The day before the race it was raining like crazy and some of my ultrarunning friends ran the American River 50 in the pouring rain. The weather changed overnight and by the time the race started at 8:45 it was sunny and windy. I warmed up by running about one mile and stripped down to my racing gear just before the start. There were many familiar faces in the crowd.
Joan Bumpus, the race director (previously a serious ultrarunner), sounded the siren and we were off. Some young runners started out like it was a 100 yard dash, which is always fun to see. I tried to immediately find a 6:40 pace to avoid going out too fast. I was pretty sure I was in the lead of the 10K, but since both the 5K and 10K started at the same time I would not be able to tell until after the 5K turnaround at approximately 1.5 miles.