During my first trip around the loop I was still catching glimpses of the last runner from the lead pack. After the first loop, the course hops back on to the straight gravel maintenance road that we ran in the beginning. This is the only section of the course where you can get a good look ahead for any amount of distance. Unfortunately, no runners were in sight ahead of me. I decided to try to crank up my effort for the second loop and see if I could catch anyone on the single track during the second loop. I was pushing and giving what felt like my maximum effort as I covered the miles and saw the familiar sights during the second loop. I developed a side stitch early on this loop and it continued for the majority of the lap. It was a bit surprising for me when I felt it because I usually don’t push to that exertion level during most races because most races I run are a much longer distance. During those races my goal is to only push as hard as I think I can maintain for the duration of 30, 50, or 100 miles which is never to the level of developing a side stitch. Nonetheless, I expect to incur a certain amount of pain and discomfort during any race so I did my best to bear it and continue to run through it.
Read the rest of my full report at https://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/04/2018-rat-race-20k.html