Lehigh Acres is a unincorporated area in Eastern Lee County. It's a large, sprawling community, named so because it sits on the highest ground in the county. It's filled with foreclosed homes and a mish-mash of trashy lots, crapped out homes, along with some beautiful neighborhoods and gated communities. It's a real roll of the dice depending on where you are.
This morning I got up a lot earlier than usual to run the annual 4 mile race in Lehigh Acres. I'd run this race three other times with mixed results. It's one of the older local races but the field is usually pretty thin. The course is pancake flat and winds its way out and back through a tired neighborhood.
Two years ago I ran the race just missing out on cracking 30 minutes. I went into the race this weekend knowing that 30 minutes was well within reach, but hope for something a little better. Despite missing most of January my training has gone exceedingly well. Save for the perpetual soreness in my right hip I can tell I'm getting a lot faster.
With a mile to go there were just 2 from that pack left in front of me and I began thinking about Chris. I knew he was back there lurking and sure enough with 3/4 of a mile to go I heard him shout, "John, I'm coming." I could gauge that he was a good 50 yards behind me so I went to work. I quickly caught the last 2 from the pack and with less than a half mile to go I could hear Chris shout again, only this time he was a lot closer.