For 2011, things fell apart in the first yards of the mile portion of the Tuckahoe Challenge.

For 2012, things were well in hand in the final yards of the five-mile portion of the Tuckahoe Challenge.

The five-mile course itself is not quite as flat as I’ve long believed, with slight rolls, if only two decent, but short, hills. My goal: Easy for the one, relaxed for the five. Check and check. The former is an out-and-back. I took it easy, feeling solid throughout. Around 6. No problem.

I had concerns about the five. Easy as the one was, who knew how I’d handle five. Apart from a 6-lap tempo run on Labor Day, I’ve done no speed. But I finished strong at the Rockies a couple of weeks back.

Solid is how I’d describe the race. The leader, Bobby Asher, was long gone. Then there was Kevin Shelton-Smith (who’s 50+) and a younger guy. Someone passed me just past one and I passed someone else shortly after that so for almost the rest of the race I was alone save for a runner a bit ahead in a fluorescent yellow singlet. Using my Garmin my splits (with the race measuring 4.92) 6:18, 6:37, 6:34, 6:30, and 6:10 (pace for that final 0.92) for a 31:41/6:26 pace. With under a quarter to go, I suddenly heard someone approaching. I’d not had a whiff of anyone since just past one, but a glance to my left revealed the green singlet of Edinburgh University overhauling me pretty handily as Brenn went by. Although I cut a tangent that he did not, I couldn’t get close to him, nor to the guy ahead of him who had gradually opened up his lead over the final mile. So sixth it was to be.

Never stressed, beyond the normal “wouldn’t-it-be-nice-to-stop-here” thought. All about form and rhythm, without the equipment to go particularly fast. I am quite pleased and encouraged. No aches, no pains.