Mission accomplished. #12 takes the 10 - 14 year old age group series win after a great rebound race this morning. I honestly have had thoughts that maybe he peaked last year as going into this race he was 4 cumulative minutes slower - really accentuated by being 3 minutes slower than last year in Race #3.
Today - he proved his daddy wrong. Today, the goal for the 10K was 50 minutes or better, which would have beat his last years time (50:14). The course was a little tricky in several spots - noticeable snow and some icy areas - didn't really slow us down too much, did get the attention though to be careful.
At the start we saw the kids in 2nd and 3rd in his age group and made sure we kept an eye on them. We easily gapped the chasers within a 1/4 mile and from there we just went to work. We started out on the first downhill mile a little hot, realizing we may get cooked, I told him to ease back just a bit - which he did. Still went through that mile in 7:20 - but it really was about right.
The next couple of miles we rolled up and over the hills, I was really impressed at his consistency and tenacity in keeping it steady.
By the 1/2 way point we were right at 24 minutes - with more climbing to go - especially in the next mile and a half - I was a little concerned we might fall back and not get 50. But he stuck at it and we plugged along, at times I was hurting to keep up.
With 2 miles to go and right near the highest point in the race our average pace had dropped back to 8:05 - but that was good as only a few (albeit lengthy) uphills remained, the majority of it was downhill.
He was laboring by now, so was I, lack of training or fatigue was a little evident as we went up one of the hills and 3 or 4 people went right by us, but I mentioned to not worry about them, we were working on a course PR for him (and me too).
With 3/4 mile to go it was all downhill left and we increased the pace, reeling in people and kept going. He finished officially with 49:22 - beating last year by almost a minute. Both of us were really happy. He beat the 2nd place guy in todays race by 5 or so minutes and wins the age group by about 8 minutes.
As mentioned, mission accomplished. The kid is happy, the Dad (and Mom who is in Pueblo cheering on another kid at a soccer tournament) - is also very happy.