Knowing his competitors could stick with him, Patrick Baldwin took off from the start.
Baldwin went out harder than he usually does and won his third straight men's 15k at XTERRA Mission Gorge on Feb. 2.
His time of 1:01:58 was a few seconds shy of the course record at Mission Trails Regional Park outside of San Diego. Kosuke Amano finished second in 1:03:58 and James Walsh was third in 1:04:23.
"I won the last two times and wanted to do it again," Baldwin said. "It doesn't get any easier. It made me run a little faster, I had some pretty fast guys chasing."
Baldwin said he tried not to look behind while running. He dropped about three seconds from his winning time of 1:04:13.5 in 2013. He won in 2012 in 1:07:58.1.
"I knew the two guys could run with me so I ran harder than I am used to," Baldwin said.
In the women's race, Janine Buehler edged Sarah Mista for first place. Buehler won in 1:17:07, 33 seconds ahead of Mista. Erica Hawkes was third in 1:21:38.
Race director Brendan Lindner was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout for the race. There were 601 total finishers in the 15k and 5k races.
In the 5k, Connor Dunne (15:46) and Hannah Dow (20:11) were the top male and female finishers.
Top 3 - 15k
1. Patrick Baldwin 1:01:58
2. Kosuke Amano 1:03:58
3. James Walsh 1:04:23
1. Janine Buehler 1:17:07
2. Sarah Mista 1:17:40
3. Erica Hawkes 1:21:38
Top 3- 5k
1. Connor Dunne 15:46
2. Cameron Smith 17:19
3. Chase Barrett 17:49
1. Hannah Dow 20:11
2. Sandra Loya-Estrada 22:13
3. Leanna Warner 22:48
Full results at http://www.geminitiming.com/posts/xterra-mission-gorge-3/