It's been an unusually mild summer here in SoCal and that makes for great running conditions. This was the last race in the series and I had set of goal of doing a PR for this race to really test myself and my conditioning. My best time was 42:16 and I was hoping to finish under :42 The race was being run counter clockwise again which I think is the harder direction. Most of the 1,000 feet of elevation gain on this five mile course hits you at the one mile mark whether you are warmed up or not. I kept leap frogging a woman much younger than me when we hit the hills. On the climbs I would race past her, on the down hills she would race past me. She had to be under 5'3" with an inseam of 10" but somehow she is faster than me on the downhills? It was weird. I was thinking if we were both on mountain bikes I would show her who was fast! There's nothing like a race to get the competitive juices flowing. As we finished the majority of the climbing and started back to the finish line with two miles to go I pulled ahead. With one mile to go I caught a guy wearing an Ironman Finisher hat and flew by him. Looking at my watch I knew I would PR...not because of the elapsed time but because my heart rate was at 180! With a half mile to go 10" inseam girl goes flying by me while Ironman Finisher is at my heels. I pick up the pace and jump on 10" inseam girls heels for about... 10 meters and I realize there is no way I can beat her but I've dropped Ironman Finisher. With 50 meters to the finish line Ironman Finisher kicks it in and catches me... I try to stay with him but I'm done and slowing down. I cross the finish line 41:15! To my surprise my wife is at the finish line as well...the woman who eats 7:00 minute miles for breakfast!? She beat me by seven seconds? Now admittedly my wife had a bad day and still beat me by seven seconds...but those seven seconds will go down in Clarke family lore for some time.