I registered for the 2020 Shamrock 15K which, of course, was cancelled, as was also true for 2021. So this was - finally - the deferred event. I am also registered for the deferred United Airlines Half Marathon which will be March 20, in New York City. Since these two races were only a week apart and the Shamrock is often rainy and has a total elevation gain of 890' with 180' of that on a steep hill between miles 3 and 4 (the first 4 miles were essentially all uphill), I thought I'd not try to "race" this 15K but just use it as a tempo run. I was thinking a finish time of 1:20:00 would be ok but I did not try to determine what that pace would be (discovered later that would be an 8:34 pace). Lining up at the start, I saw the 8:30 pacer and thought he'd be worth following. I did not stay on his heels, but just kept him within maybe 10-20 yards and I averaged about 8:40 for the first 3 miles.The gap increased on the steeper hill (9:33 for mile 4). However, as the saying goes, "what goes up, must come down," and miles 4 - 6.5 had a loss of around 400' elevation. I love downhill, so just let myself go and left the pacer behind (I averaged 7:43 for mile 6). There was another gradual uphill of almost 1 mile right after that downhill, and we also were running into a strong wind so I slowed to 7:57 and then to 8:13 for mile 8 as we had a hairpin turn and also went through a tunnel (losing GPS briefly, which may have affected the pace as well). Then it was a gradual downhill to the finish (-160'), I had my fastest split of 7:32, and finished in a time of 1:16:40 - so much for not "racing!" That time is the second fastest I have run the Shamrock 15K since 2015 when I finished only 14 seconds faster! I hope this will not affect my NYC half next week and I am hopeful that it will actually be a good predictor for the upcoming half marathon.