Went to a hometown race, won the race for the 2nd year in a row, and helped an athlete PR their 15K during the race.
The cold (Texas "cold" of upper 30s) morning turned out to be a great morning for an 11 mile city to city road running race. I had an athlete that I coach join me for this race with a goal of PRing his 15K time. My plan was to try to win the race, but also to pace him towards his 15K PR. This race was a prize money race, so we knew there would be a good chance a fast guy or two would show up and possibly ruin my chance to pace him. At the start of the race we went out fast to get in the front to hopefully control the pace of the race and it worked. I had him tucked in behind me and we put the pace at right under 6 min/mile. The first mile split was 5:57 and the front group of 5 had all stayed together and in line with us. Then we had a guy make a run for it and he put a 20s gap on us in the 2nd mile while we clipped off a 5:59 second split. At this point I turned to my athlete and said "I've got about another half mile with you before I have to go chase him down." The 2.5 mile mark came and I sent off from my athlete with confidence that he would hold pace to his PR, because he was running strong. On the following mile I split a 5:19 and the gap had only come back about 5 seconds. I knew the guy up front and thought he must be in real good shape and that it might end up taking me the whole race before I might catch him. So I kept the pace at sub 5:30 for the next 2 miles and he was coming back to me more and more each mile. I was feeling good and this was a little unexpected since I had only been back to running from an injury for 7 weeks at this point. I was hoping I would be able to hold things together. Finally at about mile 6.5 I caught up to him and then we ran together at 5:50 pace until mile 8 where I decided to move on up the road to secure the win. Once through the finish, it wasn't long before my athlete came through the line with a big smile on his face! He had finished 3rd overall, taking home some money and a new PR by over a minute in the 15K! This was a great race even if it wasn't my best time on the course, because it was exciting and rewarding. I'm looking forward to what the rest of this year will hold!