Well, most of what I said the other day still applies, but, obviously, the weather's not looking too conducive.
When I first checked the other day, I saw 73 and 53 humidity. I thought that might not be enough to affect the race too badly.
Now, it's 79 and 70, 14 mph of gusty wind. Not good.
Maybe not enough to completely wreck the race, but obviously enough to have some real impact.
Nobody's running 27 in that, and I doubt anyone outside Rupp will break 27:40.
Ritzie still needs a (relatively) fast, hard race, but he certainly won't be pushing it at 13:30 in those conditions.
Maybe a moderate first half, and a gradual cranking up in the second half, is the more likely scenario.
Say, 14-ish at 5K, with Ritz and Rupp dropping it to 65's at 6 or 7K.
If we're lucky, none of the big 4 are too badly rattled by the heat, and that scenario could still give us something like the spectacular 3-man death march I envisioned over the last couple K, but who knows?
Obviously, the rougher conditions should increase the chance that at least one of the guys blows up, which would probably greatly diminish the drama.
Who might that be?
High dew point and a nasty pollen count clearly may not serve Rupp too well, so maybe it increases the chance that he gets dragged back to the pack, and we possibly end up with a 4-man death march.
That would be pretty wild.
If we're really lucky, a heavy storm flashes through at 8'o'clock, and knocks the temp down by 10 degrees before clearing out.
If the forecast holds, I'll adjust my earlier expectations a little.
Slow the first half down to 13:56, and Rupp and Ritz start to push at 6K or so.
Chris and True hang with them, whoever else is left gets slowly dropped by 8K or so.
Death march ensues.
The four of them hold together to the last 800.
Rupp goes hard. The other three try to hang on for dear life.
Much agony is experienced by all.
Ritz, to the shock of the LR crowd, holds it together a little better than the other two.
Rupp (en Masque?) struggles through in 27:34.
It does *not* look easy.
Ritzie follows, triumphantly, in 27:39.
Derrick and True put forth a horrific battle of self-immolation... and I don't have a clue who comes out on top.
Flip a freaking coin.
I can't see a nickel's worth of separation between these two right now.
I have no idea who might handle the heat better.
All I get is that they both look like absolute warriors.
I just hope neither one gives himself a heart attack or heat stroke in the process.
To quote the great Mr. T: "My prediction?.... PAIN."
Still think it should be a fantastic race.
Still think it's highly unlikely that anyone outside the Big 4 plays a major role.
Just somewhat less predictable than before.
Best of luck to four great guys, and great competitors, and my deepest sympathy to the odd man out.
(I really wish we could send four this year.)
Enjoy it, everyone.