Very uneventful race. The 5k and 10 mile start together for the first 1.5 miles, so initially I was a large group of runners. I was not very agressive, running only 5:55 for the first mile (+:12 from last year). At the mile, some gaps started to open, so I surged to catch a small group including Juan Soto and Ty Ragen who both beat me last year.
Juan is a really strong climber and easily dropped me on the first major hill in mile 2. After he took off, a pretty big gap opened up in front of me. As I crested the mile 2 hill, I dropped Ty and was by myself essentially the rest of the way. 6:16 for mile 2 (-:04 from last year, +:8 overall). Mile 3 is mainly down with a only a small climb and I already couldn't see anyone in front of me. The big gap meant that I got supercharged cheering from the spectators, which are always surprisingly awesome at this race, as I think the Atlanta Track Club coordinates with local HS XC teams. A 5:54 for mile 3 (-:02 from last year) put me at 18:05 at 3 miles, 6 seconds slower than last year.
The fourth mile contains some nasty steep hills and I just decided to be conservative. I finally saw someone ahead of me, but I passed him up really fast. I also passed the wheelchair leader in this mile. With a 6:11 (-:10), I finally pulled ahead of 2015 James by 4 seconds.
I reached halfway in 30:22 in 16th place. I was 33 seconds behind 14th and 15th and 20 seconds ahead of places 17-22 who were all in a pack. I really put the hurt in 2015 James here with a 6:06 (-:18) and I was feeling good. It would have been nice to have someone closer to chase.
In the second half, I continued to run alone 6:08 for mile 6 (-:12), 6:03 for mile 7 (-:14), 6:22 (-:16) for mile 8, 6:04 for mile 9 (-:10) and then a freaking 5:46 for mile 10 (-:18). This last mile brought me within 5 seconds of finally catching up to someone in front of me.