Saturday, July 20, 2024

2024 Handcart 5K Race Recap - Bountiful Utah + Running Updates

Ready, set, go!

Official Time: 30:21
Placement: 2nd in age group (50-54)
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather:  mid 70's slight breeze from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years:  [2022] [2020[2019] [2018] [2017] [2015] [2012]

Mile TimeComments
19:52Easy start.
210:03Holding steady
39:55Had to bump up the energy expenditure to account for the hill.
3.080:31Hell with it, sprint to the finish
Total Miles: 3.08 - 30:23


So most summers, I wind up doing the Handcart Days races in Bountiful.  The race is held at the county recreation center and is an affordably priced event that offers a chance to run on a very familiar course.

The race is tied to the local Pioneer Days events held in the Salt Lake area to commemorate the arrival of the first settlers into the area some 175 years ago.  The city of Bountiful has a parade and various celebrations and this race is the local running event.  I've been coming off and on (mostly on) to this race since 2012.

The 5K course, which I have had to have run more than 20 times by now, is always a good standard to use on where my current race fitness is at. And the handcart race is their 2nd race in a series of 5Ks scattered throughout the year.

The Race

So I should start out that this race recap is going to be a bit different that most others, in the fact that I wasn't racing this one.  It was all about simply getting it done.  I had no race goals, no personal drive to beat last time's time, or beat anyone.  If I placed in my age group, great, if not, I was okay with it.

I had registered for this race several weeks ago and it wasn't until a week or two later that I was put on a strict diet of no running.  This was mandated medically and it wasn't because I have Achilles tendonitis or runner's knee.  It turns out that I have a congenital hole in my heart.  I was informed about this late in the day on July 3rd just 12 hours before the Sandy City 4th of July.

Naturally, running with a structural defect in your heart is probably not the best idea.

Heading down the first mile

So the Farmington Days 5K became a photo op day and the Sandy City 4th of July was a total no show.  And there was no way I was going to be able to run the Deseret News half Marathon.  So a busy summer series of racing suddenly because a whole lot of nothing.  And as most of you know, there are no refunds with races.

I did wind up doing the Farmington Days race as a photographer.  I managed to get my t-shirt and post race breakfast but I did not participate in that one.  There was no finisher's medal and really no incentive for me.  It was extremely difficult to sit that race out and if you are a regular reader, you know I like to be fairly competitive, if only against my self.

First turn of the Handcart 5K

Over the past few weeks, I've gone to appointments to get this sorted out and to determine how concerned I should be and what the course of treatment should be.  So far every test other than the EKG (that showed there was in fact a hole in my right ventricle) has come back passing with flying colors.  

The first hill

However, I still have had symptoms of the issue: some high blood pressure, AFib issues, and unexplained wooziness.

Summit of the first incline and 2nd turn

So far the diagnosis is no surgery is required and to keep an eye on my high blood pressure.  Things may change though as I seem to have one more appointment on Tuesday, which will include a stress test.

Now the long climb back to the start

So with most indicators looking good and having run very likely a lifetime with this defect, I decided I'd take the chance and just easy run this one.  I've been walking 3 to 6 miles a day and still doing some light physical therapy-like exercises to keep myself active.

So that's pretty much what I did with this race: I started way in the back, walked a bit, and then started jogging at what felt like an easy pace.  It was nice to finally run but incredibly hard for me not to race it.  I was being passed by other runners and my breathing was light and easy.  I could certainly go faster.  It took a LOT of restraint not to smash this one.

For those not in the know, the course starts off congested, a gentle downhill for about 1.25 miles, and then a grind back to the start.  The last quarter mile or so is a fast and gentle downhill to the rear parking lot.

About mile 2.5 or so

Looking back at where I had come

I also took the opportunity to shoot some photos of the course as well.  Since I run this course so frequently it might help others get a sense of how challenging the course is.

Usually the point at which I am just so done with the race.


So my goal was to finish somewhere around 30 minutes.  If I beat 30 minutes, it would mean I ran the course too fast.  I was honestly figuring I'd get around 36 minutes.  I know if I were racing, I'd be in the 25:30 zone.

After finishing, I did sit down and found no major issues.  I did have a bit of AFib going on but after a while it did settle down.

I did wind up getting 2nd in my age group -- which was NOT expected.  I was just hoping to finish and get my medal.

Post race refreshments included yogurt, fruit, fruit gummies, muffins, awesome ice cream popsicles, orange juice, water, Gatorade, and chocolate milk.  I think in the past they used to have a pancake breakfast but this year they went all out with the post race refreshments.

Unfortunately, they didn't have my shirt size and they are pretty good about mailing them out.  I absolutely love their shirts -- they are ones I frequently wear.  The half marathon's medal was bigger but the 5K race's was definitely worthy of obtaining.  

Award Ceremony Commences!

As usual, I'll be looking forward to attending next year. I hope I'll be able to race it at 100% as well.

I'll be sure to keep my regular readers updated as to my running status (or find me on Strava)

Finisher's medal and age group prize

Upcoming Races

07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT 
08/03: 2024 Roy Days 5K - Roy, UT (Confirmed)
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/26:2025 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, June 29, 2024

2024 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K Race Recap - Taylorsville, UT

Official Time: 25:27
Placement: 43rd overall, 2nd in 50 - 59 age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 64 degrees, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2023] [2022] [2021] [2019]

Mile TimeComments
18:19Slow start but all things considered not too bad
28:22Felt like I was running through mud. Consistent though
38:20Not sure how I managed this.
3.060:25Fast finish!
Total Miles: 3.06 - 25:28


One of the races I've had circled in red since the spring is this one: the Taylorsville Dayzz 5K. It is a smallish race that is just a few miles down the road and coincides with their city's summer celebration.

The race is fairly typical of a local community run: based at a city park, affordable, and just a nice community vibe.  It is also one of the few races that offers a cash prize if you win your age group (sadly if you don't, there is no consolation prize).  

The course is also flat (for the most part) and fast.  I usually turn in a good time here so when I signed up for this race, I knew I wanted to show up and run my best.

The Race

The race starts early -- 7 AM and it was a quick drive from my house to the Gary Swenson Regional Park.  I was there 45 minutes before the start and I got my bib, t-shirt, and goodie bag in short order.

I wound up doing about a mile warm-up and tossed in some strides as well.  I'll be honest: I'll felt sluggish.  My legs were kind of dead, it felt extremely warm, and I just didn't feel super energized.  Sometimes I feel that way before a race but this felt a little different.

By the time I got to the starting line I didn't feel particularly ready.  I had gotten in a good warm-up but my body just wasn't there to race.  

The race started a bit after 7 AM and off we went. Almost immediately, I felt winded and a part of me wanted to simply drop out.  It felt hot and there wasn't that killer pace.  I had surveyed the starting line and saw 2 people around me that were potentially in the 50 to 59 age division, so I did my best to keep them in my sites and monitor their progress.

The race starts on the walking trail of the park and the first mile is entirely in the park.  It is a bit of a clustered start but fortunately the race is chip timed and runners are encouraged to start in an appropriate spot.  

There were a lot of different abilities at the race and the lead pack got out to a fast start.  I was huffing and puffing with the two other runners that appeared to be in my age group.  I had plenty of room to run and memories of the past times I've run this race came back into my memories.  

Along the service road

The course has a few tiny hills in them, but for the most part this is about as flat as it gets for a 5K.  I was working hard and I didn't get obsessed with my pace -- I did know it felt slower than usual -- and harder.

I wound up passing one of the runners who appeared to be in my age group and the other one -- well I lost sight of him.  Hopefully I had overestimated his age.  I was working with a few female runners my age as well as some late teens / early twenty aged runners.  My pace was holding steady and it felt hard.

After a series of turns through the park, I finally had to do a lap around the perimeter of the baseball diamond -- and my watch rang up 8:19.  I had a hunch that that was where I was at, but it was disappointing.  I felt like my pace was going to drop off a cliff and this race was brewing to be a disaster.

One of the things I am working on is mental toughness and not giving up.  8:19 wasn't terrible and if I could hold that pace for the rest of the race (or even better it) I'd still, in my book, be in the range of respectability.

The start of mile 2 has you exit out of the park and onto a very quiet service road.  This is my favorite part -- it is flat, plenty of room to run along, and slightly shaded.  Also you can catch some cheers from the other runners who are still running in the park.

Fairgrounds in the background

Sadly, though, the runner in my (apparent) age group passed me during this period.

My pace hadn't dropped but I didn't have that extra gear to push.  Mile 2 came in at 8:22 -- still holding steady.

Finally, we came into the final segment of the race: a brief interlude into a residential section. 

My favorite stretch of the course.

I was still running with people but we were spread out.  My pace was erratic, sometimes slowing down and sometimes speeding up.  There was a good group to work with - most of whom were half my age.  But we were suffering together.

Finally we came into view of the park and we came in from a service gate.  This section always worries me as we are running on parts of the course that were involved at the start.  And the signage does not correlate to the 2nd half of the run.  Fortunately, the race director has someone change the signs, so there was absolutely no confusion.

Last quarter of a mile was along here.

With about .4 of a mile to go, I simply wanted the race to be over with.  There just wasn't anything left.  My pace was still even but I was gassed. It was also at this point in the race where we were running on a bit of dirt / gravel or grass trail.  I could hear the music at the finish line and the cheers from those lining the finish line.  For a small community event, this one is very spectator friendly.  

I made my move and pushed the pace -- which actually came.  I always find I have just a little bit left at the end.  It didn't really matter though, I wasn't going to catch one and I wasn't safeguarding my position.  Still, I wanted to finish strong.

The finish line!


I finished in 25:27, which, to be honest, is about where I expected to come in.  My 5K times have plummeted recently and while this race was to be my rebound race, I will admit that I had Covid-19 about 10 days ago.  It hasn't destroyed my running like it did in 2022 but I figure it still plays a factor.

The race was timed by RunnerCard which means there are instant results.  Sadly, I found I was in 2nd in my age group.  The guy who took off at the start was clearly in my age group -- the 2nd guy, wasn't.

Naturally I was disappointed.  I had my doubts I was going to take the age group win today but my times haven't been that great since the spring.  This year, instead of a cash award, they did have gift baskets.

I wound up socializing for a bit and grabbed some snacks as well as some free samples of sunflower milk.  It was pretty warm and with a parade starting I wanted to avoid the traffic, so I wound up heading out fairly early.  The snacks included a lot of pre-packaged treats like granola bars, fruit gummies, bananas, and such.  There was also some delicious (but very sweet) lemonade type of beverage as well as water.  The finishers medal was also very nice and heavy - a simple design but worthy of the race.

Shirt + Medal

Overall, I was very happy with my experience.  I had registered early so I managed to snag a shirt (they are limited). They have some of the best shirts and ones I frequently wear.  The race was well organized from start to finish.  I'll definitely come back next year for this one as it is a nice barometer of where my fitness is at (not where I want it to be unfortunately).

Upcoming Races

07/04: 2024 Sandy City 4th Of July 5K - Sandy, UT (Confirmed)
07/13: 2024 Farmington Days 5K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
07/20: 2024 Handcart Races 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed
08/03: 2024 Roy Days 5K - Roy, UT (Confirmed)
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/26:2025 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

2024 First Half Review in Running

Finishing the Utah Valley 10K

Total Miles Run:  730 (approximately from January through May)


So I started off the year with the hopes of continuing the progress I had made in 2023.  I had run particularly well in 2023, with some over the age of 50 bests in several distances. I had consistently done speedwork, built up my miles and had stayed largely injury free -- so I could consistently run and train.

My goal this year was to build on that training and run even faster for my final year of being in the 50 - 54 age group.


So I wouldn't really call it an injury per say, but it caused me a great deal of concern.  Sometime in August of 2023 I started to get hip pain, particularly when walking.  It has never bothered me to run but on midafternoon walks or the walk home from the park, I'd get this dull ache in my left hip.  It would disappear and then come back and for a while I thought it was just normal aches and pains.

Until it wasn't.

It became a regular occurrence and I kept hoping it would sort of just go away.  I could run after all.  It continued though and it made a number of walks painful -- to the point where my left leg would go numb and I'd have a hard time walking.  Often times I'd have to do stretches or find a park bench.

When 2024 rolled around I promised myself I'd get it checked out. And one of the first things I did was see an orthopedic doctor.  After x-rays, evaluation and even an MRI, I was diagnosed with more of the spondylosis, which had sidelined me for the spring and early summer season of 2022.

I commenced physical therapy and even took 2 weeks off of running in April.  I did notice that with time off of running, the symptoms diminished.

As they say, half measures availed us nothing and to be honest, after weeks of PT, rest, and even just casual running, it is only marginally better.  I do attribute a lot of it to the fact that I sit all day and I think my PT and I have narrowed it down to just common IT-band syndrome.  Fortunately, it doesn't hurt or impact my running -- it's just the agonizing walk home.

On the plus side, I am doing my physical therapy exercises, as directed, and the strength gains I've made in my core and hips have been excellent.  I honestly feel like they've made a difference in my running form.

I am still working on getting over this issue, and I suspect it'll continue to hang around until the end of the race season.  At that point, I hope to have the discipline to take some dedicated time off.

I had another interlude with an injury -- posterior tibial tendonitis.  It struck my left foot and it made running fairly painful. Fortunately, I could train through it and I managed to ice it, do my own physical therapy and I wound up ditching the Brooks Glycerin shoes.  I think they have been a contributor to this injury and my IT-band injury.  The stack height and amount of foam is significantly different than my trusty Brooks Adrenalines.  After several weeks, the PTT, has diminished significantly.

The Scare

Faithful readers may recall that during the Eggs Legs 10K I felt like something was off.  And even during the Vegas Half Marathon, I was dealing with pinched nerves.  It was so bad, that I had tingling in my feet and hands and at times I questioned my ability to run.

I do think that it was stress and perhaps health related.  Also, my daytime job is sedentary, so sitting all day with poor posture is only going to lead to problems like this.

About 2 or 3 days after the Eggs Legs race, however, I did experience a medical episode.  There are some different theories and speculation on what I went through -- but I woke up and was just sitting down and all of the sudden my left hand became very shaky.  I was holding a banana and I thought I had dropped it, when in fact it was still in my hand.  Then the left side of my face felt droopy and numb.

It lasted about 30 seconds.  The rest of the day I had a bit of nerve issues but I was functional and even went to work.

Most people might say I had a mini-stroke or TIA.  Although, right now, we haven't found any evidence of it.  I never went to the doctor's after the episode (I really don't like going to the doctors).

It was at that point, that I basically lost 90 seconds off of my 5K times.  It suddenly became very hard for me to even hold on to an 11 to 12 minute mile.  

I did go see the doctor about it and I discovered I also had high blood pressure -- which is very strange since I generally eat well, I am not overweight, and I exercise.  I was given some blood pressure meds, which made running even harder.

Since starting the medicine, my BP has been absolutely normal and I've found a sweet spot of a very, very small dose that I take nightly.  

After adjusting the medication, my times have gotten better.

I am still dealing with the aftermath.  My running is still NOT where it used to be.  It was like, overnight, a lot of my fitness simply disappeared.  

I did get green lighted to run but the medication I am taking does have side effects, one of which is that it makes me more likely to have problems in hot weather, so running long distance races this summer is going to be a challenge.

I am happy to report, that I am making progress, my pinched nerves issues are better -- but do get aggravated on a daily basis.  However, I am still wondering what is going on with me.  I still don't have any definitive answers but only a few clues.  I do know that since cutting my BP meds, I do feel significantly better.

But the fact is, I was staring at the reality that I may not be able to run again, or even remotely compete the way I'd want to.

Success Stories

So there are a few things I am thrilled about:

1) I am still regularly doing speed sessions.  At least once or twice a week and for the most part they've been going well.  I really enjoy them and I love seeing the progression.  It isn't coming as fast as I'd like, but it is keeping me in the game.

2) The physical therapy exercises that I've been doing are making me a strong runner.  I can feel the difference and just minute changes are making me a more efficient, less injury-prone runner.  During a PT session, we did a gait analysis and my form looked pretty good -- although I need to activate my glutes a bit more.  Special props to Canyon Sports Therapy, who I would highly recommend for any sports related injuries / gait analysis.

3) I've had two GREAT races -- the Virgin River Half Marathon and the Sun Half Marathon.  So far, those two have been my best races of the year.

4) I absolutely love running first thing in the morning.  It makes me feel accomplished and it just feels hardcore smashing out the miles before everyone else is even up.  It is peaceful and I get to catch the sun coming up.  I am very fortunate to live near a bike trail that is just incredibly scenic.  It sure beats trying to grind out a speed session in 95F degree heat at 9 PM.

5) My mileage has been decent.  I'd still like to run more, but given the health issues -- both running and non running related, I am fortunate to have gotten what I could in.  We also had a very mild winter in Utah, so running on a daily basis wasn't that hard.


So far 2024 hasn't quite gone to plan.  I rarely go to the doctor's and over the years I've put myself in great shape.  But I practically should have my own parking spot by now at the Lone Peak Hospital.  I've been there so many times this year.  I usually never use my health insurance and this year, I've been using it like crazy.

I am glad I am taking care of myself and maybe some of the health issues have a bit of a bright side -- I may have never known I had high blood pressure.  I've taken steps to reduce my stress and take care of myself first and foremost.

I still love racing, seeing friends at the races, and I just count my blessings that I can still run and compete at a decent level.

Always nice to get some new apparel

Upcoming Races

06/22: 2024 Emigration 10 Mile Race - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
06/29: 2024 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K - Taylorsville, UT (Confirmed)
07/04: 2024 Sandy City 4th Of July 5K - Sandy, UT (Confirmed)
07/13: 2024 Farmington Days 5K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
07/20: 2024 Handcart Races 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/26:2025 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Sunday, June 2, 2024

2024 Utah Valley 10K Race Recap - Provo, UT

At the 10K start line

Official Time: 50:25
Placement: 6th in age group, 61st male
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 55F -- no wind - sunny
Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: [2023]

Mile TimeComments
18:19Off cautiously. A bit of an incline here
27:57Nice downhill - joining with the half marathon runners
38:14Still holding steady but definitely working
48:42Slowed down -- a bit of a hill. I knew this was coming
58:14Final downhill stretch. Hurting but nice to get some momentum
68:32Working with other runners. Surprised that I was able to run this. Felt slower
6.07       0:24Accelerate to the finish.
Total Miles: 6.07- 50:25

I found this funny


Back in November at the Snow Canyon Half Marathon, I felt compelled to sign up for the Utah Valley Half Marathon.  I had run the 10K about 5 months early and had a good experience.  The price was halfway decent -- about $80 -- and I got an extra shirt.  Feeling adventurous and spontaneous, I wound up signing up for the race.

Fast forward about 6 months, and after having dealing with some injuries, setbacks, and health issues, I began seriously questioning whether I'd be able to complete at half marathon.  I can run and have been running, but my endurance just isn't there and my long run is somewhere around 6 to 8 miles.  So, a few weeks ago I decided to switch to the 10K -- I am capable of running that distance and at least I'd get something in.

This race is a big one and very competitive.  The course does tend to come in short, but overall it is a fast one, with a gentle downhill.  There is also a nice spread of food and excitement at the end, so it is well worth attending.

The Race

I drove out Friday to Provo to collect my bib at the expo.  I had to drive through horrendous traffic to get there: a terrible accident made what should've been a 35 minute drive into a 90 minute drive.  Once I did get there, though, I was able to pick up my bib and visit some of the exhibitors.  The Utah Valley Race is the last of what I would deem are the 3 major northern Utah races for the spring season (Salt Lake City and Ogden are the others).

It was a lot of work for a 10K but I had to collect other bibs for other people and let's face it, this is a big race.

Race morning had me arrive in Provo at just shy of 6 AM to catch a bus that would leave no later than 6:10 AM to a church about 6 miles away.  The Utah Valley race is well organized and there was plenty of parking and it was an easy routine to simply park and go.  It was a fairly decent bus ride -- about 15 minutes (we had to take a roundabout way) but once we arrived we had the ability to hydrate, warm-up and some porta-potties to use (I wound up finding a vacant one about a quarter mile away in a construction zone -- points for me!)

The race started at 7 AM and they instructed us to go off in waves with those running sub 8-minutes miles to lead the way.  At 7:05 the sub 10 minutes would go.  I wound up waiting for the 8 minute group to leave and then jumped in quite a bit later.  I think the purpose of this was not to swarm the half marathon runners that we'd be merging in with about a mile later.

Warming up and doing some strides

The first mile is a gentle uphill and while I had warmed up - I felt like it was a struggle.  The hill isn't massive but it is a long, gentle rise.  I wound up passing a few of the other late starters in the wave and was slowly gaining on the first wave.  I had started about 50 seconds behind them.

The first mile came in at 8:19 as I made my way up a residential street lined with farm-type ranches.  Given the rise and easing into the race, I felt it was okay but a little slower than I would've liked.  I could feel a bit of fatigue in my legs from Monday's Monday's Race.

The start of mile 2 got me excited.  We had to merge in with the half marathoners and made the only turn in the race: a 180 degree turn onto University Avenue.  I spotted the 2-hour pacer.  The route was a little congested but for the most part, I was able to find ample room to keep at my 10K race.  Having people to race against / pass, got me motivated.  Coupled with a bit more of a downhill section and tailwind, I knocked off a sub 8-minute mile.

As we made our way down University Avenue, I recalled several other times I had run along this route.  Not only last year, but the Provo City 5K.  I was pushing the pace at about tempo pace and it hurt but it felt right for a 10K effort.

The road was blocked off and had a large swathe of area to run along. I felt sorry for the Saturday morning traffic as I zipped along.  University Avenue is one of the arteries of the city and it was causing a mess.

Mile 3 came in completed at 8:14, about where I wanted to.

I knew after the halfway point I'd have a hill to contend with.  It isn't steep but it is long. It doesn't register on my watch at all for some reason but it definitely slows runners down.  Mentally it is also tough.  But I knew once I got over it, I'd get a nice drop towards the finish.

The sun wasn't out but the air felt heavy and moist.  Almost humid by Utah standards.  I wound up grabbing water at the aid stations and drinking a little and dumping the rest over my hand.  I also found myself struggling with my allergies -- I suspect the race photographer got a photo of my blowing my nose with my shirt.  A few times, I had to slow down in order to clear my throat.

Mile 4 came in at a disappointing, but not unexpected 8:42.  

The mile markers were consistently off -- by about .15 of a mile for me.  I knew from last year that the race was nowhere near a 6.20 mile course.  But there was that little seed of doubt that maybe they had fixed it.  

The start of mile 5 got me going with a gentle grade downhill.  We passed by the BYU football stadium, which always brings back memories of the BYU Cancer Run 5K and Rock the Canyon 10K.  I was gassed but the downhill made the effort quite a bit easier.  I was still taking down half marathoners, but for the most part I was holding steady with them.  I was elated to see an 8:15 mile.

The final mile never seemed to end.  In the distance, I could make out the blue arches.  I kept wondering if that was just the teaser and the finish line was actually behind it.  

Finish in downtown Provo

Every now and then I'd get a little bit of mojo to push the pace but there just wasn't much  motivation. I think mentally I was defeated and I knew I was a far cry from what I had run last year.  At this point, it was just about finishing.

The final quarter mile was exciting, as it was lined with supporters and well wishers.  While I was simply a 10K finisher, they were cheering for the half marathoners (and soon full marathoners).  The blue arches weren't a false finish and I flew over the finish line in 50:25.

Happy to Finish


So, unarguably I ran better than last week at the Run of Remembrance.  My time for a full 10K comes in around 51:40 and during this race I was never doing the marathon death shuffle.  Yes, I was hurting and my pace had dwindled but it never got that bad.

On the other hand, I was sorely disappointed with a time 3 minutes slower than last year.  I knew I wasn't going to come anywhere close to what I ran last year, but still is was a sobering reminder how much my fitness has tanked in the last 60 days (hopefully I'll have a post about this soon!)

I had some hopes that I'd place this year.  An age group rival was there so I knew that he'd finished well ahead of me.  I would wind up placing 6th, so no extra awards for me.

I wasn't feeling the greatest as the end.  I had definitely taxed myself and I wound up spending quite a bit of time making sure I was hydrated and had caught my breath.  I wished there had been a place to sit but tons of people were milling about and fans lined the gated fences.  Normally after the race, I like to find a quiet corner and just "recover".

There were a ton of exhibitors with treats at the end.  They had water, Powerade, bananas, oranges, Creamies ice cream, Kneaders French Toast (A++), caffeinated milk, sunflower milk, and slushies.  What more could I ask for?  Just a great finish line experience.

I like the shirt design.  It clearly spells out marathon and has a nice print on the back.  I am not a fan of the polyester / cotton blend, though. Although, I think this one will make the cut of wearing since it is a cool shirt.  Full marathon runners and 10K runners received a plastic lei for finishing.  Apparently there was a snafu with the shipment and the medals were lost. The race organizer promised to mail them out.

For $80 I would've been okay with this for a half marathon experience.  But I paid $90 for a 10K. I get it, I had to transfer distances, but it was probably the most expensive 10K race I've run.  The race is an experience and is well supported in every facet.  The aid stations, volunteers, organization were top notch.  I will say the distance of the 10K is a bit of an afterthought.  I know I complained about it last year.

We'll see if I do this race next year.  It is a warm time of year to run a half marathon (or even a marathon) and it was a lot of work to get my bib and drive back the next day.  I would certainly encourage people to run this one though.  It is a beautiful run and just an exciting experience.

Upcoming Races

06/22: 2024 Emigration 10 Mile Race - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
06/29: 2024 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K - Taylorsville, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/26:2025 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)