Thanks so much Jim and Sierra, but as much fun as it was to "win", the whole thing has bothered me all day. I talked it over with the Saint and I am going to give the prize back to the RD and ask him to use it for an upcoming race where maybe some newbies can get some reward from it, even if they pick names out of a hat for door prizes for people showing up, it would be great for his monthly race. These guys do it on a shoestring and don't need old guys playing games with each other.
I figure I win in two ways. I got to brag on the internet a bit, and by clearing my conscience about the prize that relieves me of the whole issue. Spareribs
It woudn't bother me even a tiny bit. You ran the race they based your handicap on to the best of your ability and you did the same thing in this one. If the director didn't allow for the possibiity that someone could improve, then that's his mistake. I've run in a few handicap races, and for every one the runners have been asked to predict their times the day of the race or on the entry. If you had been asked I'm sure you would have predicted something very close to what you ran. You didn't sandbag! You just improved through good ol' fashioned hard work.
Don't you dare give that thing back! There couldn't possibly have been a more deserving runner in that field.