First off thanks to Phil for putting on this event for the 2nd of what I hope will be many years and thanks to the volunteers -- including Chris and Len and a few others from this forum probably whose names I should know but don't -- for helping out.
The Tenafly Nature Center is practically in our back yard and along with the adjacent Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson is where Will and I do most of our running.
Last year the 5 and 10-milers started together and I ran the first 5 with Will in 52:13 and then the 2nd 5 on my own in 41:30. Will's goal for this year was to complete the 10-miler (1 mile for each of his years) in under 1:45:00. I was looking to get under 40:00 and maybe crack the top 5.
When the 10-miler started at 9:00 a.m. Will and the others began in the rain. By the time the 5-miler started at 9:20, though, the rain had just stopped and the temperature seemed to have improved by a couple degrees. Right from the start of the 5-miler there was a group of 5 at the front and I was just behind them. They pulled away gradually (or, quickly) and after 1 mile were out of sight. I couldn't hear anyone behind me so I was on my own for most of the race. At about 2.5 miles one of the guys from the lead group who had dropped off their pace came into sight. I passed him just after the aid station and was on my own again.
The quarter mile or so after the add station leads to the highest point on the course -- although there isn't really anything that could be called a hill -- and knowing the course well I tried to pick up my turnover from that point on. Just after the 4 mile mark I passed another runner who had dropped off the lead pace. When I came around to meet up with the trail we had started on and where there is about 0.4 mile to go Len told me that Will had gone to on his second loop "about 5 minutes ago" and was "looking strong". I ended up finishing 4th in 37:50 and then started thinking about whether or not I was going to try to catch him on his second loop. Someone said that Will had come through the first loop in "around 45:00" After some quick math while standing with hands on knees and trying to catch my breath I decided "not".
I went down to the 0.5 mile to go spot figuring he would come through there around 1:30 or so on his way to a 1:35. Almost as soon as I got there though he come cruising down the last downhill portion just behind another runner. He was mad that I hadn't caught up with him sooner and thought that he was behind his goal pace of between 10 and 11 minute miles. When I told him that he was going too fast for me to have caught him and that he was on 9-minute per mile pace he just said, "Oh." It was pretty much all I could do to keep up with him after standing around for 30 minutes or so and he finished in 1:28:47.