Good job. Regardless of what the “official” results say, you know you were 4th. I have a few races now that, whenever I review the results, I find myself putting an asterisk next to my result in them because of these phantom runners.
I wonder if that guy even ran a whole 5K. I can imagine scenarios where he might not have had malicious intent. Though I cannot really give him a pass because if you cut the course, you shouldn't pass through the finish. His gun time of 21:31 still puts him in the top 70 out of 3200. At first I imagined him finishing with the huge pack, but I think that it was still relatively thing at that point. I've not been in a race with so many participants and so heavily skewed toward the back of the pack.
Interesting comments about the lunges and the knee. It would seem to me surprising that the lunges would make a difference so quickly but I'll be interested to see what you say about the knee in the future.
I don't know if it was the lunges or the low mileage that helped the knee last week. I won't do any lunges after Tuesday this week. I don't want to be sore for the half marathon on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how things go.
I'm also considering running a small 7-mile trail race on Sunday. It has an $8 race day entry fee. My primary goal there would be to meet some trail runners and perhaps trade contact info and meet them for trail runs later. Of course, if I feel well enough to run, I will run to compete. I have also considered volunteering for the event.