The narrative of most any successful race is essentially this: I ran as hard as I could for as long as I had to. I finished and it was hard but ultimately gratifying.
Heartland fits the template. I ran hard and led the whole way. I won comfortably in 7:59:59, sprinting like hell to make finish under 8 hours. The middle miles lagged a bit, and the gravel shredded my shoes to the point that duct tape was required to keep them and my feet together. (Just a day later, and my feet are fine, however.)
I have a lot more to say, not about how the race unfolded specifically, but about peri-race things. When I can organize them somewhat, you'll hear more.
For now, I'm just gonna chill.