I won a race I totally did not expect to win about 5 years ago. It's a local 5k and 10k, with a joint start. The 5k the previous couple of years had been won in 15 high to 16 low. I was just looking to run 18:30.
The gun goes off, and there are a couple guys ahead of me and pulling away. At roughly the 1.5 mile mark, the 5k does a 180 and the 10k keeps going. Well all those guys kept going which meant I was in the lead of the 5k race.
About 1k to go, I hear someone gaining on me, so I decide that I'll maintain current pace, and when the person catches me, I'll just try to hang on to them and outsprint them. Well the guy catches me but stays behind me. It was clear he worked hard to catch me and didn't want to increase speed. About 150 meters or so to the end I spy a storm drain, and in my mind I decide when I get to that drain, I'm going hard instantly and if I win I win, and if I burn up and get passed, so be it.
I took off in a full out sprint and easily dropped him and won the race. Didn't even break 19. I was a bit embarrassed because two or three guys mid 30s for the 10k, so clearly they would have destroyed me had they chosen the 5k race.