Good insights above. Its so frustrating to have to spend half a race “swimiming” through competitors you know aren’t going to place anywhere near you. To top it off they always go out WAY faster than they finish so you have even longer to deal with them. Stay out of the crowd and stay within your limits and 1/3 to 1/2 way into the race 90% of them will have dropped off and then your fine. Totally agree about staying out a ways since most of these guys who are off pace are also gonna want to be really close to the inside. Running your proper pace is definitely worth adding a little distance for 1-2 laps.