Course tool says 6:01 per mile (1:18:52)
First mile felt wonderful. I had planned on starting fairly fast and then settling in, because the first mile is pretty downhill. 5:36 (josh+14) and I was in probably between 10th and 15th place, in a nice pack. However, almost immediately after the mile, I my legs started to ache really badly and I thought ("this is mile repeat pace, probably not a good idea for a half marathon"). I let the pack I was in go and just started to drift backwards. 5:53(+21), 5:53(+16) for 2 and 3 but this still felt too fast. I got passed by lots of folks in this section dropping me into, I think, 19th place. Of course, that was about an 18:00 first 5k and my best 5k this year is 17:50, so it should be hard. Actually let me be clear, it wasn't just hard it was really, really painful. My breathing wasn't very hard, my legs just really were unhappy.
I slowed down even more in the 4th mile, trying to find a rhythm that my would be sustainable for another 10 miles. Mile 4 was only 6:16(+42), but it was slightly uphill, so this was reasonable. I got passed by two more guys tall skinny guy and white t-shirt guy. Ahead of me, the race was sorting itself out. I could no longer see the fluorescent jersey of Josh, or the Orange of Mike Wolf, but I could still see Walter as a speck in the distance and maybe 6 or 7 more guys between me and him, including Brian Summers. I also knew that Steve Anderson and Trent Jensen were somewhere behind me. I decided that it was reasonable to try to beat everyone still in view.
Anyway as tall skinny and white tshirt passed me I raised my effort to stary with them. These were miserable miles- very difficult, more than half the race to go and I wasn't running very fast. Oh well, "the only way out is through" I thought to myself, the first of perhaps five times. 6:06(+23) for mile 5 with the surge, but then I started to hurt too much so back to 6:14(+32). In that mile, the two guys I was with dropped me again, but we were now gaining on the next pack of three. White-tshirt surged ahead to join white singlet, yellow singlet and Brian (Summers). They, in turn were just a bit behing Green singlet. The only other people I could see were blue singlet and Walter but just barely.
Anyway in this mile the wind started to blow like crazy and I realized that anyone not in a pack (like me) was SOL. I surged to catch the group of four in front me but the wind made this hard, I was able to pass tallskinny back but I just kind of stalled about 20meters behind the group, max effort and I couldn't get any closer. Just about here a Man in Black shot by me, totally impervious to the wind and uphill. I latched onto him for as long as I could (about 10 steps) but I still couldn't catch the group. A whole lot of effort for a 6:25(+30) mile. As we crested the hill, the road turned and the wind abated briefly. The pack in front of me broke up as the Man In Black surged by everyone. I passed yellow singlet guy and Man in Black ducked into the bathroom. 6:16(+30) for mile 8
It was back to climbing now, but we had a tailwind, briefly. On this climb and had about 10 seconds of not feeling lousy and this was enough for me to catch Brian and white singlet. Leaving only whitetshirt and greentshirt ahead of me to battle for t-shirt colour supremacy. Oh and the Man in Black passed me again! What was odd about this race was that I struggle a lot more on the downhill than the uphills. I think it was because my legs were so sore, but my breathing was ok. 6:07(+21!) for mile 9.
Mile 10 was lots of fun once again upill into the wind, the strongest of the race. Fortunately, I was now on the prowl, chasing two guys (Man in Black is disappearing fast and beat me by over two minutes!) and I could actually see the top of this climb and the resulting downhill. Just like in the previous mile, I made up some ground on the uphill, but couldn't close on the downhill, which is weird for me. 6:29 for mile 10 (+25). Finally caught up to these guys in the 11th mile. We ran as a pack for this mile. There were quite a few turns that I was unsure of as we left the canyon and this hesitancy cost me some aggresiveness I was too content in this mile I think. 6:42(+39)
As we joined the main road (route 191) going into Moab, I braced myself for a wall of wind, but much to my surprise there was a tailwind. 1:07:57 for 11 mile meant that I needed 12:03 for the last 2.1 to break 1:20 or about 5:45 pace. I finally broke away from the guys that I was running with and was in the clear. I could see the next place ahead of me but so indistincly that it seemed unlikely I could catch him. 6:05(+26) for this mile, thanks to the tailwind. Faster, but not nearly fast enough. I glanced back to see the damage that I had done, but saw that tallskinny! and green tshirt guy were right behind me. We turned in mile 13 so there was less of a tailwind and I started to hear footsteps. A guy in Black (another one!) came up behind me and we started running together. There was one more turn before the finish and, in my opinion, he cut it, running through the line of cones and getting a slight drop on me. I can see how he might have thought the move was legal as it was unclear which side of the cones were supposed to be on. Anyway, once I lost contact, he quickly pulled away. 6:12(+25) for the last mile than :34(-18 ha!) for the last .1.
Happy with my effort and the fact that I made the best of a tough day. I think the biggest issue today was the fatigue in my legs going in.