TT Long. Simply put, this was one of the most technically sound races I have ever run, on one of the more technical courses I've ever run. The very first control - a longish contouring leg across a vague rocky hillside - looked terrifying and potentially race-destroying. I took it very carefully, going through 12, then counting rock features, but still came in too high. I eventually recognized that I was in the very rocky reentrant W of the control and circled back. Could've sworn that I was wandering for at least 2+ min, though I was only 1:38 behind Eric's top split.
After that things went a lot better, and 1 would prove to be by far my worst mistake. Apart from some hesitations in control circles trying to parse the rock detail at 1:15000, I was planning and executing well, and maintaining a good pace yet careful not to push too hard. Thank God for Alex and her Billygoat, which gave me an invaluable understanding of how the various forms of plentiful New England rock look, feel, and translate to paper.
I was the last TT M21 starter, with the Bonesaw 3min and Ross 6min ahead - so in other words I assumed I'd be alone the whole race. However, I caught Brendan at 12, we lost a minute together on 13, I got away, then caught sight of some more blue/red heading up through the rocky slope toward 16. Turned out to be Ross and Kenny (Kenny gave me a nice word of support, which I appreciated). We then proceeded as a group to lose a minute or so on 16 (though according to GPS we passed within ~20m on the first shot).
I got away from them on the way to 17, and at that point started to freak out a little bit - knew I was having a really solid race, and didn't want to do something stupid near the end, but made myself concentrate and decided to take safe, if not particularly fast, routes on some of the 18-22 group.
Ended up not doing anything awful and came second, ~5min behind Eric, with similar time loss. Had to take some time after finishing to settle myself down. I was very emotional (in a good way) - I think because in my head this was the race that 3.5 years of training have culminated in.