Right away Nate Jenkins went to the front and was on his way to the 8k win. The guy is a stud and there was no way I was going to try to chase him down. He was running his own race and then there was the rest of us. The first mile of this race is flat and then up for about a half mile to the mile mark. At this point the 5k runners and 8k runners are still all together. We hit the first mile in a solid 5:13 and Nate was out in front a bit and I had two guys right in front of me including Kevin Alliette and plenty of guys close behind. As we hit the 5k turn both of those guys in front of me turned and I was alone in second place in the 8k race. I had no idea what was going on behind me, but I was sure there were guys in the 8k race not to far behind. The goal for me now was to try to hang on to second place and put some distance on whoever was behind me. The second mile is still up for a ways then a down hill to a flat section. I tried to keep my eyes on Nate as long as I could and tried to keep the pace solid. I got to the 2 mile mark in 10:33 (5:20 mile) and could not hear anyone behind me. The next mile is slightly up hill for the first half before heading back down hill for the second half. I really should have been pressing more during this mile, but I think not hearing anyone behind me put me in a more relaxed mode. I even threw some high fives to a large group of kids cheering along the side of the course. A little ways before the three mile mark a spectator told me that third place was about 40 meters back. That woke me up a bit, and hitting three miles in 15:57 (5:24 mile) also got me going a bit faster. The next mile has a sharp short downhill and then its flat for a long ways. During this section the 8k runners join back up with the 5k runners and weaving in and out of the 5k runners who refuse to stay to the left side of the road was not fun. But getting cheered on by the 5k runners was also a plus! I pressed the pace a bit here thinking I could put more distance on third place and secure my position in second place. I hit the 4th mile in 21:04 (5:07 mile) and thought I should be all set in second place. The next mile has a slight downhill to flat section and then a pretty good last hill just to make the finish even more fun. I was still pushing the pace pretty hard, not wanting to have anyone surprise me in the end. Just before the the turn up the hill at the finish I was told that third place was 20m back! I then just took off, hit the hill hard and made sure I did everything I could to hold onto second place. I hit the finish line in 26:06 (5:02 almost mile) holding off third place by 10 seconds. Turns out third place was David Wilson, a runner from UVA, and a former Massachusetts two-mile champion (9:19 best). So I felt pretty good about my second place finish.
Not too long after my finish I got to see Heather also finish in second place in the five miler in a huge PR of 29:50! Awesome race Heather!!!