Hey hey now, that's a new PR!
My goal was just to beat last year (36:00), pipe dream goal was to beat my big peach sizzler time (35:44).
I workout on this course all the time so I had a really good sense of how to pace myself, which I think really helped. Especially because it seemed like many of the mile markers were either wrong or missing.
I took the lead about 400meters into the race and thought that I had the race locked up. I hit the bridge over Ralph Mcgill which is just shy of the mile in 5:14. However in the second mile I slowed down a little as I ran about 6:06 from Ralph Mcgill to the north end of the beltline (about 5:3x pace). That allowed Kennesaw State runner Matt Auers to catch up to me. I've beaten Matt a few times this year but he's still a sub 16 guy so I was a little nervous.
I hit the official 2 mile mark in 11:16 which didn't seem correct (probably more like 11:00). Matt still stayed right on me as we cross Monroe and hit the trail. I was already hurting but I wasn't just going to slow down and let him pass. I hit the 3rd mile in 16:22 (5:06) and that didn't seem right either. Based on the beeping of Matt Auers watch, I think it was probably more like 16:45 at 3 miles.
The 3 mile mark is just about the low point of the course. As soon as we hit a small climb, I put a little gap on Matt, but I wasn't sure how far back he was. Mile 4 was 5:41 (22:04) and I decided that maybe I was just running fast. I knew the course was accurate overall, and that a PR was likely.
The last two miles are all uphill and I just tried to keep it together. I could still hear some latent cheering for Matt, but the latency got longer and longer. I ran 13:09 for the last 2.1 miles (maybe), which is about 6 flat pace. That matched up with the paces from the quarter mile marks on the trail. Somehow ended up winning by a minute.