cross country meet in Tampa. She was supposed to run at 8:00 pm but was designated to the JV squad which I had not expected, and they started at 7:10 (exactly when I left Tarpon) - so I got the play by play from my wife who was there and arrived just when she finished. 25:20 for her first HS 5k cross country race. She was first on her team to finish and later when the varsity girls ran, it turns out that her time would have been 5th on the varsity team this evening. So she will move up in the next meet.
The XC meet location was a mud bog in high heat and humidity. I counted 7 ambulances on the scene - all actively administering first aid to distressed runners. Delaney's team's number one runner actually pulled out the race just before the second mile but then later rejoined. It was just that hot and humid.
Delaney lost a shoe in the first mile - in a thick mud bog - and she was quite upset at the end of the race because she only had one shoe on for the last two miles. She was not alone - many many athletes lost shoes on the course.
It was a great night though - we stuck around to watch two other races and then went to my friend's sandwich shop "Henry's" for meatball subs. Mud and sweat all over us.
With the warm up and the cool down I got about 7.5 miles in this evening. I think if the conditions were better and there was more competition I would have been in the low 18's.