I had such a fun time!
Thanks to IronCladBen for telling me about the race. He finished in the Top 10 too, by the way!
It was such a great experience. I had only run more than an hour and a half a few times leading up to the run and only 2 hours once, but I stopped 7 times during that training run. My goal was simply to finish with as little walking as possible and to rack up as many miles as I could.
Without any expectations to win, I ate some fruit and started the race probably in 15th or so after the first lap, top 10 after the next lap and spent the first hour in 4th place (I realized this after the race). Then after an hour I moved into 3rd, and after 1 hour and 45 minutes I moved into a distant 2nd. In fact, I was lapped by the 1st place runner but didn't even realize it until after the race. I had ducked off to the side to use the restroom during the time the leader lapped me. I didn't realize this until when there was only 30 minutes left I passed him but was still not in 1st.
With 1000 meters to go I was 2 minutes behind. I had already begun my kick and somehow made up 2 full minutes in the final 1000 meters and passed the leader at the finish line to win by 8 seconds.
I feel bad since he led the whole way and didn't even see me coming. He was incredibly gracious, though very surprised, and was quite friendly and congratulatory. I don't feel exceptionally pumped up, but I feel good. I won with a surprising victory and got my little awards and just quietly sat by myself for a while. No celebration, no "look at me, look at me" - Just relaxed, hungout with IronCladBen and others and then went to a hockey game that night and watched the home team win 4-1 from the 6th row. It was pretty sweet.
Of course I shared my results on Facebook and Twitter because of the significance of the result on my vegan anniversary and because it was such an uncertain event. I didn't even know I'd be able to finish it.
My overall time wasn't that fast, but the course was a winding, turning, somewhat rugged terrain and I nearly rolled my ankle 8 times. There were probably 30 turns in every 1000m lap. There probably wasn't a single stretch longer than 100 meters without a turn. My feet and ankles took a beating and I wasn't even sure I'd be able to finish due to the pain of constantly taking sharp turns lap after lap at a fast pace.
All in all, I had a great time.
The day after the race I sat on the couch the entire day reading, napping, eating and watching hours of poker online
Today I hit the gym for more than an hour to ride the bike to keep my legs moving. I think I'll get a massage tomorrow and get back to running.
Thank you all again for your kind words and support.