L.L. BeanThis morning was the LL Bean 4th of July 10k, which I have not run for the past few years. As I said back in 2005, this course is not quite flat:
LL Bean Elevation Profile
Today was far and away the best running weather that I have ever had on this course. It was humid, but the temperatures never got too high and the last mile or so down Main Street did not involve thundering through the relentless sun as it usually does. There was a nice breeze and it felt pretty good.

There were 918 finishers this year, the majority of whom managed to get a free pair of New Balance 1062 running sneakers for being one of the first 500 people to register for the race. The post-race refreshments were a little meager and didn’t really last long enough, although there were enough popsicles for the kids at the end of the 1 mile fun run which is the important part.

Claton Conrad led the race right from the beginning, opening up a sizable gap on the chase pack in the first mile. He maintained the lead for at least the first few miles while they were in sight from me, but he faded after the 3 mile marker to a very respectable 33:18 and 4th place.

Ethan Hemphill took the win, finishing the race in 32:36. He ran a very strategic race that paid off with a 15 second lead over Matt Lane.

Kristin Barry caught me about halfway through the race and proceeded to win the women’s race in 35:12. She had over a minute lead on Sheri Piers who finished in 36:18.

I ran faster than I thought that I was going to today, even after shocking my system with a too fast first mile of 5:12. I managed to settle into my pace after that and ran consistently from there, picking folks off one by one as I went along. I wasn’t quite able to catch Jorma Kurry at the end, although I did close the gap to about a second. I finished in 35:52. I think that 4 solid weeks of speed work combined with not running 20 miles 2 days before Beach to Beacon is going to combine for a fast time on that course.

I will have the Maine Race Round-Up available later this evening.

(Full Results)