During a visit to my hometown, I decided to run the race that defined my level of fitness 20 years ago. Then Bennington Road Race is one of the more competitive races in the Northeast. The winner, Brian Rhodes-Devey was the NY state cross country champion this past fall, as is now ranked as one of the top 5 under age 19 runners in the country.
When the gun went off for the joint 5 & 10K races, I took off with the leaders, not realizing that I was running with Brian Rhodes-Devey and Dusty Lopez (a former top college runner who finished the hilly 10k in a blistering 30:50). We hit the first mile in 4:40 and felt comfortable, but the spilt scared me so I slowed down.
In 1987, the same year I made the Junior Olympic team in cross country skiing, I ran this race in 20:39. Now 20 years later, with only 5 1/2 months of training, I ran a 20:37 over the hilly 3.8 mile course. Could it be the diet?