The warm up felt good. I ran the five mile warm up on the course and finished up at the start line. I was excited and ready to go! It was strange running the first three miles at an easier pace. Running in a race makes the pace feel so much easier. I ran the first three miles around 7 minute pace and then picked it up from there. I was shooting for the last 10 to be under 61 minutes so I knew I wanted to average around 6:05 pace. The course has rolling hills so it was hard to judge if the pace was right some of the time. Miles 1-3 of my pickup felt good. The 4th mile had the biggest hill on the course and I was getting a little concerned that I may not be able to keep up the pace. The course turned around at the halfway point and had a good downhill stretch after the turnaround. I was able to get some good momentum here and started to feel really good. I even looked down at my watch a few times and had to slow down because I was going too fast. I could see the 1st female ahead of me and that kept me motivated. I was catching her but not very quickly. I caught her somewhere in between mile 9 and 10 of the race and from there I knew I would be able to finish at my goal pace for the last 10. For the rest of the race I just tried to stay relaxed and hold the pace around 6:00. I ended up winning the race in 1:21:47. I was very happy I was able to run this pace. It gives me some confidence running longer distances. My overall pace for the 18 miles was 6:36 which is by far my fastest long run ever. Next up is the Phoenix Half Marathon on March 3rd. I was lucky enough to have my parents and Derek out there to support me today. Derek's mom watched the kids so he could enjoy watching the race. Thanks!